Experienced gear molders caution design engineers to avoid common pitfalls with plastic gears. One old problem, says ABA/PGT, is misaligned mating parallel-axis (spur and helical) gear tooth surfaces. The solution is the modification of gear flanks by making them full thickness at mid-face-width and tapering them to each edge, as shown in the drawing below. This modification, extending over the full height of the gear tooth, is referred to as crowning. Other useful advice comes from UFE of Stillwater, MN. Operating temperature must be factored into designs using dissimilar materials. If a gearcase is made of metal and the gears are plastic, the distance between the gears will change because of the differing coefficients of linear thermal expansion.
This slideshow includes several versions of multi-materials machines, two different composites processes including one at microscale, and two vastly different metals processes. Potential game-changers down the line include three microscale processes.
Hosted CAD or PDM systems is an emerging technology that offers many advantages over traditional on premise workstation CAD configurations and is making many companies rethink how to deliver future CAD software solutions.
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