Drop in replacement: ultimaker small stepper gear

by MoonCactus, published

Drop in replacement: ultimaker small stepper gear by MoonCactus Jan 30, 2013
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This is a simple longer version of chasmaker original smaller stepper gear. This one will not move on the axis and it is very robust.
The picture shows it after 10 month of use and kilograms of PLA. No wear so far! It works very well with my big gear at http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:25501


Sorry, no source code in the first place. I used meshlab to extend the gear!
When I printed chasmaker' beautiful design in PLA (instead of ABS), I quickly found that it failed (because of my stepper heat on some tricky prints -- I was having feeding problems at the time).
The benefits of this longer derivative are:

  • the gear will not melt as with the small gear because there is much more material to heat!
  • it has a better grip on the axis: it will not move inwards and let the big gear free. You will see on the picture how I added a short piece of bowden tube in addition between the motor and the gear.
  • it is probably strurdier in the long term than with ABS
    Printed with PLA, 100% infill, 0.2mm layer height, slow speed and lowest temperature possible. I also used the "Joris" option in Cura to reduce the seam (aka helicoidal print).
    As the name suggests it, I had to scale the object to 1.025 before slicing, otherwise it was impossible to fit on the axis. Gently heat your axis with a lighter and then firmly push-to-fit. Do not overheat or mistreat your stepper of course, better print another gear ;) You should leave no backlash at all of course else it will deteriorate quickly.
    Thanks to chasmaker for the original design and to (open sourced) Meshlab authors!

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On the other gears I have printed, PLA just hasn't stood up well. I just printed this gear in Taulman nylon, and it came out perfect! Smooth as silk against the large gear. It was my first attempt at printing in nylon. I'm curious how long this one will last...

Regardless of the material you use, I would suggest that instead of enlarging the print in order to fit on the motor, I suggest keeping it at this size and hitting it with a heat gun just before pushing it on to the motor shaft.

Nylon is probably also better to reduce friction. Could you post a picture of it? I have some trimming line in my garage that is itching but don't want to clog my nozzle ;)

Actually I really had no single issue with PLA in months. The short gear did wear out quickly though, but not this one. I carefully checked the path and tweaked the slicers to have a very dense print.

Thanks for the feedback also regarding the diameter. I fitted mine also by heating the axis, so it probably boils down to printer and slicing settings. I think it is better each time to tweak as needed, especially for this kind of gears. A heat gun is obviously better than a lighter, but did you heat the motor axis or the gear itself??