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Parametric Hinge

by rohingosling, published

Parametric Hinge by rohingosling Mar 19, 2017

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Summary

Parametric Butt Hinge

This is a parametric butt hinge designed in OpenSCAD, offering a wide range of parameters for customization. The hinge is designed to be printed in one step, but the individual leaves can be printed independently if desired. And in the case of applications that require an external pin, the default fused pin may be disabled, to leave a pin shaft ready to accept an external pin, during post printing assembly.

Note:
There may be a rendering artifact that appears in the Customizer, when enabling knuckle gussets. This is either a browser issue or an OpenSCAD rendering artifact, and should not affect the physical model that you download and print. Also, if you download the OpenSCAD source file, it should render without any artifacts once loaded in the latest version of the OpenSCAD editor.

Parameter Overview

Assembly Options

  • Male Leaf Enabled
    Print the male leaf if true, otherwise omit it from the print.

  • Female Leaf Enabled
    Print the female leaf if true, otherwise omit it from the print.

  • Leaf Fillet Enabled
    Enable filleted leaf corners. Aside from aesthetic value, filleted corners can help with warping to a degree.

  • Knuckle Gusset Enabled
    Toggle knuckle gussets on or off. Knuckle gussets add strength to the transition between the knuckles and the leaves. The length of the knuckle gussets is equal to the fastener margin size, so that the gussets will never overlap any fastener holes.

  • Pin Enabled
    By default, the hinge is designed to be printed in one go, with a hinge pin fused to the female leaf. However, there may be applications where one may prefer to use an external pin. For instance, in the case where a metal pin is preferred for the sake of strength. In applications where an external pin is to be used, the pin may be omitted from the female leaf, by setting "Pin Enabled" to false.

  • Pin Auto Size Enabled
    If true, this will set the pin diameter to the leaf gauge.
    If false, the pin diameter may be specified by the "Pin Diameter" parameter.

  • Pin Shaft Counterbore Enabled
    Cut a counterbore into the end caps of the knuckle joints if true.
    While the pin shaft counterbore may be added even when the internal fused pin is enabled, the primary purpose of the pin shaft counterbore is to allow what ever external pin or bolt is being used in the case of an external pin, to be set flush with the top and bottom edges of the hinge, in the case where the internal pin is disabled, i.e. "Pin Enabled" is false.

  • Fasteners Enabled
    Include fastener holes if true.
    If false, leave the leaves free of fastener holes.

  • Throw Angle
    The angle of the hinge joint. The hinge joint range is from +180 degrees fully closed, to -90 degrees fully opened. The default throw angle is 0 degrees, ie. opened flat.
    This can be used either for assembly analysis, or in the case where one wishes to print the hinge standing vertically, it can be used to set a partially closed angle to keep the hinge stable during printing. For vertical printing, an angle of 120 degrees should keep the hinge stable during printing.
    If you just want to print the hinge flat on the build plate, then keep the throw angle at 0 degrees for your printable model.

  • Flip Model
    Rotate the model 180 degrees about the z-axis. This is useful for viewing the top and bottom pin shaft counterbore parameters.

  • Resolution
    The geometric model resolution. Corresponds to the number of sides used to construct cylindrical parts of the model, like the knuckle joint segments, and the leaf fillets.
    For example, a "Resolution" of 8, would specify cylindrical component elements to be constructed from 8 sides. a "Resolution" of 32 would result in 32 sided cylindrical component elements, and so forth.
    For a smooth model, a "Resolution" of 64 and above is recommended. By default "Resolution" is set to 128.

  • Component Color
    This is used purely to color the model in the Thingiverse Customizer. It should not affect the color of the model, printed from a color printer.

Hinge Parameters:

  • Hinge Width
    The width in millimeters, of the entire hinge, from the outer edge of the left leaf, to the outer edge of the right leaf.

  • Leaf Height
    The height in millimeters, of the hinge along the knuckle joint axis.

  • Leaf Gauge
    Defines the thickness in millimeters, of the leaves and the radius of the knuckle joint.

