Cardboard Living Hinge


I have been saving cardboard for a year now, so I have lots. I had planned to first make my projects in cardboard before I cut into more expensive materials. I am wondering if I can make a living hinge out of cardboard. I want to make the fish box, but want to make my first try with cardboard.


I am worried that with so many through-cuts that the cardboard will catch fire. Have any of you done anything like this?

Make it in cardboard first? Success with cardboard?

The living hinge is for wood that would normally break when flexed. Cardboard already flexes. Cutting a living hinge in it would really weaken it. Have you seen it done? Interesting to see… - Rich


No idea, but I’d be interested in the answer too. (Boxes, I got.) :smile:


Haven’t done anything like that but I have cut through the outer layer of corrugated on opposite sides to make it fold up small for stowage. I imagine a similar partial engrave could be used.


I can tell you, you will get FIRE! lots of it.
Having the air assist on also doesn’t help.
Trying to blow it out will also make it bigger.
If you pull it out and try to rush across your house to the sink, the breeze will spread the flames to your fingers.
You might then drop it.
If you are fast enough it wont burn your carpet.
Your wife might then send you horrible death glares.
But the end result is soggy cardboard/ash in your sink.

not that I have any personal experience… :wink:


Yeah…okay, might have to put that one on hold! :confounded:


My desire to use cardboard is just to test my design. I would not want the final project made of cardboard. :relaxed:


I believe that answers my question. Glad I didn’t have to find out the hard way. Thanks. :grin:


Maybe is this is stupid but what if you sprayed it lightly with water before lasering?


You know the problem with using some kind of corrugated cardboard is probably all the air space in the waffles…that would tend to feed the fire.

But I’ll bet you anything you could do it in chipboard. (Compressed cardboard like you get on the back of a writing pad.)

You can buy a box of 50 sheets dirt cheap on EBay.

Or for that matter - use your empty cereal boxes for testing. That is very lightweight chip.


can’t wait to try it! I have been stashing lots of cardboard too. I want to make that globe they made in the promo video, or maybe just a sphere light. cardboard CAN be cut without fire, but you have to be careful with your settings.


Hearing all the horror stories of easily creating a fire with cardboard and multiple small cuts, I’m surprised that someone hasn’t tried to create an algorithm or motion plan that helps make it safer. Something that spaces out the cuts more, so they’re not so localized. It might be horribly inefficient since the laser can’t continually stay close to the same area, but I’d rather have a job complete correctly than worry about it being blazingly fast.

(sorry, couldn’t resist the pun) lol


I suspect a lot of it is not nailing down the right settings on the laser, whether going faster to lower power or whatever.


It’s really easy to separate the layers from the corrugation (it’s one of the things I do at work when I am bored). It would be flexible to the point that making a living hinge from it would be quite useless. But it might be useful for testing other designs, and you’ll get double the area of cardboard per box!


I have a gallon of Christmas tree fire proofing liquid. I plan on making test cuts in cardboard too and also test this chemical if cutting cardboard proves problematic. I’m just waiting for a machine!


What are its ingredients? It might make toxic fumes. I plan to to do some testing on some fire suppressing coatings, but I have analytical test equipment to help in assessing the hazards.


There are also fireproofing salts used for stage scenery. They don’t entirely stop things from burning, but they slow the ignition down. Which is probably all you need. (Yeah, nothing like watching the fire marshal apply matches to cardboard and paper and thin cloth.)


The label fell off of the container, so not sure of the ingredients. I have had it for years so will probably just purchase a replacement which is probably more “green” which I hope means is less toxic! Plus it probably lists the ingredients!!!


Please let us know about your upcoming cancer treatment GoFundme campaign. :wink:


Lol! I’m from the generation that used to drink toxic stuff, eventually you develop an immunity to everything bad!!! :-)))