What’s better? Harmonic or cycloidal drive? We aren’t sure, but we know who to ask. [How To Mechatronics] 3D printed both kinds of gearboxes and ran them through several tests. You can see the video of the testing below.
The two gearboxes are the same size, and both have a 25:1 reduction ratio. The design uses the relatively cheap maker version of SolidWorks. Watching the software process is interesting, too. But the real meat of the video is the testing of the two designs.
You can also download the models yourself if you want to try your own testing. The blog post is “under construction,” but you can see some of the testing in the video. For example, the drives did show differences in backlash and torque testing. He also looked at some of the wear on key parts during failures.
Both of these drives look great, and depending on your needs, you might prefer one to another. But we always love these head-to-head tests. It makes it easier to do a trade-off analysis for your next design.
We’ve seen [How To Mechatronics] explain drive mechanisms before. If you think a 3D-printed gearbox can’t build up a lot of torque, you’d be wrong.