Gears are a basic component in a verity of mechanisms, and therefore almost any design engineer will need to design or specify a gear at least once. Again, the power of the internet comes to support us, and can guide us quite quick from remembering that gear design is something that includes teeth to mastering the art of gears design.
Basics – gears design theory
while coming to design a geared transmission, there are many parameters that should come into account such as: transmission ratio, materials, speed, angles of transmission, space available, backlash, wear and many more. to refresh with the theory of gear design its always good to go to the following sources:
- eFunda – The theory is being reviewed, and terms such as “Addendum” and “Dedendum” will not sound bizarre to you anymore.
- engineeringtoolbox – Is also a good place to remember the basics.
- Wikipedia – As always, gives a very good review, sometimes too long (don’t forget to donate!)
Practical approach – Let me buy off-the-shelf
In case you don’t want to have all the theory, and just need some gears to insert to your design, there are great online suppliers, all sell the standard gears and differ mainly by service and availability.
- SDP-SI – a well-known manufacturer of high precision standard and custom gears for a wide range of applications.
- Misumi – Online catalog of mechanical components, ships worldwide.
- McMaster – reviewed in a previous post, has also gears inventory and also their 3D CAD models that can be useful.
Quick gears design, I want it working by tomorrow
Sometimes, you don’t want to order and then wait, and you can compromise on a home made gears, (can be made of wood, plastics) you can use online wizards to generate the general form, and then import the output to your preferred CAD suite and go on
- Woodgears – great site, gears that can be useful for any home made jig or machine, lets you print gears contour or download a software.
- GearGenerator – Lets you design the transmission and download the files in SVG or DXF file formats (also from this author great charts tool)
Gear design is an art, and there are designers that dedicate their entire career to it, but if you need some gears as components for you, we’ve seen that the web can also help and lead you to the solution. this approach can be implemented also for other components as well may them be springs/bolts/cylinders or any other mechanical item (Theory/Suppliers/Online wizards)