Five Reasons to Use a Molded Insert

Molded vs. Foam: Which is Better?

Many conversations about case inserts start with the customer saying: “We need a foam insert to hold our product. Can you do that?” Most customers look to foam when they want to display, carry or hold something in a case. While C.H. Ellis can provide foam inserts, sometimes the better choice may be a molded formed insert.

When do you choose a molded insert over a foam insert? Here are five reasons to use a molded insert.

  1. Quantities are high. If you are going to need several hundred cases, the cost of tooling a molded insert and the cost of the insert itself often can be less than the cost of using foam. The material cost for plastic is generally less than foam and is less susceptible to market forces.
  2. Repeated cleaning is necessary. If the inserts require cleaning, molded inserts are easier to clean and dry. Many medical and tool applications choose molded inserts for this reason. Additionally some solvents can cause the foam to break down.
  3. Products are used constantly or in extreme environments. Molded inserts will hold their shape longer. Foam has a greater tendency to break down over time. Foam also will deteriorate faster with repeated use or in extreme environments.
  4. Specific color is required. Foam colors are very limited. Most foam manufacturers have stock in white, black, gray, blue red, yellow, green, and pink. It is easier to get a molded insert in color than it is foam. If you are wanting to match it to your brand guidelines it could be easier to use a molded insert.
  5. Change is infrequent. Some legacy products can enjoy a long product life-cycle. A molded insert makes more sense when the items in the case will not change over time. Because of this, there is only one tooling charge.

We hope this helps when you are planning a project requiring an insert. As always, C.H. Ellis is here to help if you have questions.Give us a call at 317-636-3351 or email us at