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Question Harmonic Drive for Gear Reduction

Discussion in 'Motor actuators and drivers' started by Snarkhuntr, Feb 11, 2019.

  1. Snarkhuntr

    Snarkhuntr New Member

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    So I'm in the preplanning/research stage of my build. Tentatively I'd like to do a 6DOF stewart platform type of system, mainly for spaceflight type games.

    I was wondering if anyone here had experimented with using harmonic drive (aka Strain Wave) gear reduction in their systems. If not harmonics, has anyone tried some of the other exotic gear types for speed reduction such as cycloidal drive? Are there any reasonably cheap sources of used/replacement gearsets - I'm aware that they're used in industrial robotics, have these become a commodity item in any equipment we can salvage?

    For those unaware of these interesting and innovative gears, they use a sort of cam to distort a flexible inner ring gear so that it engages an outer ring gear. This causes the inner gear to rotate in the opposite direction and at a slower speed. A variety of speed reductions are available, though the ratios are limited by the complicated interaction of tooth size/number with the circumference of the gears. It's theoretically zero backlash and it can provide a lot more reduction in a single stage than regular gearing.

    It also creates a one-way drive effect similar to how a worm gear set will not turn from applied torque on the slow end.

    Attached image is from the wikipedia article, and shows the principle of action.

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