So far, I have posted examples of more ‘artsy’ type things I have done. Today I am going to go with something that is a pretty drastic departure.
The object is a bearing made of gears. Each gear is a herringbone gear. For those of you that are not into mechanical things, this means that the gear looks like a tractor tire. The use of the herringbone gears gives the bearing very good thrust load capability(when you push against the face of the center or outer gears while the others are held in place).
There are a few really cool things about this.
One is that it was printed on my printer all in one piece. What I mean by that is that all 7 pieces were printed together just like you see in the picture. Once it came off the printer, I only had to apply a little bit of force to get it moving. After that, the center gear can spin completely independently from the outer race.
The second is that there is no way to manufacture this other than using an additive manufacturing method like 3D printing.
Full discolsure: This is a print of an object that I downloaded off of the website thingiverse.com. I did not design it. I think it is a brilliant design and am showing it off. All credit for this brilliant design goes to thingiverse user Emmett: http://www.thingiverse.com/emmett/designs. Here is a video from the designer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZghwSBiM0sU&feature=youtu.be