Modeling clockwork (gears and whatnot)

Hi all, I’m new to modeling, and I decided to pick up blender for a project. What I want to be able to do is model a bunch of different kinds of gears to use in precision clockwork.

I know there’s an addon that comes with blender that lets you add gears, and it seems to have a pretty good range of functionality, but there’s a fair amount of things that I can’t figure out how to make it do, like gears with asymmetrical teeth for ratchets and escapements and that sort of thing.

What I’m wondering is if there’s a really robust gear addon out there that can do those things. Failing that, any tips on how to do gears by hand? As I said, I’m completely new to modeling, so there’s probably nothing too obvious to tell me. :stuck_out_tongue:

Thanks in advance.

I’m not sure yet how I want to get the gears to move. Plan A is to be able to turn these models into props for a physics sandbox game (Garrysmod) and mess with them in there. Not sure yet if that’ll work, and if it doesn’t, I’ll probably use the game engine in blender. Seems more satisfying that way.

In any case, something like the gear here is what I had in mind for the ratchet/escapement gear (just the wheel, not the arm).

There is a script here that provides a whole variety of gears and cogs. I have seen it work in pre-release 2.5x but I couldn’t find it pre-shipped in the 2.57b release.


I would use a different method altogether.

Go into some image editor (Xara’s Designer Pro 6, highly recommended and a free trial download is available) and quickly draw your shape… it’s very easy with drawing tools.

Then, just save it out as a SVG file. Import the SVG into Blender and convert to a mesh. Extrude. Done.

The following took less than 10 mins altogether (Xara & Blender)… I think this is basically your shape…

Here’s the view from inside Xara…



@Kolban That does look useful, thanks. I don’t think it can do asymmetrical teeth though.

@James That does sound a lot easier, but I’ve never worked with anything like Xara before either, so I wouldn’t know where to start designing something like that. I’ll give it a shot though, see how it goes.

it is pretty easy to model it inside blender - then no issues with importing from external software

you need to get the basic ideas of modeling in blender. lots of tutorials around - blendercookie, blenderguru, etc etc

you can get some gear ideas here: