GWJ Technology GmbH, based in Braunschweig, Germany, is a leading manufacturer and provider of calculation solutions for mechanical and gear engineering. With its web-based software eAssistant as well as the special software GearEngineer, GWJ supports GaliGear—an interactive learning tool for children.
GaliGear, developed by Daniel Guerand from Lexington, Kentucky, USA, is an electro-mechanical model of the earth, sun, and moon – intended as an interactive learning tool that will encourage kids to explore their creativity and the wonderful world of science and engineering. The goal is simply to show kids how to use their hands to build and create, interpret drawings and assembly instructions, how the various disciplines of engineering work together to make something move and react, and how components such as gears and sensors work, all while having fun doing it! GaliGear is designed to engage kids, give them a sense of accomplishment, and show them that learning is fun and exciting.
GaliGear is powered by a DC motor and can be controlled with a smartphone. The sun contains an array of LED's that are bright and dynamic. Using a patented lighting system, the LED's make the sun appear fluid and alive. The color of the sun will change with the seasons. The earth is tilted at 23 degrees and slowly moves around the sun while the moon circles the earth. Kids can see and understand why the earth has seasons, why we have night and day, why eclipses occur and why the moon has phases. There are many types of gears in GaliGear. This includes cylindrical gears, planetary gear trains or bevel gears. GaliGear shows how to use the many types of gears and geometries to model the motion of the earth and moon around the sun.
To design and optimize these gears, GWJ´s eAssistant and GearEngineer were used. eAssistant is an intelligent, web-based software program for the calculation of shafts, bearings, gears, shaft-hub-connections, and more. It uses internationally accepted standards and guidelines is user-friendly and intuitive, and has plug-ins that are integrated into CAD software. This is great, especially when using a 3D printer for manufacturing the gears based on these digital 3D models.
GearEngineer is an intelligent and powerful tool for the calculation of various gear types. It can calculate and generate the highly accurate 3D geometry of complex gears. Gear Engineer was used to create the spiral bevel gear which set the tilt of the earth in GaliGear.
GaliGear is not a finished product. At the moment, there is one fully functional prototype, but it is being worked on getting GaliGear on the market. Anyone interested can support this project via the Kickstarter platform: kickstarter.com/projects/galigear/galigear