Rubber Band Gear Mechanism

by Skimbal, published

Rubber Band Gear Mechanism by Skimbal Nov 14, 2010

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65347Views 9470Downloads Found in Interactive Art


A Rubber Band Powered Gear Mechanism.

Conceived as a power source for future projects the Gear Mechanism stores and releases rotational energy in rubber bands. The amount of energy stored is dependent on the number of rubber bands used.

My Submission for the rubber band challenge.

A quick video of it in operation. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3WyimknueMQ


Print All the parts.

Full assembly instructions to follow shortly.

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Really great model!

This could be enhanced with a governor or 'watch escape mechanism' to limit the speed of the energy coming out so it was delivered gently.

IF you added a heavy disk to the crank handle, when you released it the force applied to the greater mass should cause the rubberbands to reload. This would cause it to spin down and retorque until all of the potential energy translated out of the device. This creates a kind mechanical alternating current.

To rectify that into a single direction see:


This thing is some kind of mechanical battery.

Independent of the function of the spur gear assembly, the final rubber band mechanism looks to be some sort of detent.

I'm Glad everyone like the Rubber Band Gear Mechanism. I'll get the assembly instructions online in the next day.

Sorry about the delay, real life interrupted.

Did you ever get those assembly instructions up?

Love this thing... Also, it looks like an upside down cuttlefish for extra awesome.

This is awsome. But it needs legs or something! :)

Very nice - has a creepy sci-fi thing going on !!

what is the transmission ratio from the handle to the gear with the rubber bands?

Quick guess looks like 1:1 and/or 1:2 with a huge loss of energy in between.

Very, very nice work. I think this will become the basis of many derivatives. 8-)

Ooh I think I may update a lot of my rubber band models with ideas you used here. Would you be interested collaborating on some stuff? Nice job.

THIS--- this is sixteen flavors of rainbow hued amazingness.

On fire.

Now THAT is freaking awesome...!

Guess it may need a governor in the future to measure the delivery of energy?

If I remember right a 1m pendulum swings in a very practical 1sec. pendulums gotta be the key to printable clocks.

Immediately thought of this educational video with some music: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WEcYAr2bRTEhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

a makerbotted clock would make an insanely cool thing to have/give away/study/modify/...

but a governor dosen't rock back and forth, it has 2 weights on arms that, when swung out, hit something, and activate a brake or something.

If you're thinking about the gyroscopic governor, with two or more weights rotating around a central axis, the weights typically are on arms that rise up when the weights are moving faster.

The force that is being governed is the input for the rotational speed, and the height of the weights on their arms provides feedback via a linkage to control that force.

Boiler pressure gets high, the governor weights spin faster and rise up, the control linkage opens a valve, and the pressure g
oes down.

You can use the rotational force instead of two weights, also you can use a movement that oscillates instead of a pendulum (like a wrist watch). Don't ask me how though.

In a wrist watch, the only thing I can think of is a small flywheel type thing attached to a coil spring type thing, then that acts like a pendulum in a grandfathers clock.

That's what I was thinking of, The flywheel is connected to a coil spring and spins one direction until it the coil spring tightens enough to arrest it's movement, then it spins the other way until it does the same thing. The main gear and associated spring mass move one gear tooth per cycle.

wait, what is the gear ratio on this thing?

It looks extremely cool, like a spider!

The guys at my hackerspace, CCCKC, call it "The Facehugger"

Next, you need to make a clock that uses this!

Nice idea. I wouldn't say the mechanical efficiency of the printed gears can be expected to be very high but it would be a matter of adding the pendulum and scape mechanism to this thing and a bit of magic to get the first attempt to make a printable clock.

Excellent idea! That will be awesome to see a printable clock that is wall mountable. :-$