Apr 6, 2019

3D Printed Hinge – 10 Great Curated Models to 3D Print

3D printing is well-known for rapid prototyping designs as well as artistic modeling. What isn't often mentioned is its use as home hardware. Check out this list of the top ten 3D printed hinges!

3D Printed Hinge Models On the Hinge of Possibilities

A big Flexi Rex ready to take a chomp. Source: Laughboy / Reddit

Every so often one needs to take a look around them and admire the unassuming. In this case, the modest is a common household item: the standard hinge. You might be wondering, “what is so special about a hinge?” or “what do hinges have to do with 3D printing?”

In short, mastering the idea of a fully printed and articulated hinge requiring no post-print assembly is a community design feat. For people who have mastered the art of designing 3D printed hinges, they enjoy the title of some of the most ubiquitous prints available. For those who have not learned it, well that’s the beauty of 3D printing, you can print their copies to enjoy.

Follow on to find out what made our list of the top ten curated 3D printed hinge models. These are sure to please and cover items ranging from simple hinges to toys and even an entry into the clothing department.

3D Printed Hinge Models 1. The Parametric Hinge

Parametric hinge: simple hinge, big tasks. Source: postmaster11 / Thingiverse

What is it? Designed in OpenSCAD, this parametric 3D printable hinge is made for customization. Favorite uses of this hinge are for creating custom 3D printed enclosures and repairing or reinforcing existing hinged entryways. Print this model adjusted for your application, and you won’t be disappointed by the performance.

Who created it? Maker and designer Rohin Gosling, uploaded Mar 19, 2017

Who printed it? At least 18 community members have made use of this handy design.

Which settings to use? Print this model at the recommended 0.15-mm layer height with greater than 66% infill.

Where to find it? Thingiverse

3D Printed Hinge Models 2. Bag Clip (PLA Compatible)

A bag clip keeping good food fresh! Source: Monderlog / Thingiverse

What is it? This 3D printed bag clip hinge is presented as a solution to stale chips, coffee and more. It’s an easy print and a surprisingly useful gadget to have around the house. What makes this model unique is that it prints wholly assembled, and the hinge is usable once completed.

Who created it? Engineer and designer Timmo, uploaded May 13, 2014

Who printed it? With more than a whopping 200 prints, this is by far one of the most popular prints on this list.

Which settings to use? Optimized for a 0.4-mm nozzle diameter, make this with two shells and 30% infill.

Where to find it? Thingiverse

3D Printed Hinge Models 3. Flexi Rex with Stronger Links

Flexi Rex in a beautiful dark silver PLA. Source: CyfroN / Thingiverse

What is it? As a more unconventional use of a hinge, the ever popular Flexi Rex is a community favorite. Printed as a completed assembly, this model lifts off the bed plate and allows you to shake, wiggle, and move the little dino’s skeleton.

Who created it? This is a remix from the original model made by designer Hamish Kirby. Engineer Alexander Thomas made the links stronger and more compatible with many printers.

Who printed it? Print one for yourself and join the over 750 people who have posted their makes of this cute little dino.

Which settings to use? Print this model at the recommended 0.2-mm resolution, 15% infill, and without supports.

Where to find it? Thingiverse

3D Printed Hinge Models 4. Cable Chain

The ever-important CNC Cable Chain. Source: KR3OC / Thingiverse

What is it? Commonly used with 3D printers and other CNC machinery that involve moving components, cable chains are essential to keeping a machine looking nice and clean. Maybe not obvious at first, the chain is just a series of linked hinges. This commonly made and iterated item makes our list as one of the most functional prints.

Who created it? Designer Rich (ModelStation) designed this using Fusion 360.

Who printed it? With printed models shared by over 140 users, this is a model that is sure to be useful. Some have even had success in other applications; check out user AdamsLab for their adaptation to tank tracks.

Which settings to use? Print this model at 0.15-mm resolution, 25% infill, and without supports. To have a useful chain, keep your cables in order. Rich’s pro tip is that you should make sure your printer is printing square in X, Y, and Z directions.

Where to find it? Thingiverse

3D Printed Hinge Models 5. 3D Printed Belt

Hold on to your pants with this 3D printed hinge belt. Source: 3DWatsch / Thingiverse

What is it? One of the first functional clothing 3D prints, this 3D belt is both stylish and practical. An ongoing design that has frequent updates, it allows you to 3D print your next belt in place on the print bed. That means no assembly required. Print, break the 3D hinges free, and your droopy-drawers-dilemma is solved!

Who created it? Austrian engineer Richard (3DWatsch)

Who printed it? A few people brave enough to make this beta belt, but Richard has also provided a few images of a couple of belts he has printed over time.

Which settings to use? Print with a max resolution of 0.2 mm and include a 15% infill. No supports or rafts are required.

