The "living hinge" you see molded into clamshell packaging has always been the domain of plastic; metal and wood don't like the repetitive stress of bending. But Bavarian fabrication firm Ackermann has worked out a way to do a living hinge in plywood. The trick is to laminate a sheet of synthetic leather into the center of the veneer stack.
With miters precisely cut just shy of the leather layer, it yields a tough, hardware-free hinge.
The leather can also be laminated to the outside of a material like MDF. Larger corner radii can be achieved by inserting a tube.
As for what the practical applications are, Ackermann isn't saying; the techniques were either developed as contract work for a client—"We provide services for craftsmen, trade fair and interior construction industries [ranging] from the simple milling of an individual component to the serial production of entire objects," they write—or out of pure experimentation. The company has some 120 employees and 14 apprentices, with traditional carpenters, designers, CNC operators and fabrication technicians all working side by side to master various materials.
"I enjoy nothing more than the discovery of new techniques," says Manfred Weid, Manager of Technical Operations. "With permanent development we stay in proximity to the pulse of the times."
Don't have an account? Join Now
Create a Core77 Account
Already have an account? Sign In
Please enter your email and we will send an email to reset your password.
Full-grain leather? Yes. Synthetic? Aw hell no. It will last under a year with daily use; know your materials. Full-grain will last decades (look at bellows or any other leather hinge).
Very cool, reminds me of a low-fi wood-skin (http://wood-skin.com/).