I’ve been using hard cases for the past 12 years to transport drones that range in size – from an 8 foot long single rotor to the Mavic Air, which can fit in the palm of your hand. I find it very convenient to have a hard case for my drones not only because it makes traveling easier and safer, but also because it helps me keep everything in my kit together and organized – even if that means just transporting it around town in my truck. Once your drone kit contains more than a couple of batteries, chargers, controllers, cables, iPads/screens, filters, etc., you quickly realize the importance of having a great case to keep it all protected and organized!
For the first 7 years, I was building and traveling with drones, so getting cases custom-made was a huge pain. Off-the-shelf cases crafted to store and protect the drone’s specific shape and it’s dozen or so accessories needed for a day of flying didn’t exist at the time. I began reaching out to camera case designers and industrial equipment makers and spent weeks working with multiple groups on custom designs to get the case I needed. During this time, I realized that a case has two critical components: the outer hard-shell, which provides durability and keeps the elements out, and the inner foam that provides protection and organization. I learned that, while the shell in important, it’s the internal foam that really makes or breaks the user experience of a quality hard case. I’ve tried everything from pluck-and-pull foam, which lasts about a week, to having custom foam waterjet cut, which usually takes a very long time. Thanks to GPC, it has been infinitely easier to get the cases I’ve needed to be able to travel with and protect my drones and gear for the last 5-6 years.
The team at GPC has mastered the most critical components of a travel case with the utmost attention to detail – the layout, layering, and material design of the foam are all essential elements of this best-in-class case. For example, GPC uses specific foam density within each layer to maximize protection and simultaneously maintain durability. Watching their team perfect this process over the past 6 years has shown me how foam design is both an art and a science.
The first step is to understand the customer and workflow. Because GPC has such an intimate knowledge of their user, they are able to anticipate what gear add-ons and improvements a customer might make over time and offers pre-cut slots to accommodate future upgrades. Once GPC determines the contents of each case, they 3D model each component to calculate the exact dimensions, weight, and CG measurements. Using that information, GPC’s artists begin solving the three-dimensional jigsaw puzzle required to optimize the volume of the case in order to carry the most gear while ensuring that the case remains perfectly balanced at the handle.
Trust me – there is an infinite number of ways to lay out all of these components, but when it’s done right, you can absolutely feel the difference. When I’m traveling with a drone and lots of other gear or personal items, it is critical that the case is as compact as possible, protects my gear, and holds all of my accessories. Filling the case with just the right amount of foam volume is a delicate balance, too much foam and you end up with a huge case that doesn’t hold very much, too little foam, and you sacrifice protection. A great case must have fast load and unload times, a secure fit for each accessory, long-lasting foam, optimized organization, and be comfortable to carry – all packed into the smallest possible footprint. I know I can trust GPC cases to meet these requirements every time.
To illustrate the difference between the hard outer shell of a case and the intricately designed foam insert, we made a quick video that compares two cases designed for the new DJI Mavic 2 and its accessories. One case has foam designed by GPC and the other is designed by a hard shell manufacturer. This video clearly demonstrates that while many companies make fantastic hard cases, no one can design, layout, and cut foam like GPC. GPC consistently provides a smaller footprint, a lower cost, and the ability to fit more items!
I hope this video helps to illustrate that it’s what’s inside that matters!
— Colin Guinn