Getting into gears

Lots of software is now available to help design gears and gear sets. A good place to start looking for information is Gear Technology magazine’s web page at (www.geartechnology.com). On this site, and specifically at (www.geartechnology.com/mag/comp.htm) there are details about CAD products specifically for gear design.

CIATEQ (www.ciateq.mx), for example, produces a tool that can be used for optimising a gear or gearset. Each gear parameter can be entered as a single explicit value or as a range of values, giving the user flexibility in defining a design problem. Along the way, the program offers help for determining input values.

Hexagon Mechanical Engineering Software (www.hexagon.de) has several programs for designing and analysing spur, helical, spiral bevel and worm gears. One such program, ZAR1, is a gearing calculation package that calculates geometry and strength of external and internal spur and helical gears with involute teeth in conformance with DIN 3960, 3961, 3967 and 3990.

For its part, Involute Simulation Software (www.microtec.net/~involute) produces the HyGEARS advanced gear modelling software for spiral bevel and hypoid gears.

On the Romax Technology site (www.romaxtech.com), there is a full description of the company’s Romax Designer software. This software has been developed for the rapid modelling of complete gearboxes and provides an analysis of both the static and dynamic response of the gearbox. To add to the fun, gearbox casing stiffness can be included in the analysis.

At Universal Technical Systems (www.uts.com), it is possible to read articles on reducing the cycle time in gear design and manufacturing as well as how to design plastic gears. Also you can read about the company’s own UTS gear design software suite that includes two expert system programs. Design models in the set include external spur and helical gears, internal gears, worm gears, plastics and powdered metals, noise and cost reduction, life, and tool design and selection.

If these packages do not suit your needs, then a more complete listing can be found at www.geartechnology.com/serv/gsoft.htm. – Dave Wilson