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Picture of 3D Printed Bevel Gears (MVMT 25)

Bevel gears change the angle of any rotary motion. They're basically spur gears that interface at a specified angle (usually 90º) so that the power source doesn't have to be in line with the output of the motion. They're used in everything from hand drills to automotive differentials.

This instructable will show you how to use a Fusion 360 template to make your own 3d-printable bevel gears of any size and ratio you want.

507 Mechanical Movements is an encyclopedia of common mechanisms from the 1860's that serves as a good reference for this kind of thing. This mechanism is bases on Movement 25, "Bevel-Gears".This is going to be along project, so if you've got a specific mechanism you'd like me to make, feel free to make a request in the comments!

I used the gears to make this handy desktop sign. It passive-aggressively tells my coworkers whether I'm willing to talk.

Step 1: Tools + Materials

  • Fusion 360
  • 3D Printer
    • I use a Creality CR-10. It's the best bang for your buck, in my opinion.
    • Use this coupon code at Gearbest to get it for $339: 1111CR10
  • 3D Print Filament
    • I used Matte Fiber HTPLA from Proto-pasta for this project, but pretty much any filament will work. I like this stuff because the finish looks really good.
    • I used Polymaker Polyflex for the rubber feet. This stuff is good for this application because it creates more friction on a desk top to keep the sign from sliding around.
  • 608ZZ Skateboard Bearings: There are lots of types to choose from, but any cheap ones will do. Don't worry too much about "spin time" as you would with fidget spinner.
  • M3 Screws + Nuts: You could use any screws and nuts around this size, but I find these work well for small 3D printed mechanical projects.
  • 100 Point Chipboard: This is used for the three panels and the sign panel. You can cut it with a straight edge and a hobby knife.

Fusion 360 is free and it's awesome. I use it for everything I design and fabricate.

Student / Educator License (renew free every 3 years)

Hobbyist / Startup (renew free yearly)

Thanks for sharing.
alxtrck1 month ago
when I try to change the gear ratio the model breaks down. Anyone have a solution (that's not a bevel gear generator)?
alxtrck alxtrck1 month ago
i think it's because the video tutorial uses the wrong backConeRadius parameter (2 instead of 1)
bekathwia made it!3 months ago
This was so fun to make! Tolerances were a little tight printing on my CR10s Pro. I ended up having to shave the ends off of clipUp.stl for it to rotate within the top properly. I used polycrylic to finish my chipboard and painted the message surfaces with chalkboard paint. Thanks Jonathan!

Interesting instructable, thanks for sharing!

If I had to extract the tooth profile in order to make a cutting tool with my cnc, how should I proceed? My goal is to form a broken drill bit with the proper profile and use it in a flycutter to form the teeth of the bevel gear in the attached picture which I'd like to cut.

RioHernandez made it!1 year ago

Still deciding what message to put or perhaps an image :-) Nice project Jon as usual :-) Thanks for sharing

JON-A-TRON (author)  RioHernandez1 year ago

I make these projects because I'm inspired, but I always hope someone else will be inspired and make his own version. I can't tell you how good it feels to see someone else invest his time and effort on a project that I put out there. You just made my Christmas, Rio. Keep up the good work.

Merry Christmas to you and your family Jon. If you don't mind may I trouble you to include the STL for the footing so I can print it in flexible PLA? Thanks again :-)

ossum1 year ago

Very nicely laid out instructable, as always, and something I have been looking into a lot recently. It doesn't seem as though you are using a true involute curve though, just an approximation with an arc? Yet your gears seem to be working flawlessly. Have you just provided enough backlash that they don't bind?

JON-A-TRON (author)  ossum1 year ago

You got it, the backlash is what's preventing binding. Given that it's 3D printed plastic I figured this would be good enough for government work...

I spent hours bashing my head against involutes, trying to build a properly parametric bevel gear generator for my RC projects, but I never actually tried an approximation like this. I'm gonna feel real stupid (and grateful) if it works out well ;-) Thanks for the guide, I'm gonna follow it and see how well it works for my purposes.


JON-A-TRON (author)  MillennialDIYer1 year ago

Thanks boss.

BmatB1 year ago

Are the gears the same? I see that there is only one in the listing. Thanks.

JON-A-TRON (author)  BmatB1 year ago

Thanks for catching that, just added "gearSide".

Thank you very much. I have started to print... :)

JON-A-TRON (author)  BmatB1 year ago

Cool! What's yours going to say?

Well, I don't know yet. I was mostly interested to see the functionning of the bevel gear. Thanks for that.

JON-A-TRON (author)  BmatB1 year ago

Yeah, there are endless uses for it. I'm much more excited about the mechanism being adapted into something new than I am about people replicating the project.

Hey there,

I have a STL generator for customized bevel-gear-pairs,

That could have saved you some time I guess, and might be useful for the next projects.


JON-A-TRON (author)  Ofer Levinger1 year ago

This is awesome! Thanks for sharing. If only it created STP files, they could come straight into fusion and be edited like native geometry.

deluges1 year ago

Is that sign a quote from Melville's Bartleby, The Scrivener?

JON-A-TRON (author)  deluges1 year ago

"My time is your time" is from THX1138.

Haven't seen that one yet, i'll add it to my watchlist.

JON-A-TRON (author)  deluges1 year ago

It's George Lucas' first movie!

JON-A-TRON (author)  deluges1 year ago

You got it! Seemed appropriate for the office...

Mortimer W1 year ago

wow... this is great, very helpful. Thanks for sharing this! :)

JON-A-TRON (author)  Mortimer W1 year ago

Glad to hear it! Show us what you make-

IgorF21 year ago

Great mechanism, great tutorial! Congratulations!

JON-A-TRON (author)  IgorF21 year ago

Thanks man!