Usually a hinge looks like this. And pretty straightforward.

[![Example of a hinge design][1]][1]

We are trying to develop something where I add steps, and I control the angle adjustments in those steps. Lets say 15deg, and a total of 90 degrees usage. Let's say a monitor, you can tilt it around 15-30 degrees in one dimension, similarly, the application is to basically limit the angles to 6 in the step of 15 deg. So the user decides 0,15,30,45,60,75,90 deg (max)

By adding notches like you had mentioned, would it not restrict the motion backwards?

example of how the design looks like

What kind of mechanism will be used. My guess is a rachet has to be there. But I can't seem to get the design in my head, nor any other product which has this. Also for a tight clearance, I think 0.05mm would do, right?

Thanks to Ethan I have a name for it. Detent hinges are a viable option. But I am afraid if it will add a lot of time to design a new one. Or if it should be picked up.

I checked a few of the designs. I did not really understand the working of it.

enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ I have seen a metal ball used between: a plate with notches on one half of the hinge, and a sprung plate on the other half with a hole that holds the ball. In short, notches and a sprung thing that falls into the notches. Your question lacks a LOT of detail, so without more information, it's anyone's guess. $\endgroup$
    – Jodes
    Commented May 4, 2016 at 8:40
  • $\begingroup$ The key word you are looking for is detent - a mechanism that holds a moving part in a few pre-set positions. If you google detent hinge you will find many possible solutions. $\endgroup$
    – Ethan48
    Commented May 5, 2016 at 14:17
  • $\begingroup$ Hey Ethan, Thanks. That seems doable. Are you aware if thats something thats usually picked up off the shelf, or custom made with manufacturers. Or will it be feasible to manufacture it seperately? $\endgroup$
    – albseb
    Commented May 5, 2016 at 15:43

1 Answer 1


I agree: since a monitor is quite heavy in relation to the strength of the person adjusting its position, a sprung notch system where torque can move the arm from one position to another wouldn't work. However, the notches could hold a key in place until a lever is used to release the key. A ratchet system would work if the weight of the monitor exerts a torque only in one direction. As it happens, I have a monitor stand which does exactly that:

monitor stand picture

When the monitor is pushed up, the ratchet system clicks to hold it in place. The lever is pressed to lower it.

Clearances in that design are incredibly tolerant. Exactly which part were you referring to? As long as the latch won't let the monitor drop, you could have clearances of 10mm if you wanted.

The post important concern should be how safe it is to use. If heavy monitors are used, the screen would be dangerous if the ratchet fails. Also, consider every safety aspect you can. Fingers getting caught in mechanisms, wires getting steered in mechanisms, children playing with it, you name it. You will need to CE mark it, which means you can be held personally responsible if someone gets injured while using it, or indirectly.


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