The Art Of A Gears

If you know your vocabulary and can accurately measure gear distances, then you can understand, create and use gears. One of the advantages of the gear is that if you have knowledge of the gear, such as outer diameter and number of teeth, you can use a simple formula to know the exact center distance between the gear and what you need. Or you can also ask assistance here for more information.

  • Pitch Diameter. A circle in which the two gears fit effectively in the center of the tooth. If the centers are correctly positioned, the pitch diameters of the two gears are adjacent.
  • Diametrical Pitch. The quantity of teeth every inches throughout the pitch circle diameter. Presume of it as the thickness of your teeth. The larger the number, the smaller the gear teeth and the smaller the gap. General diameters for hobby items are 24, 32 and 48. All mesh gears must have the same diameter spacing.
  • Outside Diameter. The largest circle that touches the tooth edge of the gear.

Note: It is easiest to measure an even number of gears because each tooth has a different tooth going directly through the gears. For odd-numbered gears, if you draw a straight line from the center of one tooth through the center of the gear, a line is inserted between the two teeth. Therefore, when estimating on odd gears, use the outer diameter carefully when calculating.

Pressure Angle. This is the angle between the working line (the way the contact point moves when the gear teeth rotate) and the line that touches the pitch circle. For some reason, the standard pressure angles are 14.5° and 20°. For pinions, the 20° pressure angle is good, but there is no significant difference. It is not important to understand this parameter. You need to know that the pressure angles of all mesh gears are the same.

Making and Designing Your Own Gears

Creating Your Own


It’s even better if you can use a laser cutter in your local school or hacking space. You can also print the template and paste it on cardboard or wood and manually cut the gears.

  1. You can download and install Inkscape via Inkscape. This is a free open reference vector sketching program similar to Adobe Illustrator. Works with most modern Mac, Windows and Linux operating systems (see FAQ for details).
  2. Go to Ponoko and download the Inkscape Starter Kit. This guide provides a creation guide (PDF file) and three templates related to the size of Ponoko stock material. Unzip the file and save it in a location that is easy to remember.

  3. Open a new file in Inkscape. Go to [Document Properties] from the [File] menu to display. Change the default unit in the upper right corner to inches. Return to the main window and change the ruler from pixels to inches in the toolbar.