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Experimental method of tooth contact analysis (TCA) with rapid prototyping (RP) use

Mariusz Sobolak (University of Technology in Rzeszów, Rzeszów, Poland)
Grzegorz Budzik (University of Technology in Rzeszów, Rzeszów, Poland)

Rapid Prototyping Journal

ISSN: 1355-2546

Article publication date: 1 August 2008




The purpose of this paper is to determine the instantaneous contact area in a gearbox using rapid prototyping.


The determination of the contact area utilizes one of the RP techniques, i.e. stereolithography. Stereolithography enables the making of gears with complex profiles, which are difficult to obtain by means of other machining methods. A model of a bevel gearbox with Gleason spiral generated modify roll (Gleason SGM) gears with circular‐arc profiles of teeth is applied as an example for testing. A prototype of the gearbox was made using SLA 250 apparatus.


Correct mating of gears and their kinematical precision depend on the shape and size of the instantaneous contact area, as well as changes during the turning of gears. Contact between gear surfaces of a geometrically ideal gearbox occurs at a point or line, but, because of a deformability of mating flanks teeth, in reality it is always a certain surface. This paper presents research on the instantaneous contact area with area on the surface of a flank tooth, which is in contact with the mating surface of another tooth at a specific moment.


The described method in the paper enables a dynamic determination of the mating area gearbox. Existing experimental methods enable only a static observation of the mating area. A stand test was built and enables an exact meshing of mating gears. Gears were made of transparent material, SL‐5170, which enables observation of the instantaneous contact area.



Sobolak, M. and Budzik, G. (2008), "Experimental method of tooth contact analysis (TCA) with rapid prototyping (RP) use", Rapid Prototyping Journal, Vol. 14 No. 4, pp. 197-201.



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Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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