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This page last modified: 2009/04/29
The 3D work finished: 2007/09/10

Simulation of Planetary Gear Mechanism

A screenshot of the wireframe and solid model. [Zoom] A render of the model. [Zoom]

This is a physics simulation of a planetary gear mechanism and was simulated with Bullet in Blender 2.44. You can see a video below in which three gears are moving around the center gear. I played in the simulation with controlling the rotation of the center gear.

I baked the simulation and made an animation from the Ipo curves. Some materials and modifiers were set to get the scenes more realistic.

Modelling a Gear as Rigid Body

A screenshot of the gear. [Zoom]

In Bullet in Blender 2.44, it is a bit more difficult than normal to make the settings for the rigid body of a gear, because it has reentrant surfaces at the base of the cogs, which are indentations.

The settings and structure of a gear. [Zoom]

So I didn't model it as a single object, but separated to the center cylinder and the cogs and parented the cogs to the center. Also you have to make some additional settings in Logic Panel like enabling Compound option of the cylinder.

In order to rotate the gear with each other smoothly, considering what kind of shape is better for the cogs to form was needed. I learned that the commercial product of gears has a good shape and the shape could rotate smoothly also in the simulation.

Material for Metal

It is easy to get the material for metal by setting Tangent V option and I like it. The direction of the tangent vectors in the image below was a little controlled with setting the UV map.

A render of the planetary gear mechanism using the motion blur effect. [Zoom]

I'm looking forward to the next major version Blender 2.5, which will have the capability for blurry reflections and I can't wait for it because it will also include a plenty of the excellent functionalities that I haven't seen.

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