Living hinge notebook cut on a Glowforge

I promised to make a few things today and then only got around to one of them… apologies! But here it is, a Glowforge-made living hinge notebook. Enjoy!


Very nice. Good example of the Glowforge abilities. I can’t imagine any machine currently on the market that could do this on this scale for less than 10k. I’m amazed that this came out of a 4k machine.

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It looks really nice. What kind of wood are you using?

I’ve used living hinges to make boxes for D&D dice (and miniatures), and for card boxes. I’ve only used MDF, and it worked very well with that. It tried it with a couple of harder woods I had on hand, but they cracked when I tried to bend them. I think this works well with soft woods. I’ve experimented a bit with different patterns to give it more flexibility. But I don’t have much time to experiment on the “maker space” laser-cutter (it’s hard to book time on it).

I’m really looking forward to having my own laser cutter so I can take the time to try out a bunch of things.

You can see more pictures at:



That looks great, any chance you shot some video while you were cutting it?


This is great! I love seeing actual examples of GF projects, it’s so inspiring!

Looks amazing!

I wonder if there is any kind of oil or stain that you can use on the wood to prevent cracking from use over time.

@Dan can you start posting videos of the things being made? I love watching the process!

I barely have time to sneak over to the laser these days let alone bring the video rig, but I’ll try! Glad you got to see the live cast today at least, thanks for joining. :slight_smile:


Or since there is a wide angle camera could you hook that up to show a few snapshots of what was in the bed in the past hour?

MDF works really well for living hinges because there is no grain. If you’re using hardwood make sure you don’t orient your hinge across the grain and it will have much more strength.


You should have someone doing daily youtube videos of doing things on the Glowforge. It is just so cool to watch.

Thought this kind of hinge was brilliant in my Lumio; now to learn how to rig circuitry and weld tyvek:

This seems like a good idea. Since there is the camera built into the lid, give the option for recording a time lapse video while you cut :slight_smile:


Tracked down a box maker and living hinge extension that I got to work with Inkscape for me. He has a few pictures to illustrate. Also lots of parameters to enter and fiddle with in the extension to make the box. Hadn’t noticed this one before.


I am curious as to whether a living hinge would work on a thin sheet of acrylic (or other laserable materials other than wood). My gut tells me acrylic would be too brittle for this, but thought it might be worth asking if anyone has ever tried it and has a definitive answer either way.

Unfortunately acrylic will only bend a finite amount and then even a less finite number of times. So I would venture you could cut it but there isn’t enough fibrous material to flex.

You can flex cut on acrylic. But not with the same settings you use on wood. Because (as noted) it is more likely to snap. But as long as you leave larger segments, and preferably you include dog bones, it is workable.

This post has a great technical discussion of living hinges. Acrylic requires special attention, as he mentions later on but it has the math. He has some links with further discussion.

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I can’t hardly wait to try this. I just could not wrap my head around a material that shatters to have any flex in it at all (at handling temperature).

I would worry about an acrylic living hinge shattering for something like a book cover that will get flexed many times. For something like @marmak3261 's matchbook holder, where the flex will only happen one time as it is being fixed into place, I can easily imagine that working just fine.