The following tools are designed to help while developing your own 3D printed products with moving parts.

3D printing allows for the creation of objects with complex interconnected moving parts that do not need to be assembled after production. Unfortunately each material and print method has its own set of minimum clearances between moving parts. If objects that are intended to move around each other get to close during the printing process they will become fused together and not move. These clearances are different for each printing process and every material used within each process.


To help with all this I have made boards that test for the best hinge clearances and spring diameter for a material type. Each board has a series of hinges that have gaps/clearances that incrementally increase so you can know what clearances will work with a specific material/process without having to guess.

Hinge boards are available through online print houses with a set mark-up or downloadable as 3D digital files for independent use.Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.



This is a medium board with a set of hinges with 4mm center pins. The tolerance around each pin ranges from 0.3mm up to 0.6mm at 0.05mm steps.

This is a general purpose board for gauging hinge tolerances, resistance and clearance







Complete dimensional breakdown of the 3D model with section views as a PDF.






The hinge board is available to order through onlineline print houses as well as a downloadable 3D digital file (.IGES).

A tight board with a set of hinges with 4mm center pins. The tolerance around each pin ranges from 0.05mm up to 0.35mm at 0.05mm steps.

The goal of this board is to find the lowest possible clearance for a hinge on a high tolerance printer. The lowest clearance hinges will almost invariably come back "bricked" with moment usually possible at the 0.2mm+ area






Complete dimensional breakdown of the 3D model with section views as a PDF.






The hinge board is available to order through onlineline print houses as well as a downloadable 3D digital file (.IGES).



Large board with a set of hinges with 8mm center pins. The tolerance around each pin ranges from 0.3mm up to 0.6mm at 0.05mm steps.

The goal of this board is to find resistance and binding changes that come along with the larger surface area of thicker pins






Complete dimensional breakdown of the 3D model with section views as a PDF.





The hinge board is available to order through onlineline print houses as well as a downloadable 3D digital file (.IGES).


Set of springs with 1.5mm-2.5mm wire diameter between 3 and 6 revolutions.







Spring board available to order through onlineline print houses as well as a downloadable 3D digital file (.IGES).