Creating hinges and moving parts

There were some questions on the forum lately about printing working hinges and what kind of tolerances you need to make them work. Some test objects were uploaded by pzich and we’re currently printing those to see how they work.

While we’re waiting for them, we thought we’d share a few insights that we gleaned from some test objects that we already have on our tables here

1. Flexible hinges
Instead of making a mechanical hinge, you can use White Strong & Flexible to make flexible hinges. Here are two example: one using a ‘harmonica’ structure. In this case the material is about 0.5 mm thick:

Another approach is to make a long, flat piece of plastic which can bend. The material here is about 0.5 mm thick as well:

2. Moving parts

This ‘GearCard’ was printed as a single model in White Strong & Flexible. You can make moving parts by modeling air gaps between the gear and the axis. Although our minimum tolerance is about 0.1mm, we do suggest that you keep gaps above 0.25mm to be safe (these measures apply to White Strong & Flexible only).

We’ll get back to you once the new testparts are in!

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  1. Gaurav

    I was wondering if you knew why the 2 different mechanisms were used for the living hinge instead of the standard living hinge which we find in everyday life. Is it due a certain mechanistic properties ?


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