How to Design Effective Cases for Sensitive Electronics

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An EVA carrying case’s construction is essential for keeping sensitive electronics safe and functional within its confines. The exterior clamshell is typically laminated to tough exterior material to provide case surface protection from wear and tear.  The interior tray is also vital in protecting delicate electronics by effectively suspending the device between the clamshells and creating an ability for the case to absorb impact without affecting the contents.  Cut foam can also be employed if the interior requirements can’t accommodate a custom formed interior tray.

Any carrying case will need to endure rough handling and turbulent conditions. Although the final design will be dependent on the specific use case scenario.  Here we provide some general guidelines and tips to help you create an excellent solution for sensitive electronics.

Key Considerations When Designing Carrying Cases

One EVA cases’ best assets is the ability to customize the interior and exterior to work in concert to protect your device.  As a result, you can design a solution that engages your device effectively while still offering the flexibility to hold everything from large electronic instruments to small accessories.  An experienced design partner and manufacturer can help determine the configuration necessary for your electrical components. However, the two primary factors you must consider are functionality and protection. Let’s see how they apply to these types of cases.

Instrument/Medical device Kits

Instrument cases are typically employed to get testing equipment out in the field for use.  Similarly, it’s often necessary to get a medical device to the patient instead of having the patient come into a facility.  In this situation it is important the case functions as a kit, so any accessory or paraphernalia is also accommodated in the case.  Great kit cases not only have a location for all necessities but are laid out so the instrument and accessories can be used directly out of the case.  Kits will typically provide the most protection as the classic interior tray/clamshell construction of an EVA case are high performers in drop testing.

Holsters and Sleeves

Holsters and Sleeves do a great job of providing conveyance as well as protecting the device.  Most EVA holster designs are built around the CAD of the instrument with laser cut access to screens, keypads, speakers etc.  The benefit is the holster allows full use of the device, and can add ergonomics, and will typically provide a handle strap or a means of attaching the device to your belt!  Sleeves serve a similar purpose but don’t offer the rigidity of the EVA holsters and are typically made from Neoprene. 

Soft Sided Cases

Soft-sided cases are popular for carrying laptops and similar electronic devices because they are often more lightweight and easy to transport. Foam padding between the device and the outer shell provides protection in place of rigid sides.  The protection the padding provides can be moderated depending on requirements by the thickness of the padding or even the material the padding is made of.

The Importance of Great Design

To achieve a great design requires a number of factors to come together.  Most importantly the design needs to accommodate all the stated requirements of the project.  It should also express an understanding of the merits of materials and manufacturing processes to provide the best solution possible.  Finally, a great design needs to add to the perceived value of the product.  When done well, it’s easy to recognize but defining the aesthetics is not easy as there are a number of strategies to employ!  What has often been most successful is to use the clients design language in articulating the details of case design and branding.

Choosing the Correct Material

The correct material is easier to determine if there are good parameters to the case design.  If the case is going to be treated like its construction equipment it’s important to use highly durable materials like Hypalon or ballistic nylon.  Highly organic designs with more curves than straight line angles would dictate more elastomeric materials such as Lycra or Polyurethanes.  Parameters will also define any testing or compliance requirements so material selection will have to conform to any such regulations.

Additional padding

Fortunately, you are not limited to a single-foam padding style that must be modified for your specific need. Instead, there are multiple materials and methods of increasing the padding in your case.

Padded Foam Walls

Padded foam walls help reduce the shock your sensitive electronic equipment may receive from a blow or drop. Manufacturers create padded foam walls by sewing the foam into the case between the outer and inner walls. As a result, soft-side cases increase in rigidity and shape stability. Padded foam walls are ideal protection for a case designed to hold electronic items with no shifting pieces.

Custom Foam Inserts

Custom foam inserts fit directly into the case. To prevent the inserts from shifting in the case, these inserts include indentations that precisely match the electronic instruments’ dimensions to safeguard them from moving about. Custom foam inserts are very suitable for cases carrying multiple instruments or parts because they effectively keep electronic objects at a safe distance from each other.

The Rewards of Well-Designed Cases for Sensitive Electronics

When protecting delicate electronic devices, a durable case is a must. It will protect the contents from the elements but also provide added functionality as the electronics can be used directly from the case.  Case design information and a partnership with a reputable case manufacturer like Tetrafab will ensure your cases have the best design for your purpose. For more information, contact us today.

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