Geared calling card

by phooky, published

Geared calling card by phooky Dec 1, 2008

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Geared calling card by phooky is licensed under the Creative Commons - Attribution license.

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It's a geared calling card! Two slots in the top layer display different information as you turn the smaller gear, and a little window lets you watch the gears mesh.


Cut all three layers from card or bristol paper (nothing too thin). Glue all three layers together like a sandwich, using the small holes to line up the parts. Be sure to glue in the hubs of the gears, but not the gears themselves!

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what are the hubs made out of? how do you glue them? :D

This card ought to be possible using a scrapbooking die cutter (CNC knife cutter) like the Cricut. I've been trying it, but the unauthorized third-party software that can drive the Cricut doesn't like that the gears are made of tiny straight line segments. Printing it just sent the knife plunging, moving infinitesimally, popping up, and doing another short segment. I've tried doing the gear teeth with continuous curves in hopes of getting cleaner cuts, but the software doesn't like open curved line segments...

I like this project a great deal. I ran this on an Epilog 45 watt at 600dpi, 100s/15p. The results are nice. It's going to be really annoying to glue up the thing but I guess I'll get over it!

I think that a glue stick is the best idea for this project. Those hubs are SMALL! They kept going right through my vector grate!

I'm curious as to exactly the best way to make these. Is it just an xacto knife with an outline? or is there some easier way to make them?

the best way is with a laser cutter. failing that, a craft robo would probably work too. you might be able to get away with printing the various parts and using scissors or a knife, but the gear would be tough.

thingiverse is intended as a digital design site to share designs for automated machines like laser cutters. until they're totally widespread, its sort of tough to get access to the tools. try your local hacker space to see if they know where to get access to one (http://www.hackerspaces.orgwww.hackerspaces.org)

i dont have access to a laser or cnc cutting machine... i have found that you need something thicker than business cards or manilla folders, I have had some success with the cardboard that came inside the back of my 2008 calender. Its about 1/16" thick and ive been cutting the straight lines with scissors, the curved lines and circles with an exacto knife. the teeth of the gears ive been cutting with finger nail clippers, works great.

i tried this using thin cardboard (from a box of staples) for the middle section and a manilla folder for the two outer sections. i glued it together and couldnt get the large gear to turn. It seems like it needs two axles...? and i dont understand what the instructions "Be sure to glue in the hubs of the gears" is that the smaller inner circles? Do i cut those out then fill with glue? i guess i need liquid glue for that...? Im using a gluestick now.

A great idea! And so very nice of you to post the files :-)

Unfortunately printing does not work. I do not even get thin lines when printing the pdf - the sheet is just empty. Any ideas?

Very nice. I look forward to trying this out. The DXF doesn't seem to display properly in my DXF viewer.

One thought: Wouldn't it make sense to have the front and back pieces a single piece that you fold? One less edge to glue.

This is epic, I'm going to have to try this out myself!

Great stuff!!! Can you post it in PDF?

I'm at work right now, but I'll put up a PDF as soon as I get a chance (probably in a few hours).

I cast my vote for the PDF too :)

Okay, okay! The PDF's up. :)

How's that PDF coming? I wanna try too.

A PDF woudl be great, this looks like a killer holiday present, and I had to go look up what a .dxf was ;)