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I came up with an idea and am working with a mechanical engineer to design and prototype the idea but I keep sketching out my own ideas in the process and I just came up with this.. I'm quite sure this is not an idea he'll go with but I'm just kinda curious whether or not this would actually be feasible. Or for all I know it's already common place, or totally stupid... I dunno.

What do you think?

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    $\begingroup$ You do realize it changes direction when it goes from vertical to horizontal. How are you going to handle that? $\endgroup$ – Esben Skov Pedersen Jul 24 '14 at 21:04
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Hmm, thats definitely a unique idea. I think the shape of the top gear would have to be rounded off like half of a torus so it maintains a good interlocking through the motion from parallel to 90 degrees. Also, the motion that the top shaft/gear go through during that transition might not be a simple rotation...it might be a rotation + translation. I'm just speculating, but if that is the case, it would be cumbersome to design the supporting structure for this setup. If it were me, I'd model it up in solidworks and inspect it throughly. I'd be interested in knowing what you find out.

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