The teeth of ordinary spur and helical gears are generated by a (virtual) rack provided with planar generating surfaces. The resulting tooth surface shapes are a circle-involute cylinder in the case of spur gears, and a circle-involute helicoid for helical gears. Advantages associated with involute geometry are well known. Beveloid gears are often regarded as a generalization of involute cylindrical gears involving one additional degree-of-freedom, in that the midplane of their (virtual) generating rack is inclined with respect to the axis of the gear being generated. A peculiarity of their generation process is that the motion of the generating planar surface, seen from the fixed space, is a rectilinear translation (while the gear blank is rotated about a fixed axis); the component of such translation that is orthogonal to the generating plane is the one that ultimately dictates the shape of the generated, envelope surface. Starting from this basic fact, we set out to revisit this type of generation-by-envelope process and to profitably use it to explore peculiar design layouts, in particular for the case of motion transmission between skew axes (and intersecting axes as a special case). Analytical derivations demonstrate the possibility of involute helicoid profiles (beveloids) transmitting motion between skew axes through line contact and, perhaps more importantly, they lead to the derivation of designs featuring insensitivity of the transmission ratio to all misalignments within relatively large limits. The theoretical developments are confirmed by various numerical examples.

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