Enhancing Design Freedom with CNC Machining for Producing Snap Fits and 3D Printed Hinges(machine finishes Frank)

  • Time:
  • Click:12
  • source:BREDA CNC Machining


CNC machining has revolutionized the manufacturing industry by providing precise and efficient means of producing complex, durable, and customized components. In this article, we will explore how CNC machining can be utilized to design and fabricate snap fits and 3D printed hinges—one a versatile fastening solution and the other an essential mechanical joint.

Snap Fits:

Snap fits are commonly used in product designs as they offer quick assembly, secure closure, and easy disassembly when required. CNC machining plays a vital role in creating accurate molds or prototypes for snap fit designs.

1. Initial Design Concept:
To produce a snap fit using CNC machining, designers begin by conceptualizing the design on computer-aided design (CAD) software. Various parameters such as material selection, dimensions, hinge geometry, and intended function are carefully considered during this phase.

2. Material Selection:
Choosing the right plastic material is crucial as it directly affects the performance and durability of the snap fit. With CNC machining, a wide range of materials like ABS, polypropylene, or polycarbonate can be precisely machined to provide suitable properties for the desired application.

3. Prototyping and Iteration:
Once the initial design is complete, the next step involves CNC machining a prototype. This stage allows for testing and refining the design based on functional requirements and user feedback. The prototyping process helps identify any necessary modifications, ensuring the final product functions optimally.

4. Manufacturing:
After successful prototyping, CNC machines are employed to create precise molds that will be used for mass production. These molds guarantee consistent quality and reliable snap fits that meet the specified design tolerances and dimensional accuracy.

3D Printed Hinges:

A 3D printed hinge offers immense versatility, enabling engineers and designers to incorporate complex mechanisms into their projects. CNC machining provides a platform to create the necessary models and molds for manufacturing 3D printed hinges.

1. Design Validation:
Designing intricate hinge mechanisms can be challenging. Using CAD software, engineers can precisely design their desired hinge geometry while also considering factors like load-bearing capabilities, range of motion, interlocking features, and material properties. CNC machining allows for the creation of realistic prototypes that can be tested for functionality and performance.

2. Material Selection and Printing Process:
CNC machining assists in selecting suitable materials based on mechanical requirements such as flexibility, durability, or heat resistance. Once an appropriate material is chosen, it can be efficiently 3D printed using additive manufacturing techniques. The CNC machines used for 3D printing—known as 3D printers—build up the object layer by layer, following the pre-designed specifications.

3. Post-Processing:
Though the basic shape and function will be achieved through 3D printing, finishing touches may be required. CNC machining helps in removing support structures, smoothing rough surfaces, and adding any necessary post-processing modifications, enhancing the accuracy and aesthetics of the final product.


CNC machining has significantly transformed the production process when it comes to designing snap fits and creating 3D printed hinges. The ability to generate accurate molds, carry out prototyping, and refine designs allows manufacturers to produce reliable and functional components with precise geometries. Snap fits enable easy assembly/disassembly and secure closures, while 3D printed hinges offer flexible and customizable solutions for various applications. By harnessing the power of CNC machining, designers and engineers can push boundaries, offering innovative and efficient products in diverse industries. CNC Milling CNC Machining