Aug.19, 2013

Looking to replace your tools with some really cool designed tools? California based Roller Clutch Tools have developed and patented a unique, reversible clutch mechanism which uses rollers rather than gears. Rollers are stronger, more efficient and safer than the teeth found on ordinary gears. They also provide the added benefit of a zero back swing. So no more frustration from your tool stalling out when the handle lacks enough room to swing.

Roller Clutch Tools is raising funds on Kickstarter for its "New Ratchet 3rd Generation" (NRG3), a 3D printable gearless ratchet. "The current style of ratchet wrenches is technically outdated and in need of some serious improvement." says the team. This new NRG3 can be used for assembling printer kits, RC planes, motors, bicycles, robots, appliances or any project that involves tight spacing and requires a precision tool.

How Does It Work?


NRG3 operates with compression rather than shear. 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.

Roller Clutch Tools also supports additive manufacturing and is collaborating with Solid Concepts to provide both prototypes and Direct Laser Sintered parts for production. The clutch spindles are available either as a machined steel or as a Laser Sintered stainless steel.

In addition they are working with PrintRbot to provide extension 3D printed handles made with ABS plastic. Their goal is to develop a line of tools that are entirely 3D compatible.

Roller Clutch Tools is offering an "Early Bird Special", $40 for a 1/4" Legacy Ratchet in a kit form on Kickstarter. You can check the info or back this project here.

Posted in 3D Printing Applications



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robin james wrote at 4/25/2015 11:50:30 AM:

well that video clear me more. that 3D printer is good. i liked the product and its useful for me.

F_Hilario wrote at 8/26/2013 6:19:58 PM:

Amazing job and techniques, but not so practicable yet .... the non-backlash thing is nice, but fine traditional mechanic can do that too. And the 3d printed handles... funny and cool, but expensive personalized stuff. Resin casted (and rubberized) would be nicer on that case (think twice: who would like and pay for these 3 hour printed rough handle?). Well... as the video also emphasize, Americans build nice things. But they forget that technology is fed by a border-less market. "Made in USA" and "Made in China" will give the same results.

JD90 wrote at 8/22/2013 10:16:07 PM:

@alidan, nope, not for these parts. 3D printing in metal costs a lot more than very small batch (say, 2-5 pcs.) conventional machining. These are not hard to machine parts! If you don't have money to have them "subtractive" machined, you don't have money to 3D print them either.

alidan wrote at 8/22/2013 6:56:52 AM:

@JD90 yea, that works if you have the money to start with. 3d printing will be more costly over the long haul, but small runs, this is easily the best method.

JD90 wrote at 8/20/2013 3:14:01 AM:

It's interesting, but I've abused ratchets and never broke a ratchet mechanism's teeth. This thing looks a bit overly square. And it doesn't look enough smaller to make it worth mentioning. The smoothness and lack of indexing is interesting though. The 3D printable mention? whoopdee doo. Ordinary "boring" machining methods would make these parts cheaper, with quicker turnaround and better, even the first ones.

Anonymous Coward wrote at 8/19/2013 7:52:36 PM:

Patented bullshit.

CornGolem wrote at 8/19/2013 6:16:19 PM:

It's like with blogs, first blog about this or that, now it's the first this or that to be 3D printed - don't care much.

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