3D Printed Gears: A Complete Guide

3D Printed Gears

Gears play an important role in the movement of mechanical assemblies. Initially, it was started in china now these gears are designed and implemented in every industry. Its applications can also be found in different sectors, from tiny clocks to heavy motor industries transmission apparatus.

With the introduction of new technology, gears are shifted to 3D printed gears. 3D printed gears ease the way machines were used to live. 3D printed gears are not only very accessible but also very worthy. Using 3D printed gears is always a good choice. Their flexibility is high because their parts can easily be replaced once they are manufactured. 3D printed gears are generally made of low friction, self-lubricating plastic printing material that makes these gears 50 times stronger than normal materials.

3D printed material offers indomitable wear resistance in comparison to other injection- molded components. One of the major benefits of using 3D printed gears is it can be customized according to your requirements, including weight, shape and transmission ratio. These 3D printed gears have a long service life with low wear and friction-optimized tooth shape. These gears can be easily shipped in 24 to 72 hours.

Gears have been used in different industries to design a variety of objects that cannot be possible with traditional methods. To prevent friction loss during the transmission of power, special attention should be paid during the designing process. Materials used in gears play an important key role for proper flow of machinery. Traditional methods of designing gears have limited scope and also they are very costly to produce. Another disadvantage of using traditional gears is once they are designed there have been several processes to go through to customize traditional design.

3D printed gears are very cool and making them involves a lot of fun. But question how 3D printed gears manufacturers accomplish target results? Initially, gears were used to be a meshing tooth used for rotation. The transfer of teeth is from one gear to another gear. Different size gears are used to alter the speed and torque.

What Filaments Are Best For 3D Printing Gears For Use In Industrial Applications

There are plenty of 3D printing filaments used to make 3D printed gears for industrial applications. The filaments discussed below have their own properties and behavior. Filaments like nylon, ABS, PLA, PETG and many others are used for industrial applications. There are many 3D printers available in the market that come with a single type of filament, but if you want to color your hands with different types of filament, then you have to purchase a new one for different purposes, like printing gears.

To create 3D printed gears, selection of appropriate material is necessary. Choosing material for 3D printed gears depends on various factors like mechanical properties, including ease of printing, finish quality and cost. In this section, we are going to discuss which filaments are best suitable for 3D printing gears for industrial utility. The filaments discussed below have pros as well as cons. Choosing filaments is all based on your needs or requirements.


3D Printed Gears

If you want something which is easy to print and should not be very brittle, then you should go with Nylon. Nylon is bioplastic which is made up of renewable sources. It is very smooth and silky and feels very smooth while printing. It is easy to touch, strong and flexible.

Due to low friction coefficient and high melting temperature, Nylon is ideal material for 3D printed gears. Water can affect nylon because it can create problematic results. Main cause of using the extrusion printers is that nylon absorbs water just like a sponge due to which it swells and creates all kinds of problems related to printing.

The main cause of defecting nylon is because it absorbs moisture from the air. 1% and 4% water can cause material failure while printing and almost 5% to 8% start absorbing while 3D printed parts. This will not only cause problems during the printing process but also reduce the lifespan of the final product and also make it unsuitable for outer uses. But Nylon is the best suitable 3D printing filament for 3D printing projects for gears. It would be an excellent candidate for 3D printing gears.


3D Printed Gears

If you are in the 3D printing world, then you must know about PLA. There are plenty of great things that can be proved about PLA. It is a low cost 3D printing filament that comes under $20/kg per spool. It does not use a high printing temperature like ABS.

PLA is always a fantastic filament overall. With great flexibility and super strength, PLA is always a much better material for gears than ABS and PETG, but not better than Nylon. PLA is not apt for high temperatures because during the summer its material starts getting deform.

So there are many factors to consider before purchasing any 3D filament. If you want to go with high temperature, then go with Nylon but if not then use PLA for low-temperature process, it will work wonders.


3D Printed Gears

In comparison to ABS, PETG is a bit cheaper and much more expensive than PLA. Its expensiveness does not give competition to PLA and ABS. Both are good for some materials but it is not the best choice for common gear design.

