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Guide to model spur and helical gears in Pro - E

This document is prepared to provide some help to create an involuteprofiled spur or helical gears in Pro-E. Before plunging into the methodology, lets discuss about some important terms used in a gear. Standard gear: A gear in which there is no addendum modification or profile shift is done. Pitch circle: A reference imaginary circle which passes through the teeth and space in a way that tooth thickness and space width measured at that circle are equal (Refer fig.1).

Fig.1: Standard gear having same space width and tooth thickness at PC

Note that this definition is valid only for standard gears. When there is a profile shift in the gear, this definition no longer holds good. Base circle: This circle is the mother of involute curve. An involute curve needs nothing but a base circle to generate. Though base circle diameter is not at all

necessary for manufacturing, it can be found in all gear drawings. Some interesting facts about involutes: Two involutes generated from the same base circle are always parallel. No matter at which point they start from. Involute curves drawn from different base circle diameters maintain a linear proportionality. That is, we can scale the initially drawn involute to the base circle diameter ratio (new base circle / old base circle) instead of generating a new involute curve. A normal drawn to an involute will always be tangential to its base circle.

Profile Shift or Addendum modification coefficient: The reason of using involute profile over cycloidal profile lies in this term. Profile shift is done to achieve a targeted centre distance. Lets go in detail with and example. Lets say I have two gears of module 3.2. The driver is of 40 teeth and the other of 20 teeth. Calculating using the simple formula Module = Pitch circle diameter / no. of teeth, we will get the pitch circle diameters of driver and the driven as 128 and 64 mm respectively. The centre distance is the mean of the two, which is 96 mm. What if my design constrains me to go with a centre distance of 96.5mm? Definitely cycloidal profile will not help; but thankfully involute will. Observe the following figures to get the idea of achieving the desired centre distance.

Fig. 2: A set of standard gears in action. PCs are tangential to each other.

Fig. 3: Profile shift given to the gear. Blue dotted line shows the original profile.

Fig. 4: Corrected gear set in action. OPCs are shown in blue dotted line

In fig. 2 both the gear and the pinion are standard (no profile shift) and they both have the same circular tooth thickness. In the next figure the gear is given a profile shift. That means, the tooth thickness of the gear is increased. This change does not allow the pinion teeth to go into the space width of the gear as much as it went before. Thus the centre distance of the gear pair is increased. This new centre distance is called as operating centre distance. It can also be noted that the standard pitch circles of both the gears are away from each other. The circles newly drawn which are tangential to each other, intersecting the point of contact of two meshing teeth and intersecting the common vertical centre line of the gears are known as the operating pitch circles (OPC). It is not at all necessary for the space width and tooth thickness of the gears to be equal at OPC. If I want to reduce the centre distance I have to give a negative profile shift to any of / both the gears. This reduces the tooth thickness and this can let the gear to go deeper into the space width of the mating gear. It is worthy to note that addendum and dedendum have to be modified after shifting the profile. Else, there will be a huge root clearance as in the figures. The value of profile shift is not the value of change in centre distance or any other parameters. The value is directly associated with manufacturing. Shift of profile directly gives the deviation of depth of cut of the gear hob into

the gear blank. For example if I give a shift of profile of -0.5mm, the hob will be plunged in excess into the blank by 0.5mm which reduces the tooth thickness. If the shift of profile is a positive value then the hob will be stopped before reaching the standard depth by the profile shift value resulting in a wider tooth. But remember still the teeth are of same involute curve generated from the same base circle except that the curve is just shifted to a new polar coordinate.

Modeling a spur gear in Pro-E: Data needed: 1. Pitch circle dia (D). 2. No. of teeth (Z). 3. Pressure angle (). 4. Shift of profile, if any (k). 5. Root diameter. 6. Major diameter.

Modeling the blank diameter: It is just a cylinder modeled to the major diameter and the gear width using a normal protrusion option.

Generating the involute curve: Use the datum curve from equation option. Select the default coordinate system and choose Cartesian. Now, type equation no.1 in the new note pad opened. All characters are to be in capital case. The equation should govern only the coordinates belonging to the plane in which you need the involute. Simply, if you want the involute to be on XZ plane, then Y should equal zero.

