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Author Topic: Can anyone do some laser gear cutting for me?  (Read 52 times)
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SamS
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« on: August 06, 2018, 02:45:20 PM »

Hi, all!

I'm new here and have run through a lot of threads without finding anything about gear-cutting services.

Or laser cutting services in general, for that matter.

I have a project that needs some round and elliptica l gears and a few swing arms for them to fit on.

All of the pieces would be cut from 1/16" sheet plastic so I can lay them out and test the fits and motions. Each piece would have a pinhole at its center of rotation so I could tack them to a board and see what works and what doesn't.

The gears would be between 3 and 6 inches in diameter, and the swing arms just slightly larger.

I'm working with a gear train that is so non-logical it almost defies descripti on.

I can model in Rhino3D (a little), but the gears I'm working with at the moment may have been faked-to-fit. I definitel y can't trust them.

They're all 1st order gears, though, so they'd be easy to regenerat e with legal teeth.

I would need four identical elliptica l gears, and three round gears of different sizes (two of each), plus one singleton round gear. And four swing arms, two long and two short.

It's really not a very complicat ed machine, just kind of non-Euclidian.

I've looked around locally and lucked out on having gears made with either laser cutting or water jet.

This is a "gig" kind of thing. I'd be quite happy to pay for time, labor & materials .

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Mand
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« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2018, 01:47:11 PM »

For laser cutting of gears, I've used Ponoko with some success, especiall y if I take time to nest everythin g to maximize my material efficienc y (they have tips about this on their website).

One trick, however, is that the laser kerf is non-rectangular (smaller at the bottom than at the top -- \_/ basically). For your size this won't matter (1/16 is pretty thin) but I mention it in case you end up wanting thicker materials later on.... Lasers make it really easy to iterate.

Waterjet kerf is also non-rectangular, but I've got less experienc e with that myself.

I've got a laser (12x20" bed) so if Ponoko doesn't work out for you I might be able to help out, but I'd need the gears already designed as I've never messed with elliptica l gearing so I'd have no idea what to do there. Also, some plastics are very not laser-friendly, so you'd probably need to be flexible on what plastic specifica lly gets used.

...but give Ponoko a whirl first, IMHO, as they're pretty good and user-friendly.
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SamS
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« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2018, 04:47:57 PM »

Thanks, Mand.

I'll give them a try.

Good on ya', mate!
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