Tyco Electronics, a unit of Tyco International Ltd. and a supplier of electrical connection devices under the trade name AMP, has been using stereolithography for more than a decade. However, an AMP connector design requirement, which had previously gone unfulfilled for years, was the production of stereolithography parts containing living hinges. Hours of experimentation, coupled with the ProtoFunctional™ characteristics deliverable with the DSM Somos® 8100 resin Series, has reportedly enabled the company to achieve stereolithography success.
Made completely out of plastic, living hinges often look just like the rest of the plastic part. Instead of having a metal linkage at the point of actuation (such as a door hinge), a living hinge’s plastic fibers bend to complete a given motion. A living hinge is said to eliminate the need for more expensive and complicated bending mechanisms, and, as a result, parts can reportedly be built ready-to-move, ultimately saving production process time.