Next Gen 3D Printed Ratchet
Kyle Maxey posted on August 21, 2013 |
Kickstarter campaign looks to improve the ratchet

ratchet, 3d printing, gear, pawl, tool, kickstarter, laser sintering, laser, metalEvery day, in workshops and garages everywhere, the rhythmic clicking of ratchet is a familiar sound. Although ratchets are extremely useful, Roller Clutch Tools is looking to upgrade the indispensable device.

Ratcheting systems of all types have three key components, 1. a gear 2. a pawl and 3. a base to which the two are attached. One of the main problems with ratchets is that their gears need to be pretty large if they’re to withstand the incessant tapping of the pawl. But in a lot of applications the gears must be small to fit into ever tighter spots.

Enter Roller Clutch Tool’s NRG3.

ratchet, 3d printing, gear, pawl, tool, kickstarter, laser sintering, laser, metalWhat sets the NRG3 apart from other ratchets is that it replaces the tools gears with a series of rollers. According to Roller Clutch, “Rollers are stronger, faster and safer to use. They also provide the added benefit of a zero back swing.  No more frustration when working in a tight spot.”

Key to the operation of the NRG3 is its use of compression rather than the shear forces found in traditional ratchets. “When you rotate the handle the rollers are squeezed between the spindle and the head.  This action locks the clutch in a uniform and circular pattern and applies a tremendous amount of torque to the attached socket,” describes Roller Clutch.

While upgrading the ratchet was one of the goals of the team at Roller Clutch Tools, they also wanted to promote the world of additive manufacturing. In collaboration with Solid Concepts, designers worked on both prototype and productions models that were made using Direct Laser Sintering, an advanced metal 3D printing technique.

As of this writing the Roller Clutch team has raised $4,500 of their $45,000 goal. With 24 days left in their campaign there’s plenty of time to help move this awesome 3D printing project along while also getting your hands on a really cool tool.

Images and Video Courtesy of Wikipedia & Roller Clutch Tools

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