  • Component Clearance
    The inter-component gap in millimeters.
    Recommended values range from 0.3mm for a tight fit, to 0.5mm for easy-er manipulation after printing. Clearance values of 0.3 or below can be challenging to print. I have succeeded in printing a few of these hinges with component clearances of 0.2mm and 0.25mm. However, quite often, sub 0.3mm clearance results in a locked up knuckle joint, where the leaves break before the hinge loosens up. A clearance of 0.4 or greater should release without to much trouble.
    Note: The more knuckle segments there are, the greater the initial joint friction strait off the build plate. So for higher knuckle counts (7 or greater), component clearances of 0.4 or higher, may be required.
    If the knuckle joint is not moving free at 0.4mm or higher, try re-printing slower at a higher resolution, in particular z resolution. Lower temperatures can help as well.
    For PLA, a resolution of x=0.3, y=0.3, and z=0.15, at a speed of 6mm/s or less, with temperature 190 degrees C, seems to support a component clearances of 0.3mm to 0.4mm relatively well.
    All of the sample STL files in the "Thing Files" section, are set to 0.3mm component clearance.

  • Knuckle Count
    The number of knuckle segments in the knuckle joint.
    This number should be an odd number.
    For most applications, a knuckle count of to 3 or 5 should suffice. However, higher knuckle counts can offer increases in strength relative to gauge size and hinge dimensions.

  • Pin Diameter
    Manually specified pin diameter. This value is only used by the model, if "Pin Auto Size Enabled" is set to false.
    If "Pin Auto Size Enabled" is true, then the pin diameter is automatically set to the leaf gauge size.

Pin Shaft Counterbore Parameters:

  • (Top or Bottom) Pin Shaft Counterbore Diameter
    The diameter of the pin shaft counterbore. The counterbore is only added if "Pin Shaft Counterbore Enabled" is set to YES.

  • (Top or Bottom) Pin Shaft Counterbore Depth
    The depth of the pin shaft counterbore cut. The counterbore is only added if "Pin Shaft Counterbore Enabled" is set to YES.

  • (Top or Bottom) Pin Shaft Counterbore Shape
    The shape of the pin shaft counterbore hole. Currently circular, square and hexagonal are supported. In the case of square and hexagonal, the parameter "Pin Shaft Counterbore Diameter", refers to the diameter of a circle inscribed inside the square of hexagon.
    For the square shaped counterbore, this means that the diameter of the counterbore is equal to the size of the sides of the square.
    For the hexagon, the counterbore diameter is equal to the perpendicular distance between any two parallel sides of the hexagon.
    The counterbore is only added if "Pin Shaft Counterbore Enabled" is set to YES.

Fastener Hole Parameters:

  • Fastener Head Type
    Can be set to either counterbore for pan head machine screws, or countersunk for flat countersunk screws.
    The chamfer angle for flat countersunk may be adjusted by varying the other fastener hole parameters. For instance, a thread diameter of 3mm (e.g. M3 machine screws), a head diameter of 9mm, and a countersink depth of 3mm, with give a chamfer angle of 45 degrees.

  • Counter Sink Depth
    The depth below the surface of the leaves to sink the fastener heads.
    For M3 machine screws 2.5 to 2.6 is usually enough.
    If the fastener holes are not countersunk, then there will be mechanical interference between the fastener heads the the opposing leaves when the hinge is closed.

  • Fastener Thread Diameter
    The diameter of the threaded portion of the fastener hole.
    This can be made smaller than the fastener thread in order to support self tapping screws, or larger to give machine screws enough room to pass through.

  • Fastener Head Diameter
    The diameter of the counter sunk head portion of the fastener hole.
    Usually a good idea to make this diameter 0.5mm to 1.0mm larger than the actual fastener head diameter. For M3 machine screws, which typically have 6mm diameter pan heads, an "Fastener Head Diameter" of 7mm works well.

  • Fastener Count
    The number of fastener holes per leaf. The total number of fastener holes in the entire hinge will be "2 x Fastener Count".
    Fastener holes are arranged in one or two columns along the height of the hinge, as specified by "Fastener Column Count".

  • Fastener Column Count
    Specify whether to arrange the fastener holes on a leaf, in one or two columns.

  • Fastener Margin
    The distance from the circumference of the fastener head, to the edge of the leaf.
    Values between 3mm and 5mm are recommended for small to medium gauge hinges.

