Setting up a rack and pinion mate in solidworks

SolidWorks diverse assembly capabilities allow for simulation of various kinds of motion. One particular useful motion is that of a rack and pinion; it aims at converting rotary to linear motion and vice versa.

Inside SolidWorks assembly, users can easily set up this mate. Let’s go through how you can easily insert the rack and pinion mate on components from the content library.

Begin by creating a new assembly inside SolidWorks.
setting-up-a-rack-and-pinion-mate
Be sure to enable the SolidWorks toolbox add-in in the add-ins folder.

setting-up-a-rack-and-pinion-mate
Go to SolidWorks design library panel and select Toolbox. Next, click on add in now.

setting-up-a-rack-and-pinion-mate

Move to the ANSI inch folder and click on power transmission.

setting-up-a-rack-and-pinion-mate

Click on gears and select a spur gear and drop it on the SolidWorks graphics area. Next, we can adjust the parameters for the gear to suit our design. We can go with any dimensions on the spur gear.

setting-up-a-rack-and-pinion-mate

setting-up-a-rack-and-pinion-mate

Let’s insert the rack. Make sure that the Number of teeth, pressure angle, and the diametral pitch is kept same as that of the spur gear.

Create a circular sketch on which to constrain the spur gear. Once this is done, we can constrain the rack and spur gears on the same plane.

We can then move the gears to mesh as shown and subsequently set a mate distance constraints.

setting-up-a-rack-and-pinion-mate

We are now ready to set the rack and pinion mate. Go to Mate-> Mechanical mates and select rack and pinion. We are at the Property Manager where we are required to define the rack and pinion.

setting-up-a-rack-and-pinion-mate

setting-up-a-rack-and-pinion-mate

The rack and pinion mate is definied. Try rotating the pinion gear see how the rack translates.

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