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Involute Gears

Introduction

This lesson covers the development of ‘involute’ gears. An involute gear is based on an involute

curve, which is a mathematical shape. To understand what an involute is, consider a simple

cylinder and a string as shown below. Wrap the string around the cylinder. While maintaining

tension on the string, trace the path that the end of the string makes while un-wrapping it around

the cylinder. This path is an involute curve.

A simple cylinder and a string. Wrap the string around the cylinder.

Pull

Involute

curve

Pull the string tight and keep it tangent to the cylinder. Trace the end of the string while un-wrapping it around

the cylinder. The resulting trajectory is an involute

curve.

There are two key parameters that control the involute curve: the diameter of the cylinder and the

angle that the string is un-wrapped around the cylinder. In the example above, the string is un-

wrapped 90º around the cylinder.

Involute Gears Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 3.0 Tips and Tricks

Development of the mathematical equations for the involute curve uses simple trigonometry. We

will develop the equations for 90º of one full involute. In other words, we are un-wrapping the

string 90º around the cylinder in a counterclockwise direction.

One quarter (90º) of the circumference of a circle is then: c= π*r/2

In the figure below, the line ‘s’ is the same length as the part of the circumference the string has

been un-wrapped ( s’ ).

xc, yc

θ

s

r x, y

s’

θ We are trying to

0, 0 define this curve by

finding equations for

x and y as θ changes

xc = r * cos θ x = xc + ( s * sin θ )

yc = r * sin θ y = yc – ( s * cos θ )

Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 3.0 Tips and Tricks Involute Gears

In Pro/ENGINEER, datum curves can be defined using mathematical equations. When using this

feature, a system variable ‘t’ is used, that varies from 0 to 1 over the length of the curve. For the

involute curve, let the angle (ang) be equal to ‘t’ times 90. This means that the variable ‘ang’ will

vary from zero to 90º.

s=(π*r/2)*t

In this example, the diameter of the cylinder is 1.500. This is the base diameter in gear design

terminology. The radius (r) of the cylinder is 0.75 inches.

r = 0.75

ang = t * 90

s = (PI * r * t ) / 2

xc = 0.75 * cos(ang)

yc = 0.75 * sin(ang)

x = xc + ( s * sin(ang))

y = yc – ( s * cos(ang))

z=0

Involute Gears Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 3.0 Tips and Tricks

In Pro/ENGINEER, the gear is started by modeling a cylinder at the outside diameter of the gear,

see Figure 1. Several sketches are created to define the root diameter, base diameter, and pitch

diameter of the gear, see Figure 2. Next, the involute shaped datum curve is created and moved

into the correct position to define one side of one gear tooth, see Figure 3. The curve is mirrored

and the gear tooth is cut into the cylinder using the edge of the involute datum curves, see Figure

4. The cut is patterned and rounds are added at the base of the gear. The completed gear is shown

in Figures 5 and 6.

Involute

curve

Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 3.0 Tips and Tricks Involute Gears

Gear Parameters

The following are geometric parameters in gear design:

Root Diameter Circular Pitch = π / Pitch Diameter

Outside Diameter Number of Teeth = Diametrical Pitch * Pitch Diameter

Base Diameter Pressure Angle

Addendum

Dedendum

Tooth Thickness

Tooth Thickness Angle

Fillet Size

Base diameter

Addendum

Root diameter

Dedendum

Fillet size

Gear Parameters

Involute Gears Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 3.0 Tips and Tricks

• Pick File, New, then enter < involute_gear > for the name of the new part

• Pick OK in the New dialog box

• Pick Insert, Model Datum, Curve, From Equation, Done

• Select the default coordinate system, then pick Cartesian

• In the Notepad window, enter the following equations:

r = 2.819

ang = t * 90

s = (PI * r * t ) / 2

xc = r * cos(ang)

yc = r * sin(ang)

x = xc + ( s * sin(ang)) FRONT

y = yc - ( s * cos(ang))

z=0

CSYS_DEF

• Pick File, Save and File, Exit in Notepad

RIGHT

• Pick OK in the dialog box

• The result is shown here

TOP

• This curve will be used to create an involute gear

Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 3.0 Tips and Tricks Involute Gears

