A set of small, matching gears intended for 3D ABS extrusion printing, along with instructions on how to make your gears and gear boxes. After printed gears for my own projects I eventually wound up with this set, that I'm calling "Gear Set 1", and created a reference chart to aid in the pairing of its gears. Gears from this set, printed from ABS on an up!3D printer, have been tested thoughtfully, but I'd wager that they would also work well for laser cutting.
Back in the day I had a some Lego Technics that came with a set of plastic gears that I absolutely loved to fiddle with. I spent hours building little contraptions only to tear them apart and build something else. Eventually I left the legos behind and moved on to building things from scratch materials, but I never really had a way to make gears myself and ended up just buying motors with gears already attached.
Fourteen-years later 3D printing becomes something that you can do at home, and with it came the ability to just print out my own gears. Remembering my Lego set, I headed out with the goal of creating my own version that could be mixed and matched for whatever thingamajig I was was working on. It took a lot of software hopping and a lot of test printing, but eventually I was able to make a set of gears tuned for the up!3D.
I've included all of the gear files that I've made in this Instructable along with reference chart you'll need to use them. The gears are made to the absolute smallest size that I was able to print f while still getting something that actually works.
The rest of this Instructable will explain how to generate vector gears, make them into 3D solids, and ultimately, design gear boxes around them. I must warn you, this method is more convoluted than ideal as it uses a total of four programs to get from vector to dwg, but the end result is worth it in my opinion. It's worth noting that Autodesk Inventor (not Inventor Fusion) can generate 3D gears all by itself. I would have just used that but, well, it had lots of options that I didn't understand.
You can get the DWG and STL files in the ZIP below, or you can download them from thingerverse (www.thingiverse.com/thing:49614)
Step 1: Gear Design Basics
To use the gears presented here you only need to concern yourself with a few things:
- Center Distance - How far apart the centers of two gears should be in order to mesh properly
- Outside Diameter - Outer diameter of the gear, needed for clearance
- Pitch Diameter - How far away the gear needs to be from mating gears' Pitch Diameters