Sequential Gearbox

by NateTG, published

Sequential Gearbox by NateTG May 14, 2013


Constant mesh sequential gearbox using Emmet's gear bearings. I need to work out how to make it printable...

Recent Comments

view all

Finally got around to printing the synchro mesh prototype. The clearances are all wrong, and I need to rework it.

Gotcha. That's pretty elegant to use the cutouts in the outer shaft to both enable expansion and to engage the teeth of the inner shaft :)

This has my brain juices flowing again and I may try to model something based on this concept. If I'm able to come up with anything decent I'll be sure to let you know.

Yeah, that's about the size of it. Though the teeth on the shaft really want tapered/beveled ends so that they'll mesh better and so on.

More from Mechanical Toys

view more

Liked By

view all


Sequential Gearbox by NateTG is licensed under the Creative Commons - Attribution license.

Give a Shout Out

If you print this Thing and display it in public proudly give attribution by printing and displaying this tag. Print Thing Tag


You must be logged in to post a comment.

NateTG on Jun 5, 2013 said:

Finally got around to printing the synchro mesh prototype. The clearances are all wrong, and I need to rework it.

EricYoung on May 17, 2013 said:

Wow. What a friggin brilliant concept, well done!

Synchronous shifting seems like a tough problem that would be awesome to solve. A thought that just crossed my mind is to use a cylindrical (probably slightly tapered, so I guess conical) friction fit to drive the output shaft, which would have some sort of expanding/contracting end portion to engage/disengage each gear.

Assuming a friction drive would work decently (which I'm not sure of) the best way I can think of to actuate the expansion would be to use concentric shafts and have the inner shaft move axially in/out a bit to expand/contract the engagement mechanism. The end of the inner shaft that actuates the expansion/contraction of the outer shaft would need a freely rotating portion (relative to the rest of the inner shaft) so that when engaged in the expanded configuration the entire inner shaft wouldn't start rotating and you could still control it's axial in/out movement without introducing a ton of friction to the system all at once.

Man it's difficult to convey this stuff in writing... I hope that made some kind of sense.

NateTG on May 17, 2013 said:

You don't have to restrict yourself to a single type of clutch:
In a conventional modern automotive transmission, there are basically two clutches per gear, a friction clutch (the synchro mesh) which is used just to get the pieces in synch, and a dog clutch that is used to do the actual power transmission.

The tricky parts are, really setting things up so that the clutches can both engage independently, and packing it all into the available space.

I find myself with an idea, but it's the sort of thing that will require some fiddling to get right.

emmett on May 15, 2013 said:

If only we had dissolvable support material working well. That's a cool idea; how do you envision the input / output / gear shifting to work?

NateTG on May 16, 2013 said:

The other day, I realized that if the outer rings are printed as halves, the rest of the components can be printed separately and then assembled. Time for more openSCAD tinkering.

An easy way to work input or output would be to put a belt on the outside, but my original thought was a round shaft with a hex head, and the head just engages with whatever layer of the gearbox. (The stepped center bore is pretty apparent in the section view.)

The input and output would work in a similar fashion, though one would probably just be fixed to one end, with the other doing the shifting. I've been thinking about how to work in a synchro mesh, but for right now it's just a crash box.

With suitable gear sizing, a cap arrangement a bit like this:
Could also allow for a reverse gear on the end of the gearbox.