Making a Stand... completely out of foam

Steve Chandler
June 15, 2023

We wanted to design and build an exhibition stand that would demonstrate our product range, our design service and our manufacturing capabilities to exhibition visitors…

A stand constructed almost entirely from engineered foam.

An MSA Foam exhibition stand made from custom foam, various Peli cases laid out around the stand.

Custom design

Creating a design that displays our services was relatively easy. We have a wide range of foam products which we could incorporate into the design and a large selection of colours and foam densities to choose from. The challenge was making the separate panels interlock neatly. We created featured jigsaw tabs for the visible joints of the feature wall’s panels, showing the precision of our foam cutting and finish, in addition to strengthening the connection between the stand panels.

Foam cutting machines

Many features of the stand were designed to demonstrate the cutting technology we have on site. From a highly complex water-jet cut map of the UK, showing the areas of our business development team, to the laser engraved precision cut Aztec design, visitors to our stand are able to see our manufacturing capabilities up close and personal.

Range of materials

We wanted to do the same with the range of foam material we stock. Our grid of hexagons on one panel is a combination of the different colours and varieties of foam we use. Our visitors are able to feel the texture and density of the foams we can supply. For the central table, we used cortex plastic legs to lend a subtle nod to the plastic materials we use in the production of returnable packaging.

Tool Control

The range of colours play a vital role in designing tool control. By creating pockets of a different colour in a foam insert, engineers are able to notice immediately when any tool is missing, saving valuable time and money by always transporting their full complement of tools needed for a job. Using some grey tool shapes cut out of foam that fit perfectly into the tool control section of the wall, we hoped to really hammer (sorry) this point home.


During the design of the stand components, we had to ensure that it would be easily assembled by our staff attending the exhibition. We also wanted to make it as functional for them as possible, integrating features such as removable panels to store personal effects and business card holders for each member of our business development team.

We launched the stand at the last Northern and Southern Manufacturing exhibitions. With this in mind, we made sure that using the modular panels, our stand could be assembled and adapted to suit different exhibitions, so it can follow us wherever we go!