Find us on Google+ Getting Things in Gear - Exporting Gear Tooth Geometry in Autodesk Inventor ~ Inventor Tales

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Getting Things in Gear - Exporting Gear Tooth Geometry in Autodesk Inventor

“You should always know when you're shifting gears in life. You should leave your era; it should never leave you.”
Leontyne Price

Earlier this week, I was asked, "How do you export accurate spur gear geometry from Autodesk Inventor's Design Accelerator."

I found myself frustrated.  Why?  Because I used to know exactly where it was, but it had been years since I'd be asked about it!  In that time, it had faded into the shadows of time. 

The set of gears "as generated" in Design Accelerator

Before I get too far along, I should make some distinctions about how Inventor creates gear geometry.   These are things I've picked up in my "sojourn through technology."

 The gears "as generated" from Design Accelerator are approximations.  If you zoom into the tooth profiles, their not the precise involute profiles that "proper gears" have.

Now that there's been a collective gasp of horror from the internet, don't fret!   For the purposes of laying out and specifying which gears to use, the gears as generated work just fine.  Critical items like ratios and center distances are accurate in this form.

But what if you want to make the gear?  Especially if you're running a test where you may make the gears in a rapid prototyping machine?

This is where exporting the accurate tooth geometry becomes important.

Now back to me scratching my head, trying to remember where I left that "Export Tooth Geometry" button!

So I hunted and conducted internet searches.  And low and behold!  I found it again!

All I had to do was right click on the "Spur Gears" icon in the browser!

There it is! Right click on the Design Acclerator icon!

Now that I've found it, I told myself I'd commit it to memory better this time.  And what better way to do it, than to create a video, blog it, and share it amongst cyber space!

Not to mention there may be those who like myself, have wondered if this is possible as well.  Perhaps they gave up searching for it, thinking that it doesn't exist.

Well it does!  So here's a video to show how it's done!



  1. Is it possible to make a Steel Racks with this sketch? Thanks.

    1. Antonio, it should be possible, but you may have to copy the profile from a spur gear to the rack.