There are many ways how to make hinges in Totem, and in this blog post you can find the most common techniques. Some creative designer might find even more ways!

Most of these techniques, described in the blog post, require to use brackets and lock-nuts on the bolts. Using those parts, you can tighten as firmly as you need for a smooth action of the hinge.


Tip: read our blog post “Totem Mechanics for Beginners” to find even more useful tips and the most common mistakes of building with Totem.


read our blog post “How to make stronger structures” to strengthen the construction.


Totem system hinges ideas and examples

We have marked the hinge-types from A to G. Although, there is also an H presented at the end of the blog post, which is a variation of hinge D, but added ways to make very strong hinge action.


Type A

Hinge type A: use the axial pivot that goes through the beams 3mm holes. This method uses some 4mm Nylon standoffs (OD=6mm) inside the beams to stabilize the hinge. Then use a minimum of 25mm M3 bolt. A washer can be used in the middle to stabilize further.

Hinge A


Type B

Hinge type B: just a variation of type A. One is using only 2 standoffs like in type A, and a shorter bolt. Then to the right you can see Beam-Plugs from Totem used as stabilizing elements. This method might be even more stable for this kind of hinging.

Hinges example B


Type C

Hinge type C: use Bracket type L-twisted/L-twisted mirror. Then take 8mm bolts and lock nuts. If you want the beams to be flush, use also washers to compensate the 2mm offset. It might even stabilize further.

Hinge C


Type D

Hinge type D: use 2-hole-45-simple brackets. Then you get some offset from the beams and you can shut the beams all the way to be parallel. Also, see hinge type H further below for a variation that gives more strength.

Hinges example D


Type E

Hinge type E: parallel beams hinged. Use 45x90bracket (also mirrored) to twist the hub centre out of the beams, so it can be closed further. This bracket can easily be adjusted in the beam, to have the beams flush in the lengths positions.

Hinges example E

Type F

Hinge type F: combo: tighten both 45×90 bracket and 2-hole-45 bracket together.

F Hinge


Type G

Hinge type G : even a C-bracket can be used to make a hinge. In this type you should use our new 2-hole-bracket, if there should be some adjustments needed.

Hinges example G


Type H

Hinge type H: a variation of type D. Here a double set of brackets is used. We have also inserted strip brackets inside the beams. In this case, the beams will be so much stronger by doing this. The lower 2-hole-45 brackets are placed outside the strip brackets, to give a wider hinge. By doing this, the hinge operation will be less “wobbly” on sideways.

Hinges example H

Hinges example H-2

A detail from hinge H. Taken away the beams to see inside the components used.


Depending on your project you might need different types of hinges. We encourage you to try a few techniques for one hinge as in this way you can find the best technique that has the needed level of tightening strength. Or feel free to create your own type of hinge and share it with us!