Manufacturing Gears


I’ve been looking into many of the rack gear hoods that have been used over the past couple years. Our team has never been successful with these and we have resorted to other options for all of the shooter games that I’ve been a part of. Our team has a ton of manufacturing capabilities(except for a reliable 3d printer) but I’m wondering what is needed to actually manufacture gears out of metal? Does your team laser them? CNC them - if so what DP are your gears and what endmill do you use? Are there third-party companies like andymark waterjet services that have the capability of making these?


We…well…3D printed them.

That said, we were ready to machine them on the router if the 3D printed parts didn’t hold up right.

We used 10dp gears as the pitch. Pinions were bought here: 10T Steel Spur Gear (10 DP, 1/2" Hex) - VEX Robotics


Using 3DP large modulus gears for hoods is a pretty good way to do it. Make sure to give the gear more depth than you normally would too, as this will spread out the stress.

Bonus points for using double helical gears or similar, again increases the resilience of the system and isn’t any harder to manufacture than straight gears. Just make sure any torque drive from a motor shaft is properly transferred, plain 0.5" hex may round out and become sloppy after use.

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This website linked also has 100T-240T 10DP gear profiles, so you could use those if it fits instead of CADding your own gear profiles.

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If we’ve ever had the need to make custom gears, we’ve used a sponsors 80w co2 laser to cut both 20 dp and 32dp gears. I don’t think we’d do much smaller than 20dp, but that’s just because our delrin supplier doesn’t ship their .25” stuff to us without a bend.

If we were to get custom gears from somewhere we’re willing to pay for, we would probably go with AndyMark’s waterjet service, or SendCutSend

We haven’t CNC’d gears on our own, but our sister team has used 3mm/.125” endmill for 10dp gears