switzerland european union

switzerland – european union gear


the intent of the project was to develop an app that creates non-circular gears. the switzerland – european union gear demonstrates what it can do.


the prototype of the switzerland – european union gear consists of a 3d printed “swiss gear” and a laser cut internal “european union gear”. for simplicity the gears have round teeth. the gear is very inefficient not only due to the rounded teeth but because the gear teeth do not mesh during the full rotation, i.e. the teeth of the swiss gear slide over toothless surfaces on the european union gear.


while the switzerland – europen union gear is an interesting exercise in making a non-circular gear, there is much more that can be learned from it:

  • it is difficult to find the right place for the switzerland gear within the european gearbox. there are only very few alignments possible.
  • the european union internal gear has a lot of inertia, much more than switzerland (think radius squared).
  • the switzerland gear has a modest white cross. the european union gear has… well, not so modest shiny golden stars.
  • the meshing is not a simple one. there is lots and lots of friction between the teeth. efficiency is very low.
  • the teeth of the switzerland gears are all rounded, i.e. blunt. some of the european teeth are very sharp.
  • the gears jam from time to time. it appears that the bigger wheel is responsible for this. but that requires further analysis.
  • the switzerland gear has to spin much faster on average than the internal geared wheel of the eu to keep up.