What are living hinges?

A living hinge is a flexible feature of a plastic part which allows movement of two segments of the part. It can be used for example to enable the closing of a lid. 

In 3D printing the most important factors for achieving a good result for living hinges are: choice of technology and material, design of the hinge and the printing orientation. 

Design and orientation tips per material:  

Material and Technology

Recommendation for hinge design

Recommendation for building orientation

Polyamide (SLS)

Polypropylene (SLS)

Thickness: 0,4 mm  

(0,3-0,5 mm as outer limits)

Length: 6 mm

Build hinge horizontally (in XY plane)

Polyamide (MJF)

Thickness: 0,5 mm 

Length: 6 mm (max 25 mm)

 Do not build hinge parallel to Z plane

Tip for first use after print

Prior to first use, the hinge should be submerged in warm water and bent carefully, this will enable the best possible durability of the hinge. 

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