Design of planetary gear sets is more involved than the design of their counter-shaft counterparts as it involves simultaneous design of a set of internal and external gear meshes while complying with a large number of systems and gear mesh related requirements for assembly, durability, noise, and efficiency. A manual iterative design process often results in suboptimal designs that fail to meet all these requirements simultaneously. In this paper, a methodology for an automated design search of single and double-planet planetary gear sets is proposed. With the input of a number of system-level constraints associated with the spacing and phasing of the planets, and acceptable ranges of basic geometric design parameters, this methodology defines a large design space in that a large number of geometric design concepts are identified and checked for any interferences. The external and internal meshes of these concepts are evaluated by using computationally efficient loaded gear tooth contact analysis model to predict their performance metrics such as transmission error amplitudes and contact and root stresses. They are then rank-ordered based on their performance metrics to identify balanced planetary gear set designs meeting all requirements equally well. At the end, results of an example design search were presented to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed methodology in defining a balanced solution that is acceptable in terms of all of its requirements.

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