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What material are you using? I have been using PLA for all the samples in the pictures. About 90% of the ones I’ve printed with PLA have worked. About 10% snapped at the joints, so that does happen. I have not tried with ABS or any other materials stronger than PLA.

There are a few things you can try.

  1. Print with the highest resolution you can. I have got these hinges to work, and in some cases work strait off the build plate, using a 0.3mm nozzle, and a print resolution of (x,y = 0.3, z = 0.15).

  2. Try increase the component clearance. The tightest component clearance I’ve achieved during testing is 0.15mm. However, 0.3mm to 0.4mm tends to give more consistent results. Try printing samples with increasing component clearance in 0.1mm increments, until you find a component clearance that works. However, if it is not working by the time you get to a component clearance of 0.6mm, then the problem is probably print settings rather than component clearance. With my printer, I get working mechanical components consistently, with component clearance between 0.3mm and 0.4mm.

  3. Print at a low temperature. So far, I have only tested these hinges with PLA. I still need to test with ABS to find the print parameters that will work with ABS. But for PLA, I have gotten these hinges to print and work correctly at temperatures between 180 and 190 digress C. Anything higher, and the PLA tends to fuse the joints.

  4. Print slowly, around 4mm/s to 8mm/s, with a filament cooling fan at max speed. By printing slowly at a low temperature, with a filament cooling fan, you improve the printers bridging capability, which helps to ensure maximum clearance between components. Before printing these hinges in one step, you may want to try some bridge tests, to check that your printer is configured to comfortably handle bridge spans of at least 10mm without any drooping. If your printer config isn’t setup to handle at least 10mm spans without drooping, then the joints on these hinges will definitely lock up.

  5. If you are using PLA and printing in one step, try softening the hinge assembly a bit by leaving it in hot water for a about 30 seconds. I am not sure what the ideal temperature should be, as I have not gotten round to measuring yet. I generally fill a wash basing with hot water from the hot water tap. After about 30 seconds of soaking in the hot water, I take out the hinge and while it is still soft from the hot water, I gently attempt to manipulate the joint until it breaks free. For PLA, this works most (~90%) of the time. I have not tried this with ABS. If you are going to try with ABS, then perhaps soak the hinge assembly in ‘boiling’ water in a pot on the stove, and then, using gloves to protect your skin, attempt the same manipulation to free up the joint while is it still hot from boiling on the stove.

  6. Disable the one-piece pin. If all else fails, disable the one-piece pin, by setting the “Enable Pin” parameter to “No”. Now you can print out the male and female leaves independently, and use an external pin. You can use nails or index machine screws as pins in that case.