Print Settings

Printer Brand:

RepRap

Printer:

RepRap Kossel

Resolution:

x = 0.3, y = 0.3, z = 0.15

Infill:

66% or more recommended.


Notes:

Print Speed, Resolution, and Temperature

To get a smooth moving hinge with a small component clearance (0.2 - 0.3), print slowly (4m/s to 8m/s), at a high resolution.

I have printed a few of these hinges in PLA at 190 degrees Celsius, with 2.0mm, 2.5mm, and 3.0mm component clearances, using a 0.3mm nozzle, and a z resolution of 0.15.

Support

Supports are required to support the curved regions of the knuckle joint near the build plate.

For small gauge hinges, you could probably get way with no support at all. But for larger gauges of about 5mm and above, you will probably want to add a little support from at least 50 degrees for a nice neat curved finish.

No support is required for the internals of the knuckle joint segments, as long as reasonable component clearances of between 0.2mm to 0.3mm are used.

Build Plate Adhesion

If you have a heated build plate, then you should get away with a brim or a skirt.

If you are printing on an un-heated build plate, you may experience warping, in which case a raft should help, at the expense of a poorer quality finish on the bottom surface.

Post-Printing

For component clearances less than 0.4, the knuckle joints can be quite tough to free up. There is also a risk of the leaves breaking if you try to free up the knuckle joints with too much force.

For simple hinges with 3 to 5 knuckle joints, and a component clearance of 0.4mm or more, you may find that the hinge moves fairly freely strait off the build plate.

If the hinge is locked up after printing, which will most certainly be the case for component clearances of 0.3mm or less, there is something you can do to ease the process of loosening up the knuckle joint. What I find works fairly well is to soften the hinge in hot water for about 30 seconds, to a minute, and then very quickly take the hinge out of the hot water and rapidly try to move the knuckle joint. Because the hinge will be soft after removing from the hot water, care needs to be taken not to let the leaves of knuckle joint bend. If it looks like any part of the hinge is bending, put it back in the hot water and try again in 30 seconds to a minute, until the knuckle joint begins to loosen up.

I have never measured the temperature of the water. But for hinges printed using PLA, I find hot water from the bathroom tap seems to do the trick. The hot water in the case of my bathroom tap is just too hot for sustained contact with my hand, but cool enough that I can quickly reach in and remove the submerged hinge without being seriously burned.

If you are printing in ABS, you will need significantly hotter water, perhaps close to boiling, if not hotter. In which case, gloves and great care will be required in order to prevent injury.

How I Designed This

OpenSCAD

Fusion 360 animation, showing the throw range of the hinge.

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How hard would it be to add radius to this? Meaning either the hinge is completely a cirlce, or where its like a rectangle but with half circles on the ends.

2 days ago - Modified 2 days ago
rohingosling - in reply to AGreenV5

It should be possible. I'd have to think about how to arrange the fastener holes. I'll take a look on the week end.

Is there a way to make one side of the hinge higher than the other side?

I want to use this hinge to install my acrylic door to an Anet A8 printer sitting in an IKEA Lack "enclosure" and I need the part which holds the acrylic glass to be 3mm "higher" because of the height of the glass. Or on the other side just make the part of the hinge which is screwed to the table 3mm higher to allow the 3mm distance for the acrylic glass to be mounted.

Thanks :)

Not yet. But if time allows, maybe I can add the feature. Just so I understand, based on your explanation, are you referring to the thickness of the leaves, what I refer to as leaf gauge in the model. Or, are you referring to the width of the leaves?

Yes correct, I refer to the thickness of the leaves. It would be awesome if you were able to add this feature in the future. Thanks.

Thanks so much..........

What happened to the files. Too sad, I would have liked to print them.

Thanks,

May 10, 2017 - Modified May 10, 2017
rohingosling - in reply to abolanos

There is just the one OpenSCAD file, "parametric_butt_hinge_2.9.scad".

There is only one file, because it is a parametric model that you customize via the model's parameters. Thingiverse also only allows one parametric model at a time, in order to simplify integration with the Customizer.

You can open the model in the Customizer, and set the parameters you want there. Once you are happy with the model, you can press the "Create Thing" button, to create a remix of the model. Then, you can go into your new remix of the model, and download the STL file from there.