Where to find it? Thingiverse

3D Printed Hinge Models 6. Kobayashi Fidget Cube

The fidget cube gives focus when you need it most. Source: Markinthebox / Thingiverse

What is it? An interesting by-product of the hand fidget era, this cube features 12 hinges placed at the periphery of eight cubes, making for a perfect piece to toy around with. If you’re looking for something robust and fun to play with, we recommend printing one of these gadgets for your desk. You want to watch out, though, as people will pick it up and not want to put it down.

Who created it? American engineer and maker Mark Tuberville

Who printed it? Made by over 200 people on Thingiverse, this model is a hit!

Which settings to use? Follow the recommendations of 0.14-mm layer height and 20% infill. The cube is a print-in-place model, so make sure you do not use any infill.

Where to find it? Thingiverse

3D Printed Hinge Models 7. Secret Lock Box

Keep your items safe with a secret lock box. Source: Michael Hersel / MyMiniFactory

What is it? Once painted, this Secret lock box wows the crowd! Yet, with 16 individual parts that need to be 3D printed, assembled, and then painted, this 3D printed hinge model is not for the faint of heart.

Who created it? 3D print designer Michael Hersel

Who printed it? Hersel printed this himself, but several others in the community have shared their versions. If you’re interested in your own, check out his free download.

Which settings to use? Print one of each of the non-assembled components and two hinge pins. Use typical settings for your printer.

Where to find it? MyMiniFactory

3D Printed Hinge Models 8. Hinged Box (Fusion 360 Tutorial)

Stay organized with these custom hinged containers. Source: Greg Zumwalt / MyMiniFactory

What is it? What more could you want from your 3D printer than to make custom-sized storage boxes? All joking aside, this designer created the box not only for utility. He created the box as a part of a tutorial with Fusion 360, which is aimed to help you learn how to use parametric modeling. These boxes are designed for print in place style printing. Once you complete your modifications, no assembly required!

Who created it? 3D print designer Greg Zumwalt

Who printed it? Zumwalt printed this himself for the post, but with over 180 downloads, these boxes have proved their worth.

Which settings to use? Follow the instructions on MyMiniFactory, and you’ll be on your way to being a pro at working with Fusion 360.

Where to find it? MyMiniFactory

3D Printed Hinge Models 9. Jointed Robot

This jointed robot is a model of perfection. Source: Sonia Verdu / MyMiniFactory

What is it? This posable figurine is great for playing with, use as a desk decoration, or even posing for your next artistic piece. It’s printed in several different components that are held together with an elastic band to keep all the joints in place and functional.

Who created it? 3D print designer Sonia Verdu

Who printed it? Verdu designed and printed this figure herself, and if you check out her profile, she has many 3D printed hinge robots to share.

Which settings to use? Print with your standard settings and follow the creator’s YouTube page for assembly instructions.

Where to find it? MyMiniFactory

3D Printed Hinge Models 10. Tiny Jet Fighter in Surprise Egg

What a surprise! These eggs hatch fighter jets. Source: Stian Ervik Wahlvåg / MyMiniFactory

What is it? An always popular oddity from the modern genre are these surprise eggs. Finding them in your local markets is easy enough, but why purchase what you can make? These surprise eggs feature three 3D printed hinges: one for the egg holder and two for the airplane’s articulated wings. This piece is sure to please anyone young or young at heart.

Who created it? 3D designer and multimedia developer Stian Ervik Wahlvåg

Who printed it? Wahlvåg designed and printed many of these himself on MyMiniFactory. However, he does state that this is a form of stress test for FDM printers. Do you think your printer has what it takes to print these models and their incredibly close tolerances?

Which settings to use? No rafts nor supports are needed. The creator recommends 0.1-mm layers, 3-layer-thick walls on the airplane, and 25% infill on everything.

Where to find it? MyMiniFactory

3D Printed Hinge Models Conclusions

Have a fan of dragon's in mind? This hollow dragon egg is a hit. Source: Stian Ervik Wahlvåg / MyMiniFactory

As you can see from our discussion on the top ten curated 3D printed hinges, even the unassuming can be spectacular. We took a look that started with a conventional hinge and extended it to a surprise egg, a wearable belt, a posable robot, and even a top-secret lock box. 3D printing is such a powerful and fantastic technology. The fact that so many can enjoy this capability in their own homes is mind-boggling.

Are you interested in what else you can 3D print? Check out some of these other home-friendly curated lists below:

We look forward to sharing more content with you in the future. If you have something you want to see, be sure to leave a comment below.

Otherwise, happy printing!

Feature image source: Desktop Metal

License: The text of "3D Printed Hinge – 10 Great Curated Models to 3D Print" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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