A living hinge?

Have you ever heard of the living hinge technique? I hadn’t either when I first started interning at The Edge.


During my time at The Edge, my task was to produce a product that could easily be made into a workshop. So, after plenty of research I found this amazing technique, and the product designer in me started going crazy with possibilities.

After weeks of hard work and failures, my patterns and technique started to work – eventually leading to a useable product.

What is the Living Hinge Technique?
The living hinge technique is the cutting of a designed pattern into a flat material to make it bend. I made my pattern using Adobe Illustrator and then imported it into Corel Draw for cutting plywood on the laser cutter. I loved using and experimenting with this technique, because it meant that I could use the laser cutter to transform 2D cuts into 3D objects and products.

What I made using the Living Hinge.
I ended up using my knowledge of this technique to manufacture a wooden laptop bag and wrist watch. Both of these products are generally made from soft bendable materials, and I definitely saw the challenge in the project. I later went on to make some jewellery out of plywood, which acted as a contrast for metals. I’m currently at the stage of developing my laptop bag for commercial sales.

The best thing about this technique is that it has endless possibilities for you to experiment with. I’ve barely even scraped the surface. Now it is for you to go out and experiment! I know that without the support of the team at The Edge my products would be nowhere. They nurtured and guided my ideas into plausible products and since finishing my internship my ideas have grown and grown and the skills they gave me make these ideas possible.

Research and useful links:
https://www.epiloglaser.com.au/resources/sample-club/living-hinge-laser-cutting.htm
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JSlRusl7UPc
https://www.thingiverse.com/tag:living_hinge

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