This was a computer graphics modeling competition entry. The project had to be completed in one month (or was it extended to two?) and the theme was Incredible Mechanics. I won the competition by default since there were no other entries.
I hoped to make a steampunk style machine.
Here is how I made the gears and other information about it.
These are some experiments with making gears. I made the prototype machine with them as well as a huge machine for fun. The large one is made of copies of the prototype.
There are several styles of gears and they are more detailed than is apparent in the finish picture.
I began with gear profiles from an online gear generator meant for wooden gears. It made pictures like this which I used as a guide.
I made rings of teeth and disks to combine for different styles. The picture below shows how the gears were made using editing of the wireframe, Boolean subraction, bump mapping, and grouping. When I finished a gear I made a group of all the separate objects so they would move together as a single gear but each part could still be manipulated.
The wire frame shows what the parts really look like.
Here are some detail views: