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A specialized type of planetary gear.
April 7, 2011 7:41 PM   Subscribe

Behold the Moebius Gear. Includes a description of the entire process from modeling to fabrication for your reading pleasure.
posted by boo_radley (28 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
For extra coolness, Hoover cites one Professor Sequin.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:43 PM on April 7, 2011


Is there a link to a video demo? Looks awesome!
posted by ReeMonster at 7:45 PM on April 7, 2011


Is there a link to a video demo? Looks awesome!

Unfortunately I don't think it's quite functional yet. He states that the blue gears pop out, I think because they're forcing two mobius gears into the same plane. Don't quite know how to fix that without some, like, 4D supports or something!
posted by muddgirl at 7:52 PM on April 7, 2011


The idea's been around for a while.
posted by Obscure Reference at 7:54 PM on April 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


In college I was in a Moebius band. We'd play the same songs, night after night, but halfway through the song we were playing them backwards. Then I started hitting the Klein bottle. I would puke inside my body. I think my colleges days were generally nonoriented.
posted by twoleftfeet at 8:25 PM on April 7, 2011 [39 favorites]


Flagged for being too one-sided.
posted by googly at 8:31 PM on April 7, 2011 [17 favorites]


I'd settle for a CAD animation of it turning, but I'm with ReeMonster: I wanna see it move!
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 8:36 PM on April 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Unfortunately I don't think it's quite functional yet. He states that the blue gears pop out, I think because they're forcing two mobius gears into the same plane. Don't quite know how to fix that without some, like, 4D supports or something!

Might try something like herringbone gears or flanges on the blue gears.
posted by sebastienbailard at 9:04 PM on April 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


very cool. I'm not sure exactly what's supposed to happen with it, so I'd like to see it move as well. I'm trying to visualize some sort of analogy with Obscure Reference's link.
posted by milestogo at 9:19 PM on April 7, 2011


Kinda breaks my brain a little bit.
posted by Barry B. Palindromer at 9:20 PM on April 7, 2011


All sorts of awesome.
posted by peeedro at 9:25 PM on April 7, 2011


Can't wait to install this on my bi uni hemi-cycle.
posted by zippy at 9:27 PM on April 7, 2011


> Might try something like herringbone gears or flanges on the blue gears.

You have just blown my mind with the world of homebrew 3D printers.
posted by mrzarquon at 9:32 PM on April 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


They're like normal 3D printers except that they're not as good but you want to be supportive so you're like "yeah, no, I mean, it's got a different sort of thing going on compared to the commercial 3D printers I usually drink, it's really, uh, unique" and also their garage constantly smells of yeast.
posted by cortex at 9:42 PM on April 7, 2011 [6 favorites]


I like how you can see a star or rosette of aliasing/Moire interference on the top of the gear structure, the same kind that old monochrome displays when you draw many rays from a point, or otherwise get too many fine lines together. There's a name for this interference/pattern, but I can't remember it.

It's very much analogous to looking at an old low resolution, low color display.

I just had an idea for a sugar based printer, if anyone wants it. Yes, sugar. It's been done. And the nice thing about it is that sugar is cheaper and safer than plastic substrates or powders.

Anyway, I was thinking about the same thing but with very finely powdered confectioner's sugar, and fused with lasers for increased resolution. But then I thought about it and wondered how explosive an enclosed space filled with floating sugar dust and ignited with an infrared laser might be, so I started thinking about water to keep the dust down.

...

But then I thought, why not print into a bed of sugar with water? I bet you could print with water, or sugar water and make the powdered sugar glue itself together in a cold process. Or maybe a mix of water and white glue? You could probably get some rather fine results this way.

And if you used just water or sugar water you could print fractally-surfaced gobstoppers.
posted by loquacious at 9:57 PM on April 7, 2011 [4 favorites]


And with the garage stuff, sometimes you'll get so desperate to print something that you'll print it before it's even ready.
posted by tumid dahlia at 9:58 PM on April 7, 2011


The Moebius Gear sounds like the sort of pseudo-mystical technobabble that underlies an entire anime or videogame setting.

"In the year 2030, scientists invented the Moebius Gear. It converted the planet's life force into an infinite source of energy, but could only be harnessed by people with pure hearts. In the year 2050, the Xaxxon Empire invaded Earth in search of its secrets. All its wielders died except for one. You are Rain, a teenage boy from a small village that was destroyed in the invasion. You must take up the Moebius Gear and use it's power to restore the world".

"The Moebius Gear will only work if it is spinning. Press A to start the Moebius Gear spinning. Press B to throw a Moebius Punch. A Moebius Punch is weak, but consumes no Moebius Energy. Hold down Y to charge the Moebius Cannon. Release Y to fire a powerful Moebius Blast, but be warned - it will use up half your Moebius Gauge. You can restore your Moebius Gauge by finding Moebius Hearts."

"These are not your only powers. Rumors persist that deep in the mountains a group of scientists have figured out how to upgrade the Moebius Gear. But the power can only be wielded by a boy with a true heart. Will you be strong enough and brave enough to run the Infinite Treadmill and restore the world?"
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 10:01 PM on April 7, 2011 [7 favorites]


That is awesome. I was disapointed that there are no videos of it in action, but I did find this in the process:
which sort of makes up for it.
posted by codacorolla at 10:12 PM on April 7, 2011


"They're like normal 3D printers except that they're not as good but you want to be supportive so you're like "yeah, no, I mean, it's got a different sort of thing going on compared to the commercial 3D printers I usually drink, it's really, uh, unique" and also their garage constantly smells of yeast."

Po' folks have po' ways.
posted by smcameron at 10:19 PM on April 7, 2011


I like how you can see a star or rosette of aliasing/Moire interference on the top of the gear structure, the same kind that old monochrome displays when you draw many rays from a point, or otherwise get too many fine lines together. There's a name for this interference/pattern, but I can't remember it.

I think you pretty much already nailed it down as a Moire pattern, unless you're looking for a specific name for the particular "4 pointed star" shape seen there. Hmmm...I'm curious if the pattern would be visible to the naked eye, or if it's just a product of the digital photo.

I've tried modeling various "impossible objects" or rather "seemingly impossible objects" like Mobius strips and Klein bottles in 3D and it can be quite challenging. 3D software really seems to resist performing the requisite "tricks" required to finish the objects (such as connecting the two ends of the strip, etc.) without getting wonky.
posted by ShutterBun at 10:20 PM on April 7, 2011


I think you pretty much already nailed it down as a Moire pattern, unless you're looking for a specific name for the particular "4 pointed star" shape seen there.

There's actually a computer graphics term named for that particular star pattern, but my brain and google are failing me. I think the name of the phenomenon is the name of a computer scientist, but I might be misremembering that.

I used to intentionally make that pattern on my Apple 2 when I was a kid, usually either in logo or in the "high resolution" graphics mode for Applesoft Basic where you could plot lines, arcs or other shapes by describing their Cartesian co-ordinates.

And on the Mobius gear 3D print it's an artifact of the resolution of the printer. I've seen it on many other 3D models. (well, pictures of 3D printed models)
posted by loquacious at 10:58 PM on April 7, 2011


But then I thought, why not print into a bed of sugar with water?

There's a lab at the UW that's been experimenting with basically that, kinda trying to see how many materials they can get a powder type 3d printer to work with. Their general approach has been to use some inert material mixed with sugar as a binder; the print head (an injket) prints water or a water/alcohol solution (vodka) to cause it to stick together. The glass and ceramic stuff has worked well— the sugar burns off during firing.

And yeah, there's a whole awesome universe of homebrew 3d printers out there— fused deposition (like the reprap and cupcake); powder printers (like your CandyFab link or the 3dp lab, although the 3dp lab uses a modified commercial printer); and even old-school UV-cured-resin printers (repurposing some modern optics like DLP to produce amazing results).
posted by hattifattener at 12:37 AM on April 8, 2011


And on the Mobius gear 3D print it's an artifact of the resolution of the printer.

No, that's just Moebius' signature crosshatching style, rendered in three dimensions.
posted by Strange Interlude at 1:29 AM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


ShutterBun: "I've tried modeling various "impossible objects" or rather "seemingly impossible objects" like Mobius strips and Klein bottles in 3D and it can be quite challenging. 3D software really seems to resist performing the requisite "tricks" required to finish the objects (such as connecting the two ends of the strip, etc.) without getting wonky."

That's a feature, not a bug. When you're using that modeling software to design that little doohickey that holds the whatchamacallit onto the outside of the unobtainium core, you'd rather not realize that you've built in impossible surface into your perfect prototype.

I do want to get a copy of his model though. I'd love to play around with it a bit and see how robust it is.
posted by This Guy at 4:58 AM on April 8, 2011


Might try something like herringbone gears or flanges on the blue gears.

There is a flange on the gears in this one, running down the middle -- there's a ridge down the center of the black spiral and white ring, and a groove in the middle of the blue gears. That internal white ring is made of rubber because it has to twist as it spins, which probably puts uneven pressure on the blue gears and causes them to skew out of alignment. The herringbone might improve that, though, since it doesn't change the angle of attack on the teeth as much if the planetary gear twists a little. It might be better with smaller planetary gears, a belt that ties the axles of the planetary gears together (which would also be a moebius strip!), or ball bearings in a channel.
posted by AzraelBrown at 6:25 AM on April 8, 2011


And with the garage stuff, sometimes you'll get so desperate to print something that you'll print it before it's even ready.

You mean like eating raw cookie dough?
posted by StickyCarpet at 8:01 AM on April 8, 2011


loquacious: "fractally-surfaced gobstoppers"

It's Purples all the way down.
posted by Hardcore Poser at 8:06 AM on April 8, 2011


You have just blown my mind with the world of homebrew 3D printers.

Pssst - check this crazy shit out - an entire site that produces physical molds of 3D designs, some artistic, some functional. I discovered it via the link to these ABSOLUTELY BADASS dice, available in cast bronze or stainless steel.

They sell a lot of Batsheba's works (previously)
posted by FatherDagon at 10:22 AM on April 8, 2011


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