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  1. #1

    Has anyone considered gear driven instead of belt driven?

    At work we have a paint agitator that is belt driven. The belts are constantly stretching and need tightening and adjustment. Some replacements we have looked into are gear driven (like a bike) with a solid chain that will not go slack or break once put in place. Has anyone considered attempting a gear/chain driven set up for their x/y motors instead of the seemingly common belt driven set up? Just curious if anyone has seen it attempted or considered giving it a go?

  2. #2
    Student
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    Gear driven with a chain? What exactly do you mean by that? You also say like a bike. Do you mean a sprocket and chain? Bikes don't have gears, and gears are not driven by chains, but by other gears.
    Actual gears won't work for obvious reasons.
    If you mean with a sproket and chain, those do stretch and loosen over time. They are also lees convientent for small 3D printers beacuse of their weight- the stepper motors would need to be much stronger, and the rollers on the chain generally have some sort of lubricant in them. Wouldn't want a gummy dust attractor like that on my desk. Chains also are less forgiving in the "side to side" plane, so manufacturing/ assembaly tolerences would need to be more strict.
    If you didn't mean sproket and chain, did you mean rack and pinion? A rack and pinion wouldn't be the best because they generally have some play in the direction they move, which will quickly ruin a detailed print.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by -Will- View Post
    Gear driven with a chain? What exactly do you mean by that? You also say like a bike. Do you mean a sprocket and chain? Bikes don't have gears, and gears are not driven by chains, but by other gears.
    Actual gears won't work for obvious reasons.
    If you mean with a sproket and chain, those do stretch and loosen over time. They are also lees convientent for small 3D printers beacuse of their weight- the stepper motors would need to be much stronger, and the rollers on the chain generally have some sort of lubricant in them. Wouldn't want a gummy dust attractor like that on my desk. Chains also are less forgiving in the "side to side" plane, so manufacturing/ assembaly tolerences would need to be more strict.
    If you didn't mean sproket and chain, did you mean rack and pinion? A rack and pinion wouldn't be the best because they generally have some play in the direction they move, which will quickly ruin a detailed print.
    Yeah more chain and sprocket. On the style of agitator we have been looking at they called it gear driven for whatever reason. I am not suggesting the chain needs to be metal or heavy. It could be made of printed components even. In the same way that a cable organizer chain can be printed to hold the wires and allow for movement a series of plastic links could be printed with the holes spaced appropriately for the sprocket. You wouldn't need a bunch of grease like a bike. It would have less side to side play but if made and assembled correctly it wouldn't need it.

    Just a thought I had. Those chains need significantly less upkeep and additional links could be printed and replaced as need be. You make a single special link that fits within the moving x/y component snugly where the belt would be and then attach the links to build the chain on either side and wrap around the sprocket. Every turn of the motor would pull the chain evenly as long as the top of the chain was tight enough with no tensioner needed. If for whatever reason a link broke it could be replaced with a spare link and links could be added or removed to accommodate different set ups.

    Again, just a thought I had. I'm probably just wrong about it. Curious if it had ever been attempted.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    you do get different types of belt. Maybe at work, you just need better quality belts ?
    At the end of the day a 3d printer is gear driven.

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