Although PETG is expensive, its versatility can’t be ignored. PETG is ductile and softer, with less scratch resistance than both ABS and PLA. Nylon is hygroscopic the same as PETG. PETG requires need to be pre dried before any hard issues. The main weak point of using PETG is that it is brittle and lower glass transition temperature. PETG starts melting when temperature goes to 80°C whereas ABS has a special quality that it can tolerate temperature upto 100°C, Nylon has great temperature resistance it can easily bear temperature upto 120°C.

PETG has not only temperature issues but also it suffers many other issues. It would be recommended for those who can afford it otherwise you can go with Nylon and PLA.

After choosing a 3D printing material to use, you can then use a best 3D slicer to prepare your design for 3D printing then send the file generated through slicing to your 3D printer.

10 Best Interesting 3D printable Gears

Planetary Reduction System

The Planetary Reduction System looks ridiculous, and it is pretty sure that there is nothing to do with it, but still we placed it in position because of its cool look. You can easily print this coolest 3D printed gear easily using 3D printers. You can print this coolest looking 3D printed gear gives you the most expensive skill to print 3D printed gears. If you are running out of money you can use this gear for selling purposes due to its attractive looks.

You can find the coolest 3D printed gears on Thingiverse.

Spool Holder

It is straightforward and easy to design 3D printed gear. One can easily design the spool holder at home. The mechanism to make this Spool holder is very easy. Many users shared their experience of how they make this 3D printed gear easily. If you need them, then wheels can be easily resized and you can download the file easily. You will find a manual guide to how to make the spool holder easily at home.

You can find this coolest 3D printed gear on Thingiverse

3D printed Fidget Spinner

The 3D printed Fidget spinner trend can’t be ignored. You can use planetary gears to design attractive 3D printed gears. It has high torque so that it is best suitable to design a fidget spinner. Fidget spinner is simply used for entertainment purposes. With the help of a 3D printer you can easily design and construct attractive 3D printable gears.

You can not completely 3D print the fidget spinner but with the help of 3D printable gears. Although this is the simple version of planetary gear, it has drawn special attention to users.

Toy Robot Arm

Toy Robot Arm is one of the coolest 3D printable gears you have ever designed. You can easily use this 3D printed Toy Robot Arm for anything from lamps to a camera stand. It is capable of printing 0.2 mm layer height but it will require some kind of lubricant for the gears. Try this Toy robot arm to express your 3D printed gear skills.

NEMA 17 GearBox

Nema 17 Gearbox is a functional 3D printed gear which is used as a tool. It is one of the best functional 3D printed gear that actually works as an existing stepper motor. This is a notable robotic arm, which is especially used for larger projects. The actual size of this gearbox is larger and very impressive.

You can find plenty of 3D printed gear on Thingiverse.

Mechanical Clock

Clock is needed in every house. You can easily 3D print this gear at your home. The benefit of making this coolest 3D printed gear is you will be on time if you make this very popular model,  which would be an entirely 3D printed model. It will make your home look classical. The winding mechanism requires nested planetary gears that allow the clock to run even while it is being wound up.

Making the mechanical clock using the 3D printed gears can be very useful because the mechanism will continue even if it’s being wound up. You can easily 3D print this object with the help of PLA because it does not require ant pins and screws in addition to the print itself.


If you want to generate non functional 3D printed gears, then you can easily create this 3D printed model. The model is especially for those who don’t want a functional planetary gear system for anything. It is one of the simple and 3D printed gear that you can easily create for personal use. During and after the pandemic, the demand of this product was very high, with the time various designs have been introduced in the market. Among them are very famous 3D printed masks.

It has two different planetary gear systems on each side of the mask. They are not functional but their attractiveness creates a  great impact on users. You can 3D print this material with the help of a 3D printer in various steps and the model can be 3D printed in different pieces and should be assembled after printing.

Gear Bearing

Easy to create. You can easily create gear bearing. It can be easily disassembled once assembled. It is easy to change dimensions and can be easily adjusted.

Bowden Extruder

As we discussed above that planetery gears are very good at high torque. You can apply 3D printing to make high torque bowden extruder.This bowden extruder increases its torque in 5:1 ratio.

Water Motor

planetary gear systems have one problem is a power source.The 3D printed  gear water motor is a 3D printed concept device you can use running water to move turbine you can easily deisgn these attractive 3D printed gears for summer.

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