Let's Make Robots!

Gears and gearboxes. What do you want for your robot?

Sometimes when your building a robot you will need gears. Although there are plenty of ready made gearboxes on the market they will not always fit your needs. I have been looking at puting together a collection of gears, shafts and even small bearings so that you can build you own gearboxs.

I started off with the green bevel gears shown below, they have big, strong, chunky teeth that are hard to break. These allow you to have a 90° output.

I have now found some gears with slightly bigger, stronger teeth (0.6 pitch instead of 0.5). The yellow gear shown in this photo allows you to adapt from 0.5 to 0.6.

What else would you want in a set of gears?

 

At this stage I am trying to keep this kit relatively cheap so some things like metal gears are out. What I have so far:

  • A selection of plastic gears including worm gears and possibly linear rack.
  • A range of suitable shafts to suit the gears.
  • Aluminium mounting plates with holes spaced to allow various gear ratios to configured.
  • Small 90 degree brackets and screws for mounting the gearbox.
  • Motors to suit (common types so they are easy to replace).
  • A couple of small drill bits for changing the gears from press fit to free spinning.
  • Some small bearings to reduce friction.

Although it hasn't been mentioned yet I have recently designed some new, low cost, quadrature encoders that use hall effect sensors and work with both 3.3V and 5V systems. I think a couple of these could come in handy.

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... I cannot print them as small as 0.5 or 0.6  mm diametral pitch, it is not doable with the current nozzle sizes.

I apologize if what I'm saying has been said before but what I'd appreciate in a gear package would be to have the following:

- 2 or 3 case variants or one that allows 2 or 3 gear configurations (for example for singe reduction or multiple reduction stages).

- 6, 8, 10, 16, 20, 24, 30, 32, 36 tooth gear sizes (OK mybe not all) in at least 4 in quantity of each except the small ones which should be more as they tend to go missing real fast.

- the possibility to stack gears together or have stacked ones already inthere (6:30, 8:36, 10:30 etc) generally stacks that allow 1:4, 1:5 reduction

- I would also like to have steel pins in a standard size to put the gears on inside the case

- it would be nice to have some standard motors you can choose from to order separately or together with gear kit so they mount nicely to the gearbox case

I think that's it ...

 

My original idea of a bag of gears, shafts, motors and even special sized drills would be perfect for those with 3D printers. So at this point it may be the first product to be available. As many use Google Sketchup I could include drawings for the gears as both DXF and SKP to help them get started quicker.

Most of the common motors DAGU have in stock have the same shaft size (about 2mm) so it is easy enough to supply motors with a range of size and torque capabilities that work between 3V and 7.2V.

 

... as while gears this small cannot be printed currently, cases for your gears can without problems :)

I would be happy to help with designing gearboxes for use with your gears as I love making small bots. I would need the exact sizes you have in mind so I gan generate the correct gears in my 3D program of choice ... Blender.

My original idea of a bag of gears, shafts, motors and even special sized drills would be perfect for those with 3D printers. So at this point it may be the first product to be available. As many use Google Sketchup I could include drawings for the gears as both DXF and SKP to help them get started quicker.

Most of the common motors DAGU have in stock have the same shaft size (about 2mm) so it is easy enough to supply motors with a range of size and torque capabilities that work between 3V and 7.2V.

 

My original idea of a bag of gears, shafts, motors and even special sized drills would be perfect for those with 3D printers. So at this point it may be the first product to be available. As many use Google Sketchup I could include drawings for the gears as both DXF and SKP to help them get started quicker.

Most of the common motors DAGU have in stock have the same shaft size (about 2mm) so it is easy enough to supply motors with a range of size and torque capabilities that work between 3V and 7.2V.

 

My original idea of a bag of gears, shafts, motors and even special sized drills would be perfect for those with 3D printers. So at this point it may be the first product to be available. As many use Google Sketchup I could include drawings for the gears as both DXF and SKP to help them get started quicker.

Most of the common motors DAGU have in stock have the same shaft size (about 2mm) so it is easy enough to supply motors with a range of size and torque capabilities that work between 3V and 7.2V.

 

My original idea of a bag of gears, shafts, motors and even special sized drills would be perfect for those with 3D printers. So at this point it may be the first product to be available. As many use Google Sketchup I could include drawings for the gears as both DXF and SKP to help them get started quicker.

Most of the common motors DAGU have in stock have the same shaft size (about 2mm) so it is easy enough to supply motors with a range of size and torque capabilities that work between 3V and 7.2V.

 

What started off as the idea to put a handful of goodies in a bag is now becoming a full blown project. Trying to design a truely versatile gearbox set is a bit like trying to re-invent lego and meccano into a single kit.

When looking for a good motor & mounting system I could not go past the motors and twin motor mount of Mr. Basic. The motors have good torque and the plastic mount is good quality, very rigid.

As such I am now starting with a bigger, stronger version of the popular Tamiya Twin gearbox. I am trying to design it so you can get a wide range of gear ratios.

From there I will try to develop a single motor gearbox system as a seperate kit.

 

Heh.  I kind of saw this coming.  The thing about gears is--There's a reason there are so many gears.

You, Oddbot, probably more than anyone else who's posted here,  have a good idea of what sort of gear systems work best with the sort of hobby motors likely to be used by members of LMR.  With this in mind, you've got to draw the line somewhere in order to accomplish anything at all.

Gear motors and servos, ultrasonic or infrared sensors, and a picaxe or arduino describe probably at least half of the robots here.  But look at the variation among those robots.

I think your twin gearbox, and then a single gearbox are a good idea.  If those mechanical kits work out, then maybe you can expand the line into other things.

Anyway, I'm glad we have someone like you (And Terry) who has both "hobby level" interest, and access to mass market manufacturing.

  Thanks for putting up with us.

So many gears-different bores,different pitches,and a mountain of motors. With all that said, the problems persist, and it remains the single largest mechanical problem in robotics-How to get rotating power to a wheel or arm etc to move something at the speed and torque required.

 In this situation, you ask for it all(he asked the question!), and we wait and see what comes down the line. I have every confidence Oddbot will work through the issues and do what is feasible and workable.

It is more than evident, by the numer and type of responses to this post,what needs to be addressed, and the reasons the post was started. Anythings gotta be better than what most are dealing with now.....I am optimistic!