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How to Design Living Hinges for 3D Printing


How to design living hinges for 3D printing | 3D Hubs

[2021-02-25 Thu 06:40]

living hinge is a thin flexible web of plastic that connects two or more rigid sections. Typically the larger rigid sections and the living hinge will be made of one continuous piece of plastic

[2021-02-25 Thu 06:41]

For most prototyping applications, simply printing a thin strip of material is adequate if the hinge is only required to be functional for few cycles. If a greater number of cycles is required the hinge geometry should be optimized

[2021-02-25 Thu 06:42]

The living hinge should be printed in a single strand of thermoplastic to improve strength

[2021-02-25 Thu 06:47]

that the part will be printed vertically, resulting in a large amount of required support structure.

[2021-02-25 Thu 06:47]

Recommended hinge specifications: Minimum of 2 layer thicknesses with 0.4 - 0.8mm recommended

[2021-02-25 Thu 06:48]

Living hinges can be annealed after printing to increase the number of cycles before failure. This is can be achieved by heating up the hinge (for example by gently running a flame over the hinge untill it reaches a flexible state without melting), working it back and forth for several cycles at that elevated temperature and then leaving it in the closed position to cool down.

[2021-02-25 Thu 06:48]

Living hinges made via 3D printing are best suited for proof of concept designs before investing in expensive injection mold tooling