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  1. #1
    Jon
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    Trillion-year gear reduction kinetic sculpture machine - video and photo

    Each of the 12 worm gears reduces the speed by 1/50th. The result is that the final gear would take trillions of years to make a single revolution, and can thus be encased in concrete. Created by Arthur Ganson, an artist-in-residence at MIT.





    Previously:

    Tourbillon movement - GIF
    Cam gear GIF
    functional gears discovered in insects
    Direction changing gears GIF
    Chocolate truffles turned as gears GIF
    Cutting gear teeth GIF
    Geared kinetic sculpture - video
    Making organic gears - GIF

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    Frank S's Avatar
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    The first problem I see with this machine is all of the subsequent worm drive configurations are the same size. the torque is multiplied with each reduction by the amount of reduction ratio. if the motor only had a 1 ft lb torque output it would be 50 after the first reduction then 50 x 50 to the next and so on so by the time the torque would be applied to the concrete block with out scaling up the shafts and gears at each reduction all that they have built is a shrapnel bomb waiting to go off when the motor is switched on .
    Never try to tell me it can't be done
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    Ah, dilution. 1 oz of concentrated acid in 9 ozs of water gives 1 part per ten. Take 1 oz from that container and add it to 9 ozs water in the next container, thus 1 part per hundred. Do that again and you have 1 part per thousand. Do that, oh say, for a total of 12 times and your dilution is now 1 part per trillion, 10^12.

    What a fine machine displayed here.

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    aphilipmarcou's Avatar
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    Can those gear wheels withstand such torque multiplication ie the machine would commit suicide long before getting dangerous ( (Comment made without a lot of thought)

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    Frank S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aphilipmarcou View Post
    Can those gear wheels withstand such torque multiplication ie the machine would commit suicide long before getting dangerous ( (Comment made without a lot of thought)
    No they can not withstand such a multiplication of torque they can however withstand many times their rated load capacity but once the gear wind limit is reached it only takes 1 single tooth or shaft to fail resulting in the instantaneous release of pent up energy which will cause more fragmentation from the sudden backlash.
    A friend had a late model Ford super duty 4 X 4. While towing a heavy trailer at highway speed somehow the fully electronic shifted trans and transfer case went into low lock, fragments from the explosion cut through the floor board and even nearly cut the frame in half at one point He and his wife both had shrapnel embedded in their legs and one piece managed to go through the roof of the truck.
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    I want to see a time lapse of it spedup, so i can see what happens to the concrete block at the end. lol.
    (for those of limited intellect - it will still take a trillion years)
    Smoke makes electronics work, if it escapes the equipment breaks.
    Got to keep the smoke in.

  8. #7
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    There is no real need for the gears to withstand any torque at all. Noting the signature from MeJasonT just above this, the "smoke will leak out" of the motor long before the device will have time to even take up the backlash from the last couple sets of reduction gears. Seriously, how many motors will run continuously for 10 or 100 years let along a trillion. So all viewers of the device will be safe from shrapnel...

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    It raises an interesting philosophical question - where does all the energy of the spinning motor "go" over the billions of years?

    Since energy can't be "destroyed", and all energy eventually degrades to heat (entropy and all that), the heat will dissipate over the trillion years.

    If moving the final gear is the sum total of all the energy put into the system, it's essentially all gone at the end.

    So - is there any energy left at the end to move the final gear?

    Am engineer.

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    Jon
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    Assuming the motor runs nonstop, what happens first here? The concrete crumbles from aging or atmospheric exposure?

  11. #10
    Frank S's Avatar
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    The best way to find out which dies first the chicken or the egg. hook up a watt meter, amp meter,& voltage meter to the motor then strain gauges and torque meters to each gear train all with automatic data logging place a shatter shield over the contraption flip the switch stat the clock go to lunch when your return I'd be surprised if something hadn't already broken.


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    Never try to tell me it can't be done
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