If you do print any, I would love to see how they come out!

Great job! Do you have a source repository to use as a reference for learning/remixes?

May 8, 2017 - Modified May 8, 2017
rohingosling - in reply to l0b0

Thank you kindly. To be honest, I have never remixed anything before, so I'm probably not the best person to ask. In fact, I've only ever written two OpenSCAD scripts. This one and a caged ball bearing. The only repository I have is my GitHub, here. https://github.com/rohingosling

Although most of the work in my Github is unrelated to 3D modeling, I have tried to comment my OpenSCAD files as informatively as possible, which may help.

Thanks, that's great!

Thanks that will be a lot of help I have 3 more enclosures to build.

Would a hinge like this work on a hollow core door? I have all 3" hinges on my doors. squared corners.

Apr 14, 2017 - Modified Apr 14, 2017
rohingosling - in reply to Mclark0227

I don't know for sure, but if I were to hazard a guess, I would say no. Maybe, if you used a large number of hinges, 5 or more, printed in ABS, or Nylon, or even some of these newer fiber reinforced filament materials, then 'maybe' they might hold for a while. But hollow core doors are still pretty heavy, so as a long term solution plastic hinges may not be the optimal choice.

However, if you are willing to give it a try, I'd be curious to know if it works.

No the first on didn't work and it's because of my robo 3d ri printer is over extruding plastic. But the second one and all the rest I've made
i have adjusted the setting to 6 and it works fine no extra movement I can post picture if you like, i'm working on a 205mm one now, They are to be used for a 80/20 extruded aluminum with acrylic glass enclosure for my two robo 3d r1s and my creality cr-10 each of course.

Thanks Again for taking the time to put this up on thingiverse

Apr 10, 2017 - Modified Apr 10, 2017
rohingosling - in reply to oldfarmhand

It's a pleasure. And yup yup, over extrusion will definitely lock up the joint. I'm keen to see pics of the finished enclosure once you have it all up and working. I'm looking for ideas for an enclosure myself. I like the idea of extruded aluminum and acrylic.

After such a great job it would take to build boxes for tools, even a closure. You know where I can find them if you want to print? Bravissimo for the magnificent job.
Giancarlo
Translated with Google

Thanks, much appreciated.
I actually originally made this hinge for a printer enclosure. But the rest of the enclosure is made out of wooden panels. I found some tool boxes on Thingiverse. Most of the toolboxes you can find though, have built in hinges.

one question about the hinge, how can I line up the holes exactly I'm trying to make a hinge to use on a piece of 80/20 extruded aluminum using the T slots and I can't seem to get the holes exactly straight in line. In other words I'm trying to make a piano hinge.
Thanks for the help

Comments deleted.
Apr 9, 2017 - Modified Apr 9, 2017
rohingosling - in reply to oldfarmhand

You know, when I was designing this, I thought of adding an option to select the number of fastener hole columns, so that one could configure a single column of fastener holes on each leaf, like a piano hinge. I'll see if I can add the option. Should be doable.

In the meantime, something you could do to line up the holes exactly, is to compute the hinge width as follows.

hinge_width = 4 x fastener_margin + 2 x fastener_head_diameter + 2 x leaf_gauge

This will align all the fastener holes on each leaf into a single column. Even if you specify an even number of holes for each leaf, they will overlap exactly to form single holes with that formula.

Thanks that a lot of help!

Apr 27, 2017 - Modified Apr 27, 2017
rohingosling - in reply to oldfarmhand

In the event that you ever need to make piano style hinges again, I have added a parameter to select one or two columns of fastener holes.
So you don't have to use that formula anymore to line up a single column of holes, you can just set "Fastener Column Count" equal to 1.

Pleasure. Did the one you printed work?
I'm keen to know how easy/hard it was to free up the knuckle joints on the ones you are printing. Because your leaves are quite narrow, it may be quite tough to get enough leverage to free up the joint.
I might print some long narrow piano like test hinges the way you have configured yours, just to get a feel for what's required to free up the joint after printing.

One of the easiest hinge customizers on Thingiverse worth a tip
Printing one now!

Thanks
oldfarmhand

Thanks! Much appreciated.

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