Tuesday, August 9, 2011

16 teeth gear with clutch, got smooth

There has been a 'rumor' for sometime, that newest LEGO Technic sets started to ship with a new design of the '16 Teeth Gear with Clutch' (6542).
Presumably the new design won't have the small teeth, on the hole rim.

Today I saw a first image of the new part, through the BrickLink database.
You may find it here: '16 Teeth Gear with Clutch, Smooth' (6542b) , as part of the Unimog inventory.

The old design on the left and the new one, on the right side.


I can't be sure about the motivation for the change, but I guess the original molds may have reached their end-of-life and it was time for a revision.
Never saw it used in a set or even a MOC (there are still many things I never saw...), but the traditional crown fits some old parts (e.g. the original Toothed Half Bushes, Type I and II - 4265a and 4265b) which had the same type of crown and have disappeared from production long time ago.

I presume the new mold with smooth finishing, has superior production yield rates, requires less maintenance and cleaning. Not to speak about production costs...

Which other aspects, may have motivated the change?
Always wanted to know more, about the parts design decision process.

20 comments:

JAMS said...

friction could be a factor, and there is probably more perfected tolerance in the width of the gear, now that it is not intended to mesh with a toothed half bush

walters.stephen1 said...

Another potential benefit of the newer version is that it looks to be able to be compatible with Technic pins. Not sure if the old version had this capability, but this version should be easier to do so with!

Captainowie said...

On the other hand, it appears to be no longer possible to lock the gear to its shaft (perhaps you've run out of normal 16t gears)

Helmy said...

The rings also don't have teeth anymore, so why waste molds trying to make those teeth if Lego doesn't provide the rings anymore that were supposed to lock in them?

crowkillers said...

The only real advantage that the teeth offered was the ability to have 2 of these gears facing each other and then lock them together via the teeth, or like someone said before about using an old 1/2 bushing with teeth to lock it to the axle.

But when locking 2 gears togther with the teeth, you ended up losing a small amount of the space that made them not quite exactly 2 studs wide, making them hard to keep together anyways unless using a bushing.

a scanner darkly said...

With the teeth and the old steering arm flat beams with toothed ends was the only way I could make a lego clock with hands that could move independant of eachother yet on the same shaft...

Conchas said...

@a scanner darkly

Then I've seen it used in a MOC before!... ;D

santi said...

Other than the problem pointed out by crowkillers (the fact that when you attach two together they take slightly less than 2 studs) I prefer the old version, since they allow for a wider variety of mechanisms to be constructed

AVCampos said...

@walters.stephen1: That's what I thought too. The old clutched 16T indeed cannot be used with pins, because it lacks the slightly larger diameter on the edge that pinhole-enabled parts (like all Technic beams) have, which is needed for a pin to "click" in place. Some time ago I confirmed this with my gears.

JAMS said...

I don't think it makes sense to use these clutch gears on pins, even with the new design. if you're using it on a pin, you might as well just use a regular 16t gear on an Axle Pin without Friction Ridges (http://www.bricklink.com/catalogItem.asp?P=3749) or on a 3L axle.

I mean, if its on a pin then you're not concerned with transmitting power to two things on one shaft.

walters.stephen1 said...

@JAMS: Nevertheless, that's one capability of the new gear that the old one doesn't have! The normal 16t gear is good, but without these gears quite a few well-known Technic mechanisms would be impossible.

Erik Leppen said...

I think it's a good thing if they make all round holes to fit on pins, no matter whether that's actually useful. A kid (LEGO's target audience) may put pins in it when playing/experimenting and then it's good that the pins are not in constant pressure. The old 2 x 6.5 liftarms like in blue in 8880 had this problem, the fixed it later. The old differential had this problem, they fixed it with the 3L diff. Now they fixed the 16t clutch gear, thereby removing a little feature (the little ridges) that has never been used.

Slowly but surely they're adapting the parts to conform to a coherent system called the studless building system. I only consider that a good thing.

Erik said...

One thing that I had noticed was that certain pieces don't quite work when placed next to the teeth on the 16 tooth clutch gears, for example I am trying to build Paul's(crowkillers) new supercar chassis and he uses the 1/2 bushings against the tooth part of many of the clutch gears and after building the transmission I noticed that there seemed to be some binding. I e-mailed him about it and he told me that there was a smooth side to the bushing and the other side has a small piece that came from the mold that causes friction with the teeth. After being informed of this I checked and sure enough he was right. One side of the bushing does in fact grab harder then the other side does against the teeth. After changing around about 8 of them, now everything works very smoothly. I am kind of surprised he didn't bring this up in his above post.

santi said...

@Eric Leppen, well, maybe LEGO didn'g use the little ridges in any official model. But people have used them in their constructions (I for one have), since they come in quite handy when you want to transfer more than one rotation movement over the same axle.

Well, I guess we'll have to get used to the driving rings, which is the way the official LEGO models use. But with this method, the gears have an awful amount of wiggle room...

Dryw Filtiarn said...

The new clutch gear is indeed being shipped with new sets. Yesterday I bought the 8110 Unimog and all clutchgears were this new version.

Erik Leppen said...

My Unimog had old ones...

KEvron said...

it's a shame that tlc never expanded further on the 16-tooth flange. i definitely could have used a pin connector (75535) with those teeth on each end.

it won't be long before the price for the old style starts going up at bricklink.

KEvron

Gibbsyd said...

My mog had the old ones too, i guess i got mine to early :(

mescalinum said...

found the new gear in the 8070 I just bought

Peter Hoh said...

I just discovered what I think is a new variant of the 62821 differential housing.

Both ends of the differential housing have slight variations. The biggest difference is the internal "box." The older version has a "v" shaped opening facing the peg. The new version has no such opening.

Will post photos as soon as I can, but work and family stuff comes first.

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