Ellipse Gears

by drayde, published

Ellipse Gears by drayde Dec 28, 2010
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Ellipse Gears by drayde is licensed under the Creative Commons - Attribution license.

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I adapted stickoutrock's Crosslink Ellipse Gears to be printable on a 3D printer. It's similar to natetrue's version ( http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1538 ), but I created a completely new design in OpenSCAD, which uses a different type of joint, which should be more robust. The joints also do not stick out of the holes in the ellipse gear, avoiding the gears to get stuck during the rotation.

Here is a video of this thing: http://vimeo.com/18244936


You need 2 of the gears and 2 links. The gears are NOT symmetrical. Before snapping them together, make sure you have the gears aligned correctly: Place them on top of each other as shown in the dxf preview and make sure they have the same orientation. Move one of them sideways until the teeth mate.

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I've printed the link but it didn't print the connectors, just the flat plate. Downloaded, sliced and printed again but with same result. Can anyone help?

really much play in it, but its working..


After two hours of waiting Axon could not build the gcode for just one gear. It was stuck on carve. Any ideas?

I don't recall having any problems. What version of skeinforge?

Hmm, I'm using netfabb, so I cannot really help here. Maybe try using skeinforge directly?

Mine finally printed, after much kicking of the cupcake.

One weird thing I've noticed, is that the gears never actually touch, they mesh but there is an ~.5mm gap between the gears at all locations.

Used the joiner from mackal linked above. I am SUPER-impressed; it all snapped together right out of the printer. Nothing too tight, nothign too lose; no extra play between the gears, but not too tight either. ABSOLUTELY. PERFECT.

Printed it on an UP! at medium (0.30mm) - very loose...

Using mackal's linkage this is much better!


Thanks drayde and mackal!

Ellipse Gears
by mackal

I'm gonna have to try this! I'm actually in the middle of printing the other elliptical gears as I write - I found that the link piece is definitely very brittle, particularly when printing with PLA.

Very nice looking design but came out a bit loose on my Makerbot + HBP. I may tweak the OpenSCAD file to reduce the link length - thanks for including that drayde. Making the gears parametric would be heroic too, but my maths isn't up to it!

Wow, that was quick! Nice print!

Yes, the link appears to be a bit too long in the position where the links form an "X". It already tried to make them a bit smaller, but then it's too short for the horizontal position.

I suspect the holes for the joints to be slightly off.

Having the gears created by script would be awesome. Any idea how to do that? Ideally I'd like to be able to create the 2D outline by script and then extrude it, but I think OpenSCAD cannot do that.

I like what GregFrost (http://thingiverse.com/GregFrost)thingiverse.com/GregFrost) did with his OpenSCAD gear generating code in http://thingiverse.com/thing:3575thingiverse.com/thing:3575 , but I'm not sure how to extend that into elliptical gears. It also seems I'm incapable of linking to Thingiverse pages from these comments. My linking fu is weak.

Parametric Involute Bevel and Spur Gears

Wow, Greg's gear script is awesome. It is possible to script 2D shapes and extrude them. If I find time I'll check if I can modify the script to do elliptical gears.