This paper presents a novel method for the design synthesis of a multi-speed machine tool gear drive using a multi-parameter optimization technique. The method eliminates any complex and tedious algebraic analysis normally required in gear train designs. It requires only the formulation of mesh and speed ratio equations from the geometrical arrangement of the gear drive and the selection of a suitable optimization criterion and constraints. To illustrate the method, the design synthesis of a nine-speed machine tool gear drive is carried out using optimization strategy. The formulation of the optimization criterion is based on (a) minimizing the largest size gears and (b) minimizing the overall size of the gear drive. The method of complex optimization technique is utilized for the design and the optimum values of the gear diameters and the lowest gear ratio Sop are calculated and found to correlate well with those obtained using algebraic methods.

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