[work in progress]

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gears

i’ve recently been working feverishly on a new idea. right now it is about 70% complete. this project will be a live-updating board that displays current sports standings. imagine if a harry potter clock had a baby with a slot machine. so far the tinkering has been slow going. normally i might be discouraged by the number of setbacks, but i’m learning a ton in the process and adding a bunch of sweet skills to the arsenal! when all is said and done, this board will represent a fun marriage between the Internet and the mechanical world: digital meets analog. and with that, i’m eager to showoff my mistakes and the subsequent discoveries made from them. stay tuned.

spur gear

step 1:

this is a gear—a spur gear to be exact. there are many types of gears, but this is the most simple and com­mon. the gear pictured has 24 teeth, which is a good number because it is easily divided many ways. in this case, each tooth represents 15°. going forward, this will be important to keep in mind for ratios and display purposes. if you want to generate your own gears, http://geargenerator.com/ is an awesome resource. not only can you modify different variables, but you can also download the vector file too!

step 2:

a lone gear is fine and all, but it doesn’t really become useful without a counterpart. when two gears mesh together, the driving gear transmits its rotational motion to the driven gear. notice that the driven gear rotates in the opposite direction. different sized gears can be used to change speed and torque, but for this project we’ll be using a basic 1:1 ratio.

driving/driven gear

gear train

step 3:

now say we want two gears to spin the same direction, well then we must introduce an idler gear. an idler gear is like the first ‘not’ of a double negation ~~ it also can serve as a nice spacer in the event your driving/driven gears have distance between them. it’s beginning to look like we have ourselves a rudimentary gear train. next we’ll explore ways to convert a continuous revolution into an intermittent one.