• Pick the Extrude icon

• Press and hold the right mouse button and select Define Internal Sketch

• Pick Flip in the Sketch dialog box

• Pick Sketch in the Sketch dialog box

• Sketch a circle centered on the references, with a diameter of 6.500, to represent the

outside diameter of the gear (see the figure on the previous page)

• Pick the checkmark to complete the sketch

• Enter < 1.750 > for the depth then pick the checkmark in the dashboard tool

• Pick View, Orientation, Standard Orientation

• The result is shown below, be sure the curve is in front of the cylinder as shown

FRONT

TOP

A_1

RIGHT

Involute Gears Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 3.0 Tips and Tricks

• Create a circular sketch on the FRONT datum plane with a diameter of 5.376 to

represent the root diameter of the gear

• Create a circular sketch on the FRONT datum plane with a diameter of 5.638 to

represent the base diameter of the gear

• Create a circular sketch on the FRONT datum plane with a diameter of 6.000 to

represent the pitch diameter of the gear

• The result is shown below

• Set the selection filter to Datums, pick the involute curve and the 6.000 diameter

circular sketch, then pick the Point icon and then pick OK to create a datum

point as shown below

Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 3.0 Tips and Tricks Involute Gears

• Pick RIGHT, TOP, and FRONT then pick the Point icon then pick OK

• Pick Insert, Model Datum, Curve, Done

• Pick the two datum points then pick Done and OK

• The result is shown below

• Enter < measure > for the name of the feature

• Pick Create, then enter < angle > for the name of the measurement parameter

• Pick Angle, then pick the TOP datum plane and the curve you just created through the

points

• Pick Done then read the message window and look at the model tree

• Save the part

Involute Gears Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 3.0 Tips and Tricks

• Pick the involute curve then pick Edit, Copy

• Pick Edit, Paste Special

• Add the checkmark next to Apply Move/Rotate transformations to copies in the

dialog box then pick OK

• Pick Rotate in the right mouse button popup menu

• Pick the axis in the center of the cylinder then enter < -30 > for the rotation angle

• Pick the checkmark in the dashboard tool

• The result is shown

• Double pick the copied involute curve (the one created in task 7)

• Double pick the 30 dimension

• In the small text box, carefully enter:

angle:FID_MEASURE + ( 7.5 / 2 )

• Pick Yes to add the relation

• Pick Edit, Regenerate

• The result is shown

Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 3.0 Tips and Tricks Involute Gears

• Pick the copied involute curve (the one created in task 7) then pick Edit, Mirror

• Pick the TOP datum plane then pick the checkmark in the dashboard tool

• The result is shown

• Pick the copied involute curve (the one created in task 7) then pick Edit, Copy

• Pick Edit, Paste Special

• Add the checkmark next to Apply Move/Rotate transformations to copies in the

dialog box then pick OK

• Pick Rotate in the right mouse button popup menu

• Pick the axis in the center of the cylinder then enter < -15 > for the rotation angle

• Pick the checkmark in the dashboard tool

• The result is shown

Involute Gears Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 3.0 Tips and Tricks

• Create an extruded (through all) cut using the edges of the curves as shown below

• Trim the sketch as shown below

• The result is shown at the bottom of the page

sure to get the tangency

constraint as shown

icon then select these

curves

Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 3.0 Tips and Tricks Involute Gears

• Set the selection filter to Features then pick the cut you just created

• Pick Edit, Pattern, then set the type of pattern to Axis in the dashboard tool

• Select the axis in the center of the cylinder

• Enter < 24 > for the number of instances in the pattern

• Enter < 15 > for the increment angle

• Pick the checkmark in the dashboard tool to complete the pattern

• Pattern the round

• Create a coaxial hole with a diameter of 2.000

• Use Layers to hide the datum curves and sketches

• The completed part is shown below

• Save the part and Close the window

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