Ratchet Screwdriver Without Ratchet With Overrunning Clutch

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Introduction: Ratchet Screwdriver Without Ratchet With Overrunning Clutch

Ratchet is a mechanism that permits the tool to apply turning force only in one direction while moving freely in the opposite. There is another mechanism that does the same- overrunning clutch. I created a 3D-printed version of the clutch and integrated it with a screwdriver.

Overrunning clutch does not require strong small parts so it's possible to create it on a 3D printer furthermore, it does not crack, unlike ratchet.

The main idea of the clutch is to wedge a shaft in one direction and release it in another by metal cylinders placed into special slots. It is widely used on bicycles.

Supplies

You can use different parts that can be found in your workshop: hex bits, a tube, nails, screws, washers, and nuts. Also, you need to print some parts on your 3d printer.

Step 1: Prepare Wedging Cylinders From Nails

Overrunning clutch is a bearing with cylinders so you can use any metal cylinder. I made it from nails.

Step 2: Prepare STL Files and Plastic Parts

All parts for the screwdriver are in the Fusion360 model file attached to the post. Download the file and open it in Fusion360. There are 4 bodies for each part.

This is one of the most important steps. You have to find the best dimensions of the overrunning clutch for your tube and nails. The clutch, the tube, and the nails have to work together as a single mechanism. That is why I would recommend printing 5-10 small cases of the clutch with different parameters and testing which one is the best for your purposes.

There are 6 main parameters in the Fusion360 model for tests:

  1. Shaft Diameter - the tube diameter
  2. Stopper Diameter- the nail diameter
  3. Stopper Spacer- the space between the released and blocked position in the stopper slots. It defines the tightness rotation of the tube in the clutch.
  4. Stopper Height- the height of the clutch, for the tests you can print a 20 mm version to save plastic.
  5. Shaft Inner Diameter - it is used for printing screwdriver shank fixer
  6. Screw Shank Diameter - it is used for printing screwdriver shank fixer

Measure the dimensions of your parts and play with these parameters in +- 0.1, 0.2, 0.3 mm. I printed at least 10 cases of the clutch and tested how they work. Try how they work in both directions (blocking and releasing). After that print the "big" version of the clutch 40-100 mm in height.

In order to change parameters open the model in Fusion360, menu Modify -> Change Parameters. After that make overrunning clutch visible in browser view and export STL files in menu File -> Export -> STL Files (*.stl).

When the best params are found, fill the following params

  • Press Washer Diameter - diameter of washers that are used as press bearing (see following)
  • Press Washer Height

You can play with the rest parameters, and watch what is changed on the 3D view after editing parameters.

When you find the best parameters for the clutch select the Cover1, Cove2, ShankFixer in Fusion360 browser and export them. As a result, you have STL files to be printed. I use PLA plastic and 1.2 - 3mm for walls, top, and bottom in CURA.

At the end of the step, you have the following 3D printed parts

  1. Overrunning clutch
  2. Top/Bottom Covers
  3. Shank Fixer 2 pieces

Step 3: Prepare the Tube

The tube is a rotating part of the clutch. I would recommend using a steel tube 10-20 mm in diameter (diameter must be bigger than shank diameter) and 1.5 - 3 mm in thickness. The surface of the tube should be a little bit rough, so use sand if it's polished.

The tube is used to rotate a screw shank that is why you need to put a special 3D printed fixer into the tube with some glue.

Step 4: Prepare Clutch Covers

Step 5: Assembly

Use M3-M5 screws with nuts to assemble the clutch with the covers and place a screw shank into the clutch. Sometimes you need to use a special 3D printed plastic spacer for keeping the shank on one side of the clutch.

Step 6: Test

The screwdriver works pretty well without any noise. I did not expect it but I do really like this cool tool.

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    8 Comments

    1
    JosepAlAziz
    JosepAlAziz

    20 days ago

    I was pretty confident you'll gonna get a prize. I can't understand how that jury evaluated the instructables. Yours is quite innovative and easily made. No need of lathe, mill, drill press, ...

    1
    Your Solutions
    Your Solutions

    6 weeks ago

    Great instructable, wish I had a 3D printer now. I have a "Rolgear screwdriver", it is my favourite screwdriver for some tasks, I'm guessing it works on the same principle as your design.

    0
    ukman
    ukman

    Reply 6 weeks ago

    Yeah... As far as I know, there are two main principles of such tools : ratchet and overrunning clutch (AKA free wheel, bendix).

    0
    Your Solutions
    Your Solutions

    Reply 6 weeks ago

    The overrunning clutch as you call it, is much smoother and nicer to use than the ratchet type, this is why I like the Rolgear screwdriver so much. With a ratchet one you also have a to move backwards a specific minimum amount for the pawls to catch, the roller type allows for tiny movements in a tight spot.

    0
    ukman
    ukman

    Reply 6 weeks ago

    TBH my screwdriver (that is on my demo) catches the shaft very quickly, but it slips under pressure because of the small distance in cylinder slots.
    My second video demonstrates big slots that require moving backward but it does not slip under pressure.
    https://youtu.be/bXPckfR3NHw
    So you need to find a perfect balance between tightness and moving backward that is appropriate for you.
    Springs can improve it dramatically, but I did not find a simple design with springs so I tried to avoid using them.

    0
    Your Solutions
    Your Solutions

    Reply 5 weeks ago

    You have done a great job to get your screwdriver to a workable prototype. Would it make any difference with the material the clutch body was made out of? I suppose it is more the shape that is important to enable the rollers to lock than the material. Thanks again for sharing your design.

    2
    datoo786
    datoo786

    6 weeks ago

    I'm trying to picture the mechanism in my head. For a bicycle free wheel, there is pawl and wire spring. The clutch system you have designed is based purely on the "flower petal" design. The shape and precision of the petal needs to be right to give the correct clutch system. How did you research and experiment this idea, and where from?

    If you turn the handle very slowly, is there a slip in motion?

    Quite impressed with your design!

    0
    ukman
    ukman

    Best Answer 6 weeks ago

    I have one more video I made with one of the test version of the cutch. It demonstrates what is going on inside the clutch, how the cylinders change their position and how they wedge the shaft.
    https://youtu.be/bXPckfR3NHw