The base circle radius can be found using the formula. Base circle radius (b) = (D x cos()) Equation no. 1 THETA = T*200 Y = b*COS(THETA) + b*(THETA*(PI/180))*SIN(THETA) Z = b*SIN(THETA) - b*(THETA*(PI/180))*COS(THETA) Y=0 Cutting the first tooth: When there is no shift of profile: Once the involute is drawn, go to protrusion cut; select the face of the gear blank. Inside the sketch module choose the involute curve as your reference. Draw a construction circle equal to the PCD. Join the centre point of the blank and intersection of the involute with the PC using a construction line. Draw an axis subtending an angle of


= 360 / (4Z)
with the construction line drawn immediately before this. Draw two circles of major dia and root dia. Project the involute curve and trim the portions beyond root circle and major circle. Mirror the left out involute curve with respect to the axis. Trim the unnecessary portions of root circle and major circle. Try keeping the unwanted circles and lines as construction elements. (Refer fig. 5)

Fig. 5: Drawing the space width section

Extrude this using protrusion cut. Provide fillet at the required places. Pattern them as a group. Thats it!

When there is a shift of profile / Addendum modification: The procedure is same as above. Only the value of has to be found using the following equation. m 4 k tan D 90

Modeling a helical gear in Pro-E: Modeling a helical gear is little complex compared to a spur, since it involves more formulae and advance options. Normally, in any helical gear drawing sheet we can always find the terms like normal module, normal pressure angle, normal base pitch etc. They all mean the same as a spur gear terminology except that they are all measured at a plane normal to the helix of the gear.

Fig. 6: Normal plane of a helical gear

The parameters associated with normal plane are always useful for manufacturing and in design calculations also. But for modeling it is always easier if we go with the data pertaining to the transverse plane (the plane perpendicular to the axis of the gear). We can split up this exercise into four steps viz. 1. Sketching the space profile in the transverse plane. 2. Creating a trajectory coinciding with the helix at major cylinder.

3. Sweeping the space profile along the helix. 4. Patterning it.

Sketching the space profile in the transverse plane Starting with the base circle radius as usual, Base circle radius = D x cos(t)



tan n cos

= Pressure angle
= Helix angle Subscripts t and n refer to data correspond to transverse and normal plane respectively. With the base circle radius found using the above equations, generate an involute curve using equation method. Go to sketch curve mode and choose the face of the helical gear as your sketching plane. Draw the space profile of the helical gear as you did for spur gear. There are two changes. First is that the formula of finding theta varies if there is any profile shift. and, mt 4 k tan t D




Second, dont stop the involute at the major circle dia. Extend it a little further. Refer figure 7.

Fig. 7: Space width profile for a helical gear

Creating a trajectory coinciding with the helix at Pitch cylinder Again we are going to use Curve from equation option to create a helical trajectory. But before that we need to create a special coordinate cal system. Create a curve joining the intersection of gear axis with the face and the intersection of involute with major dia of gear blank as in fig 8 8.

Fig. 8: Creating coordinate system for trajectory

Now, go to create coordinate system option. Pick the point of intersection between the blank axis and face as the origin. Go to the orientation tab and pick the line drawn lastly to define X axis. The face can be chosen for defining Y axis. Select curve from equation option now. Choose the lastly created coordinate system and then Cartesian. A note pad would have opened by now. Feed in the following equation. Y = Rm * SIN (T*360) X = Rm * COS (T*360) Z=T*L Where, Rm = Major circle radius (Radius of the blank) L = Lead of the helical gear, which can be found using the following formula.



= Helix angle at PCD

Dont bother about T. Just so be it. You need to introduce -symbol in the equation to get the desired hand of helix in the desired direction. This depends upon the situation. Note that the equation is just the equation of a circle if the value of lead is zero. We cannot use this curve directly as a trajectory since pro-e does not allow one to use a helical curve as a trajectory. So we have to do few more things to create a pro-e acceptable helical trajectory. Select the helical curve created now. Go to edit and select project option. Now, pick the surface of the blank cylinder. Make sure that the Normal to surface option is active to define the direction of projection. Accept the curve formed and come out. Click the most recently made cure (Using project method) and press Ctrl + C and Ctrl + V. This would have created a curve with a name Copy some number. Right click and say edit definition.

Fig. 9: Extending the trajectory

You can find two white squares representing the end of the curve. Click the square box which does not have the involute curve (ie. the end of the

trajectory). Drag it and extend a little to overhang from the blank surface. The trajectory is ready now.

Sweeping the space profile along the helix. Go to sweep cut and choose the option select trajectory. Select the previously created helix as the trajectory. Ensure the start point of the trajectory is rightly taken by pro-e. Else, you need to define the start point. Once the trajectory is selected, Pro-E will take you to the sketcher mode for defining the cross section. Project the space profile initially created (Refer fig.). The option loop should have been selected before you click any portion of the space width section. Come out of sketcher mode and say Ok. Your helical cut is ready. Provide fillets and pattern them as usual.

Fig. 10: Projecting the space width profile