Discover Living Hinges: Guide to 3D Print Living Hinge Design

  1. 3D print living hinges

3D print living hinges are a popular design feature for 3D-printed products. These provide flexibility and durability, plus they look aesthetically pleasing. In this article, I will be discussing the basics of what living hinges are and how to 3D print them for your own projects. I will also provide tips on materials and designs that work best for living hinges. By the end of this guide, you will have all the knowledge necessary to create beautiful 3D-printed living hinges with ease!

What Is a Living Hinge?

A 3D print living hinge is commonly used in the manufacturing of products such as packaging boxes and containers, toys, and various types of equipment. The unique characteristic of a living hinge is its ability to bend without breaking or losing its overall shape, which makes it ideal for applications where repeated opening and closing are necessary. A living hinge can be made from various materials such as plastic, metal, or rubber, but 3D print living hinges have become increasingly popular due to their durability and flexibility.

When it comes to designing products with living hinges, 3D printing offers a great advantage over traditional manufacturing methods. With 3D printing technology, designers can create complex geometries that would be difficult or impossible to achieve with other methods. This allows for more creative freedom in designing a product that meets specific requirements while still ensuring functionality.

What Are the Advantages & Disadvantages of 3D Print Living Hinge?

3D printing is a rapidly growing technology that has revolutionized the manufacturing industry. One of the most interesting applications of 3D printing is its ability to create living hinges, which are flexible joints that can bend and flex without breaking. But as with any technology, there are both advantages and disadvantages to using 3D print living hinges.


3D print living hinges have flexibility. Unlike traditional hinges, which are made from rigid materials like metal or plastic, living hinges can bend and flex without breaking. This allows for greater design flexibility and opens up new possibilities for product development.

  • 3D print living hinges can be customized to fit specific needs, making them ideal for small-scale manufacturing projects.
  • 3D print living hinge technology is its cost-effectiveness. Traditional hinges often require multiple components that must all fit together precisely in order to function properly.
  • These hinges can be used on a wide range of products, from toys and household items to medical devices and industrial equipment.


  • 3D print living hinges is a limited lifespan. The repeated flexing and bending of these hinges can cause them to break or wear out over time. This means that they might need to be replaced frequently, adding to production costs and waste.
  • The difficulty in designing these types of hinges accurately. Due to their complexity, creating a perfect fit between two components can be tricky, especially if you’re working with small or delicate parts with living hinges.

Is It Possible To Build a Living Hinge  By 3D Printing?

The answer is yes! With the right design and materials, you can create a living hinge using a 3D printer. There are different techniques for making a living hinge with 3D printing technology, but all require some level of expertise in designing and printing. One common method involves printing two pieces that interlock at an angle to create the hinge joint. Another approach is to print one piece that has been designed with narrow sections that allow for bending and flexibility.

Pros & Cons You May Face to Print Living Hinge By 3D Printing

3D printing is an innovative technology that has revolutionized the way we manufacture products. The ability to create intricate, customized designs with ease has made it a popular choice for many industries. One such application of 3D printing is the creation of 3d print living hinges. As with any technology, there are pros and cons to consider.


  • One major advantage of using 3D printing to create living hinges is the flexibility it offers in terms of design complexity. Conventional manufacturing methods would require multiple pieces and assemblies to achieve the same level of intricacy.
  • 3D printing allows for greater customization options and faster prototyping times, making it ideal for small-scale production.


  • One major issue is the risk of warping. Living hinges require thin layers of material that must be aligned precisely to create a flexible joint.
  • Another challenge is the limited range of materials available for 3D printing living hinges.

How Can You Design Living Hinge With 3D Printing Technology?

  • To design a living hinge using 3D printing technology, you need to have access to specialized software and printers that can handle the intricate design process. The first step involves creating your design file in CAD software by drawing the hinge’s geometry using specific dimensions.
  • Once you have the design ready, it’s time to transfer it into the 3D printing software for processing.
  • The next stage involves choosing appropriate materials for your project. Living hinges are typically made from thermoplastic materials like ABS or PLA due to their flexibility properties while maintaining strength.

Calculation of Living Hinge Length

3D print living hinges can be found in a variety of products, from food packaging to flip phones. These flexible hinges are designed to bend repeatedly without breaking and are often used in injection-molded plastic items. But what if you want to create a living hinge using 3D printing? One important factor is determining the correct length for your living hinge. To calculate the length of your 3D-printed living hinges, there are a few key factors to consider.

  • First, you’ll need to know the thickness and width of your material. For example, if you’re using PLA filament that’s of 1.75mm thickness and 20mm wide, you’ll have those measurements on hand.
  • Now, determine the minimum radius required for the bend angle you need. A smaller radius will result in a tighter bend but may cause stress concentration leading to breakages over time.
  • Then, calculate the arc length by multiplying half of the circumference (πr) with your desired degree angle for bending.

Usable Materials for Printing Living Hinges

When it comes to selecting the right material for printing living hinges, there are several materials you can consider for using.

Polypropylene (PP):

PP has excellent flexibility and durability, making it an ideal choice for creating moving parts such as hinges. Its high chemical resistance also makes it suitable for use in harsh environments.

TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethane):

One of the most important benefits of using TPU for printing living hinges is its flexibility. This material can easily bend and flex without breaking or cracking, which makes it perfect for creating intricate designs that require tight tolerances. Additionally, TPU has outstanding fatigue resistance and durability characteristics, which means that your 3d print living hinge will last longer than those made from other materials.


Ninjaflex is a type of flexible filament that can be used to print living hinges, which are an essential component in many products. Living hinges are thin and flexible connectors that allow two parts to move relative to each other while still maintaining their structural integrity. They are commonly found in everyday items such as flip-top containers, sunglasses, and laptop screens.

PETG (Polyethylene Terephthalate Glycol):

PETG  is a versatile thermoplastic material that is becoming increasingly popular for 3D printing. One of the unique features of PETG is its ability to print 3d print living hinges, which are a type of hinge that can be flexed repeatedly without breaking. This makes PETG an ideal choice for creating functional parts such as enclosures, cases, and containers.

PLA (Polylactic Acid):

PLA is a popular thermoplastic material used in 3D printing. It has gained popularity due to its biodegradability and eco-friendliness. PLA is now being used for printing living hinges, which are flexible joints that can bend without breaking. 3d print living hinges are very useful in creating products that require movements such as bottle caps, phone cases, and other items with lids.


3D-printed living hinges offer an incredible amount of freedom and creativity to any maker, as they are adaptable to a variety of applications. They also provide an excellent opportunity for makers to explore the world of 3D printing and create unique products. With the right materials and some patience, you can easily use this guideline to learn how to print your own living hinges. The end result will be a custom-made product that is both durable and aesthetically pleasing.

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