Just to quickly jumpstart your memory, this is the same guy who introduced the 3D printed Toyota 4 Cylinder 22RE Engine that took everyone by surprise.
The engine he designed was a complete replica of the real thing and proved to be 100% functional.
What was more shocking about his 3D printed engine was that it required about 80 different components, over 34 hours of 3D printing and ended up consuming 1Kg worth of PLA filament.
To say the least, this 35% scaled down engine was outright strenuous and intricate for Harrell to fabricate and yet he did it.
One would think that after going through such a ‘gruesome’ experience the first time Eric would give 3D printing technology a little break but that’s just not the case. Eric! Harrell has come up with a new 3D printed design: the Five Speed Transmission for Toyota 22RE Engine. If you were thinking the Toyota 4 Cylinder 22RE Engine was complex to fabricate – think again.
According to Harrell, the Five Speed Transmission for Toyota 22RE Engine is far more complex to 3D print and the complexity increases when it comes to assembling the 3D printed parts together into a complete working design.
Apparently, 3D printing all the components and parts that would make up the transmission took about 48 hours; over 10 hours more than what it took him to 3D print parts for the 4 Cylinder Toyota 22RE Engine. The design for the transmission was done using SolidWorks Software and he used calipers to take all the required dimensions for his design.
Similar to the engine, the transmission is an exact replica of the real thing; only that it had to be scaled down to make it possible for him to print out the parts using his RepRap 3D Printer. He explains that the only parts which have not been 3D printed are the bearings, fasteners and a 3mm rod. With this clearly not being one of those simple and fun things to try out with your 3D printer during the weekend because of the level of commitment needed, it’s easy to ask what really was the motivation for this guy?
Harrell is quick to explain that it is the unexpected success of his earlier upload of the 4 Cylinder 22RE Toyota Engine that fuelled his desire to follow through with designing the five speed transmission.
He didn’t anticipate that a lot of people would show interest in his initial design for the 22RE Toyota Engine. However, the response was so good that he couldn’t help but come up with the five speed transmission. He says if all goes well, his next design is going to be the transfer case.
Designing the 5 Speed Transmission
Just like his first project, Eric designed the 5 speed transmission in such a way that all the parts are exact replicas of the real transmission you are going to find in your car. The miniature parts are only because he needed to scale down the design to make it possible for printing through his RepRap Prusa.
All the files that are going to help you design the transmission on your own have already been uploaded on Thingiverse. You will also find an excel spreadsheet with a full list of all the parts that need to be 3D printed.
Harrell says he did not see the point of producing a tutorial because there are far too many parts and steps involved for him to effectively explain what needs to be done through assembly diagrams on a tutorial. For this reason, any person who is trying out this project would need to determine for themselves which holes need drilling, reaming or taping.
One must keep in mind though that a number of screws, bearings and a rod will be required. These can be ordered from online stores such as Amazon. A brim will also be needed by most parts to prevent any curling.
Once the transmission has been fully designed, Eric says it can be mated with the 4 Cylinder Toyota 22RE Engine to form a fully-functional system.
From the look of things, it won’t be long before schools start using Erics designs to teach students how a cars engine and transmission work together. Harrell mentions that his designs will particularly help people who are just beginning their career in mechanics to be even better in what they do. Knowing how the engine or transmission works gives one a deeper understanding of how individual parts work together to support the overall functionality of the car.
Looking at it from an even wider scope, what Eric has done is show the rest of the world just how useful 3D printing can be in the future. Think about this, what would happen if we used a stronger material than PLA and a printer that could 3D print the individual parts of the engine or transmission in their exact dimensions? Well, Eric goes on to affirm that the engine or transmission made, would be able to fully function in a real car.
Despite the fact that things like this may not be cost effective yet, people can already start printing parts of let’s say RC Cars right from their garage. Purchasing damaged parts from the hobby store will no longer be necessary as long as you have a 3D printer in your garage that could easily enable you pop-out a New Tyre for Your R/C Car without spending a dime.
If you’re at all sceptical of this, the owner of 3D Print HQ (Jason King) is currently designing a Fully Configurable Off Road Tyre to fit any RC car, which he is prototyping in NinjaFlex rubber. So there’s no denying it, the future looks amazing thanks to 3D printing technology and talented designers like Eric.
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