Say this five times fast… custom involute gear mechanism that can convert rotational motion into precisely timed intermittent linear or reciprocating motion.
At first glance, this commercial generic gear mechanism is what the Porticos team needed. After looking into the fine details, however, it had many flaws, and it was a good start for a redesign.
Redesign Projects in Product Design: Proof of Concept
The team had a tall order with a short timeframe ahead of them to make a new design work as a proof of concept prototype. Detailed design included analysis of the gears, the turn knob, the spring and life of the spring, plastic and sheet metal component design of 27 custom-made parts, analysis of assembly tolerances, materials selection, detailed 2D part drawings with associated tolerances.
The team worked up several concepts, each building on the last. The final prototyped gear is by far easier to manufacture, has larger and stronger teeth, and alignment concerns have been eliminated.
When Product Design Leads to Patents
Kudos to the Porticos team as the customer submitted at least one design patent application with Porticos engineers named as the inventors.