Objet living hinges

Living Hinges

3D print functional product and packaging prototypes

Stratasys has developed 3D printing materials with excellent elongation at break, making in-house rapid prototyping of living hinges possible with either PolyJet or FDM Technology-driven 3D printers.

Work iteratively and test product designs more thoroughly and quickly — fully functional prototypes emerge from the 3D printing process ready to test and share.

Compact, Frictionless Flexibility

Foldable cube has intricate parts in various Shore A values

Plastic flexure bearings appear as living hinges and snap-fit closures in disposable containers, electromechanical systems and consumer products packaging. Minimal friction, compact design and the ability to manufacture them in one piece makes them a popular alternative to mechanical hinges and closures in many applications.

Prototype Living Hinges With PolyJet 3D Printing

Multimaterial cube has four rubberlike living hinges

PolyJet 3D Printing offers materials with excellent elongation at break and tear resistance, which makes them ideal for flexible hinges that you can test without breaking. Create lasting, functional living hinges in a single automated build.

Digital Materials: Connex 3D Printers enable you to build multiple materials into one model, and even blend distinct base resins to achieve Digital Materials with the precise material properties you need. One example is to combine the superior elongation-at-break properties of Rubber-like photopolymers with the stability of Rigid Opaque materials, resulting in a range of Shore A values ideal for 3D printing living hinges. You can even assign various properties in the same product, so a flexible living hinge can function next to a rigid housing.

Double-lidded box has living hinge and snap-fit closures

You can even assign various properties in the same product, so a flexible living hinge can function next to a rigid housing.

Endur: For Connex, Eden and Objet30 Pro 3D Printers, Endur is a durable, flexible photopolymer that mimics the appearance and behavior of polypropylene to create successful living hinge prototypes.

Build Living Hinge Prototypes With FDM Technology

Fingers close an FDM box with living hinge

Creating living hinges with FDM enables quick functional testing of hinged containers and housings, in production-grade thermoplastics. FDM living hinges and snap-fit prototypes are especially successful when 3D printed with FDM Nylon 12 material.

Design and build considerations: With a vertical build orientation and slight modifications to the hinge design, a single bead of thermoplastic can extend the entire length of the hinge. This results in an FDM living hinge that can last through hundreds or even thousands of flex cycles. In addition to hinge durability, the vertical orientation often provides a good surface finish on the rest of the part.

FDM box with living hinge, open