Some of the really great things about having a HackerSpace, and being a member of it, are that you get access to some really cool tools, like lasers cutters, and thinks that people have brought into the space, like the kit from MakerBeam from their successful KickStarter campaign, as well as the ideas of the members. And having access to great Open Source Hardware ideas like the Nautilus Gears by MishaT (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:27233) can lead to some interesting works in progress.
I took the initial .dxf file included in the Nautilus Gears and expanded it 375% to get something that was about as large as the laser cutter could handle. But that left me to figure out the best spacing for the gears. For that I constructed a small frame using the Aluminium extrusions, along with assorted other parts, that we got as part of the MakerBeam KickStarter campaign, which allowed me to easily adjust the spacing to find the best distance between the hubs of the gears. With this I was able to easily move the center points back and forth and to know that they would not move otherwise. I had also needed to make a small part on the laser to attach the gears but that was easy using a few small scraps.
Some of the ideas that were discussed with various members also expanded the potential of the original design and gave me more ideas on where to look at making the original gears even more assume. The original gears were really interesting to begin with but expanding them makes them even better. It is really interesting to watch as they rotate.
This test rig has allowed me to try a few things and to ensure that further progress will indeed work. And it is all possible by being a member of a HackerSpace and having access to the things within it.
Now to make it even better.