When [Michael Rechtin] learned about Radial Vector Reducers, the underlying research math made his head spin, albeit very slowly. Realizing that it’s essentially a cycloidal drive meshed with a planetary gear set, he got to work in CAD and, in seemingly no time, had a design to test. You can see the full results of his experiment in the video below the break.
[Michael] explains that while there are elements of a cycloidal drive- itself a wonderfully clever gear reduction mechanism- the radial vector reducer actually has more bearing surfaces, and should be more durable as a result. Two cycloidal disks are driven by a planetary gear reduction for an even greater reduction, but they don’t even spin- they just cycle in a way that drives the outer shell, setting them further apart from standard cycloidal drives.
How would this 3d printed contraption hold up? To test this, [Michael] built a test jig with a Nema 23 stepper providing the torque, and an absurd monster truck/front loader wheel- also 3d printed- to provide traction in the grass and leaves of his back yard. He let it drive around its tether for nearly two weeks before disassembling it to check for wear. How’d it look? You’ll have to check the video to find out.
If you aren’t familiar with cycloidal drives, check out this fantastic explanation we featured. As for planetary drives, what better way to demonstrate it than by an ornamental planetary gear clock!