Newbie with many questions

Good morning to all,

I recently received my Glowforge and words can’t express how much I am loving it. I am seeking some guidance on living hinge, I’ve made a notebook cover (with draftboard) but unfortunately, I can’t find a way to keep the Hinges from breaking. Would anyone be able to give me some guidance on what I might be doing wrong.

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idk what material your item is made of, but when I made a pokemon book thing for my cousin, I had put oil on the draftboard hinge and slowly flexed it back and forth to “train its path” and his is still good after a few months. idk if oil would help finished materials tho.

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thank you so much, I will try this today. Will any oil work for this?

I haven’t had luck with Draftboard for living hinges - there’s no real structural strength to the MDF.

Plywood (& some solid woods) are better. The plues help maintain the strength of the hinge. With solid woods make sure you watch the grain direction so you’re not bennding it so it breaks.

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One thing that helps is to make sure that you have enough hinge - many of the ones I see here are too short, (they’re being stretched), and when that happens, it eventually breaks from flex stress.

Do a measurement of the thickness of the item that you want to wrap the hinge around…that is your diameter.

The circumference calculation for a semi-circle of that diameter is πr, and to that you want to add 2 times the material thickness, for a little flex.

So make sure the final width of the hinge on the design is πr+2*thickness.

It even works for Draftboard. :wink:

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Yeah, I’m a bit blind as I’m sure you can now tell. I didn’t bother to go get oil meant for wood (I’m sure there is) I just used what I had in the cabinet, but I was wiping it down and making sure that it wouldn’t be a greasy mess, it just felt smooth.

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While @Jules has the specific formula that will help, I’ve also found it also take some experimentation to find the hing size and material thickness that works best. In most cases, the thinned the material (plywood or hardwood) the better it works for small radius projects, but when the material is to thin it will also break.

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I agree with the use of plywood or hardwood for a living hinge as a better material. And also the cuts should go along the grain pattern and not perpendicular to the grain on the plywood faces or hardwood.

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Oh, shoot, that reminds me, I meant to put a note on my Mastermind post that the hinge needed to be rotated – I couldn’t fit it on the drawing in the correct orientation! <hobbles off to #free-laser-designs to fix it>

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Great advice here - lots of hinge is needed since each bit can only flex a little. Our plywood works best for living hinges. Use the “standard” pattern of all lines - most of the creative/decorative patterns are much weaker. I haven’t had much luck with hardwoods.

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Just curious: are your catalog designs that feature living hinges oriented with the grain of Proofgrade plywood if the person doesn’t rotate it from the default layout? Seems to me that grain was considered in at least one of the catalog designs I ran, so that is probably the case.

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I believe that’s mostly for appearances sake - if memory serves, with plywood, the grain can run either way (but it kind of looks strange).

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Good morning, thank you all for the valuable advice.

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I’ve had pretty good success with mdf if the hinge line cuts are the right size. Biggest problem I’ve seen is when people will take a design and make it larger to fit the material and it stretches the hinge and makes the lines farther away.

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Geometry Geek. :grinning:

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(Shhhhh! I know, right? I try not to let it be known.) :shushing_face:

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