Why design matters in gear manufacture

Getting the right gear design is a matter of real importance when you are preparing specifications for a new piece of machinery. Some engineers prefer to use their own gear designs, others work in partnership with the gear manufacturer.
If you are looking to generate your own gear drawings there is a wide variety of CAD software available specifically for gear design. As with any software, it’s best to shop around for the one that not only does the job you need it to do, but does it to your budget.
Free design software is available which is perfect if you are just starting out working with CAD software. However, the limitations of free software are that important changes in ISO Standards may not be updated as regularly as paid for software.
Most importantly when you are searching for the best CAD solution, is to search for one that is specifically for gear design. Even if there is a gear design element, what you really need is software that is completely for gears.
Here is a selection of gear design CAD software:
Dontyne Systems – A gear production suite with additional modules and training is given in using the software.
Gear CAM – used for design and calculations for involute spur and helical gears, racks, pinions and internal gears, 3 gear trains, sun planet, ring gear sets and BS3550 splines.
Planeta Software – specialist software for professional gear design and manufacturing.
GearCAD – has a comprehensive set of calculations to speed up the design process.
 eMachineShop – here you can custom design but you have to order your gears through their site.
Oerlikon Fairfield – Fairfield have been developing their gear design software since 1968. It isn’t a full design tool, but a free program to aid in gear calculations.
Integrated Gear Software – A high standard software system that models different environmental factors.
There are, of course, many other packages available and it would be wise to speak to colleagues, or ask on forums to gain a complete understanding of the gear design software for you own use.

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