Oh yeah! You can totally draw gears in Inkscape… In fact “draw” isn’t even the right term, as you can “render” them using one of Inkscape’s extensions. Here’s a nice post about laser cutting some gears that explains it quite well.

Gear Rendered!

Normally for 3D printing I’d export something like this as a DXF file and extrude it into a 2.5 dimensional object, like I outlined here, but there is another way… by using the Inkscape to OpenSCAD converter! (Here’s a nice blog post about it as well.)

Gear in OpenSCAD

It may not generate code that’s easy to edit, but it’s fast, and seems to do the job, which is often exactly what you want. I’m also quite pleased that Inkscape is becoming such a valuable tool not just for 2D work, but for 3D work as well. I might consider teaching an Inkscape class at Milwaukee Makerspace once we get our classroom up and running.

3D Printed Plastic Gear

2 Responses to “Inkscape to OpenSCAD”

  1. Tim BertramNo Gravatar says:

    I haven’t had to make gears yet for a project but another option for gears is OpenJsCad and then save it directly as an STL. One down side is you don’t have the DXF file which is handier if you want to use the laser cutter.


  2. Ah, nice! I tried using a gears library in OpenSCAD but I could not get it to do what I wanted, so the Inkscape solution seemed like another good option.

    Also, once you have an STL from OpenJsCad you could get a DXF from it like so: http://rasterweb.net/raster/2012/07/16/openscad-to-dxf/

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