Living Hinges (updated 2/10/22)

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I started getting interested in living hinges, but found most of the links are dead, or just a .png so I thought it would be nice to upload a current ‘sampler’ file for people starting out (like myself)

right click to download
living hinge

(Zip file)
living (4.9 KB)


I think this may be a good time to talk about how to take advantage of advanced forum search:

Searching for “living hinge” in the free laser designs section and limiting to the first post yields lots of links:

Including what looks like the exact file posted here in the second result:

Discourse search can be picky and difficult, advanced options sometimes are the difference between striking out and finding exactly what you need.


good to know, THANKS!
I did a search but not an advanced search…


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One thing of note is if they are an active element of the project they will fail sooner or later with the constant flexing.
However, as a fixed piece, allowing for a complex contour, they excel.


Also there is a plugin you can get for inkscape that has a living hinge generator as well! This is something I’ve spent hours with since I started out with making deck boxes for MTG cards. Feel free to hit me up if you have questions


Only partially true, most higher fail rates are due to lack of enough radius to make the curve sustainable. I’ve found this out the hard way in some of my patterns and learned from it. It’s an issue i also see happen quite a lot with others who relay solu on other people’s patterns.

In my experiments I found a smaller pattern flexes better, I’m guessing because more points are sharing the stress.

Google Photos


I have seen a few people (e.g., NileRed, Xyla Foxlin) making “transparent wood” through a process of replacing the lignin with resin. I am curious if some similar process could be used to infuse wood with a flexible resin in order to get more durable living hinges. Not curious enough to start experimenting but, I thought I would share the thought in case someone else is. Though they have always seemed neat to me, I haven’t really had a need for a living hinge as a design component.


your actually thinking the way I am thinking… using varnish to stiffen the wood after I bend it into the proper shape, and leaving the ‘flexible’ part unvarnished.

still just thinking of the design in my mind.


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Many thanks. I’ve been thinking about this lately too.

Thanks for linking me! Not sure what the forum rules are here regarding “reposts” of free designs… It seems this user took the png from my original post and did the Illustrator equivalent of trace bitmap. I checked my original post, and the zip file download link is still active. This post also is somehow in the Made on a Glowforge forum even though it has files? I didn’t think that was allowed either. Hmmmm :thinking:


i’m excited to open this zip file. only have made one hinge, but they fascinate me.

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As I understand it the rules are:

Made on a Glowforge (MOAG) requires that you post a picture of something you at least partly made with the Glowforge.

Free laser designs (FLD) must have an attached file.

So I’d say as long as you do the required part you can go beyond and do both in either category, and I actually prefer it when people do. A pic for context goes a long way with the FLD stuff.