Printed Hinges (w/no assembly)

Discussion in 'Design and Modeling' started by ddopsa, Jul 2, 2014.

  1. ddopsa
    ddopsa New Member
    Hi all,

    I'm looking for some information on printing hinges, and how that might be possible without additional assembly.

    My ultimate goal is to create a simple rectangular box with a lid, and I was hoping to attach the lid with a hinge so that the box is technically one piece. Is this possible with Shapeways or would the lid and box need to be printed separately? I would like for the hinge to be "invisible" so that when the box is closed, the backside is a smooth surface, with no protuberance from the hinge.

    I am also looking to print with something like alumide, as I need the box to be sturdy. Is this possible for moving parts or would I need to create a more simple, detachable lid when using this material.

    I have also seen many hinges online that require a "filament" but I don't really understand what that means, I assume that adding a filament means that some additional assembly is required.

    Any information or hints that y'all can provide would be much appreciated!

    Best regards,
  2. Youknowwho4eva
    Youknowwho4eva Shapeways Employee Community Team
    It is technically possible. Allumide (now called metallic plastic) has a minimum clearance of .5mm. So your hinge would have a good bit of play in it. Also consider cleaning the excess powder from inside the hinge. The longer your enclosed area is, the more likely you'll have trapped powder that you'll have to work out in some way. I would not design a hinge that needs to snap in place using metallic plastic. It is not as giving as the non-metallic counterparts.
  3. ddopsa
    ddopsa New Member
    I appreciate the response, and I'm glad to hear that the idea is probable!

    I understand that I need to provide clearance and room for cleaning in theory, but practically, I am still a little confused on how I would design a hinge (and thus hinged box) all in one piece/print. Are there any tutorials you can recommend?

    Can I simply place holes in the side of the box and have pins attached to the lid that print within them (I understand that there isn't much give to the metal plastic)? Similar to the way a plastic lid may have pins that "snap in" to place, but just having things printed in-place, so that no "snapping" is actually necessary.

    Ps. I'm sorry for the absolute worst explanation ever, I hope my point was somewhat comprehendible.

    Thanks again dude!
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2014
  4. Youknowwho4eva
    Youknowwho4eva Shapeways Employee Community Team
    With metalic plastic you are allowed to have interlocking parts so you could make a printed hinge like this. hinge.jpg
  5. Wahtah
    Wahtah Well-Known Member
    Then depending on the width of your hinge you can poke some holes for the powder to escape (assuming the red thing runs all the way through, it might also be two prongs). You can put the holes on the inside of the lid to hide them. I can't tell you how many you need per cm...

    I'm very interested to know how you get on with this, please let us know when you get something printed!


  6. Youknowwho4eva
    Youknowwho4eva Shapeways Employee Community Team
    I drew it threw, but couldn't find a good way to show it. Good addition of the escape hole though!