Taken from Zortrax
by Katarzyna Gręda
You’ve got to admit that we’re quite persistent in our mission of providing you with examples of successful 3D printing applications. Although we do love challenges, this mission is as far from impossible as you can imagine. Incorporating 3D printing technology is getting more popular each day and we like to think we’ve contributed to the trend by providing reliable and user-friendly 3D printing solutions. There’s more and more Zortrax Ecosystem users out there, who have already gained profits from 3D printing. Are you one of them or are you about to become the next one? Either way, we bet you’ll be interested in one of our latest projects.
Make a Move
Prototyping is a must in variety of industries. It’s especially vital in engineering, robotics and automotive. Checking if the parts work together, testing their shape and size for ergonomics or ensuring that the design turned out exactly as you intended are just a couple of standard proceedings deemed necessary before starting a production line. Traditional prototyping methods, however, tend to consume a lot of resources and, as we all know, time is money. Why waste it when more beneficial ways are easily available? 3D printing technology opens up the possibility of low-cost rapid prototyping. To make a point, we’ve prepared a special model that will encourage you to move forward at full speed. Here’s the Zortrax gear.
On the Outside
Most of us tend to associate mechanical parts mainly with practical use and, unsurprisingly, has less regard towards their appearance. Our gear has been designed with functionality in mind first and foremost. But, as it is, boredom is definitely not one of our strong suits. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that we’ve decided to add some flourish to the model and prove that with 3D printing ‘functional’ can be as far away from ‘ordinary’ as you want. Since we do have a soft spot for industrial design and low-cost customization, we’ve focused on giving the gear that appealing modern feel. Strong lines, rectangular shapes, bold colors, semi-transparent walls, LED lights, our gear has it all with cherry on top – the openwork cups. The modern touches not only complement the model but they’re also used to clearly demonstrate the motion.
Switch and Turn
If you think that our focus on the gear’s appearance eclipsed the mechanism, you’re in for a surprise. We’ve made sure the outside of our gear matches the inside, not the other way around. To put it simply, the mechanism consists of gear trains connected to a stepper motor. The motor powers up the front and bevel gears, where the direction of motion is changed perpendicularly. The torque is transferred to epicyclic gearing. There, the sun gear activates the inner openwork cup and the ring gear, through planet gears, the outer one. The cups move in opposite directions that can be shifted with just one press of finger. We’ve equipped the model with switches and a knob that give complete control over the movement. One of the switches powers up the mechanism, the other changes the motion direction and the knob regulates the speed.