Designing Snap Fits and 3D Printed Hinges with CNC Machining( types of rivets Hardy)

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CNC machining has revolutionized the manufacturing industry by enabling precise, efficient, and versatile production processes. With its exceptional capabilities, this technology plays an essential role in designing snap fits and 3D printed hinges. In this article, we will explore how CNC machining is utilized to create these components, focusing on their design considerations, benefits, and applications.

Designing Snap Fits:

Snap fits are widely used in various industries due to their simplicity, cost-effectiveness, and ease of assembly. These fasteners provide a secure connection between two parts that can be easily disassembled when required. When it comes to designing snap fits using CNC machining, precision is crucial to achieve optimal fit and function.

Firstly, designers need to consider material selection for snap fits. Common choices include acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), polycarbonate (PC), or nylon due to their durability and flexibility. CNC machines can precisely shape and cut these materials into the desired snap fit designs.

Secondly, understanding the functional requirements is essential. This includes determining the necessary interference fit, deflection, and tolerances needed for proper snapping action. The availability of advanced CNC machines allows designers to accurately meet these specifications through highly accurate milling or turning operations.

Additionally, incorporating features like bend reliefs, hooks, or locks is vital for creating robust snap fits. CNC machining facilitates the creation of such detailed features, resulting in reliable connections between mating components.

Benefits of CNC Machining for Snap Fit Production:

Using CNC machining for snap fit production offers several advantages:

1. Accuracy: CNC machines ensure exceptionally precise dimensions and tolerances, making it easier to achieve consistent and reliable snap fit designs.

2. Customization: With CNC machining, designers have the freedom to create unique and intricate snap fit designs tailored to specific product requirements.

3. Efficiency: CNC machines can automate production processes, allowing for faster and more cost-effective snap fit manufacturing compared to traditional methods.

4. Material Versatility: CNC machining enables the use of various materials suitable for snap fit applications, ensuring compatibility with different environmental conditions and functional requirements.


Snap fits find extensive applications in industries such as automotive, electronics, consumer goods, and medical sectors. Here are a few examples:

1. Automotive Industry: Snap fits play a crucial role in assembling vehicle interiors, dashboard components, and electrical connectors.

2. Electronics Industry: Snap fits are commonly used in electronic enclosures, battery compartments, and connector mechanisms.

3. Consumer Goods: Products like toys, household appliances, and furniture often incorporate snap fits, enhancing ease of assembly and disassembly.

Designing 3D Printed Hinges:

Hinges are essential mechanical components used for rotational movement between two parts. Designing 3D printed hinges allows for innovative designs that are customized according to specific application requirements. CNC machining plays a vital role in producing precise molds or templates used in the creation of 3D printed hinges.

Key considerations when designing 3D printed hinges include selecting appropriate hinge types (e.g., continuous, barrel, or piano hinges), determining material compatibility, and understanding load-bearing capabilities. CNC machining assists in creating intricate mold designs that enable the accurate replication of hinges repeatedly.

Benefits of CNC Machining for 3D Printed Hinge Production:

Utilizing CNC machining in the production of 3D printed hinges offers numerous advantages:

1. Precise Molds: CNC machines produce high-quality molds or templates for 3D printing, ensuring accurate and consistent results.

2. Compatibility: CNC machining enables the selection of various materials suitable for effective 3D printed hinges, ranging from durable plastics to metals.

3. Advanced Designs: With CNC machining, designers can create complex lattice structures or custom shapes, pushing the boundaries of conventional hinge designs.

4. Fast Prototyping: CNC machines expedite the prototyping process by producing molds or templates quickly, allowing for rapid validation and iteration of hinge designs.


CNC machining plays a pivotal role in designing snap fits and 3D printed hinges due to its unparalleled accuracy, versatility, and efficiency. These components find wide-ranging applications across industries, improving design flexibility, assembly speed, and overall product quality. By capitalizing on the benefits offered by CNC machining, designers can unlock innovative possibilities in snap fit and hinge design, resulting in superior performance and customer satisfaction. CNC Milling CNC Machining