AM3D Case Study – Making Replacement GearsLouis Monte
3D printing is an ideal manufacturing method for making one off replacements, which was shown in a recent project where AM3D were able to redesign and 3D print a set of replacement gears for a vintage vending machine.
AM3D were working with a client who was having issues with the Bevelled gears on his vending machine, which was due to the ratio being slightly incorrect causing the gears to grind down. Due to the age of the machine it was difficult to source replacement gears and the problem would probably occur again due to the incorrect ratio.
With the capabilities of 3D printing AM3D were able to redesign the gears to be customised to the vending machine allowing the parts to be optimised for the vending machine rather than be a standard size gear that didn’t fit. Once the gears were designed using CAD software it was very easy to be able to 3D print the gears in a variety of materials to test which would be the best solution. In the end the material that was chosen was PLA as it was strong enough and had the properties to allow the gears to move and function in the vending machine, without the teeth of the gears crashing into each other.
Through the advancements in technology AM3D were able to reverse engineer this part using CAD software and then optimise the gears to be used as a working part. The item was also optimised for 3D printing allowing a lighter more efficient part to be created.