Creating a Gear in Sketchup


I am new to Sketch up, I am looking for a gear plug in, is it still available? Thanks.

How to make a gear for toothed belt

Maybe this one? (note the warnings about 3D printing, though).


Thank you, that may be an option.


I had good luck with Doug Herrmann’s plugin (gear.3.rb). I’m not sure where you can download it, so I took the liberty of adding it here: Gear3 (it adds itself to the Draw menu option)

I’ve used it to successfully 3D print complete involute gear trains that work very well:

Accessing preferences after opening sketchup

That seems ideal, as I need to 3d print some odd gear sizes for a locomotive model. Thanks for your trouble.


I’m not sure if it would be applicable to your project, but the output from the Gear3 plugin is perfect for input to the [Spirix][1] surface module. Just name the created group and you can use it to create a helical involute gear:

BTW, the above gear contains 16,526 entities. In general, with 3D printing, you will find that you will need far more polygons than necessary for visual presentations. The vendor I use has a limit of 64MB for the file-size and 1,000,000 for the polygon limit.


I just need basic gears thanks, I have downloaded the plug in, but how do I add this to the draw menu option?



The plugin (as is) only works in SketchUp 8. I’ve modified it to work with SketchUp 2013 and add itself to the Plugins menu option (the new one can now be downloaded from the same site). Depending on the release you are using, simply drop the file in the Plugins folder and re-launch SketchUp to load the new addition.

Much better instructions can be found here:

I’ll be upgrading SketchUp on my other computer, but it would be nice to know if this works in 2015 as well.


I’ve now tested the new version of Gear3 with SketchUp 2015 (Make) … it loads itself under the Extensions menu option and seems to work as it should.


Thanks again, I’m using new version of Sketchup, so I’ll let you know if it works for me.


More SU-related gear stuff. @jimhami42, I would like to add a link to your version of Gear3 to the Sage. OK?


It’s okay with me (and I assume it’s okay with Doug Herrmann as well). About a year ago, I needed some gears and wrote some code that created the involute curves and then piece-mealed it all together to get a pretty decent gear train. Then I found Doug’s plugin that did everything all at once. Doh!

I used his plugin to design this prototype gear train for my project:

I have a video that shows the results:


Hi again. How do I get the new version of Gear3? If I can obtain it it should suffice for my needs.

The gear train is nice work, and thanks again for all your help.


I updated Doug Herrmann’s plugin to load properly in SketchUp 2015 and replaced the previous one with the same name (in hindsight, maybe I should have renamed it gear.3a.rb or some-such. Oh well). The new version can be found at:

I’d be curious to know if this works for others. I found it really handy for making gears that are suitable for 3D printing.


I have put gear3arb into plugins folder but nothing shows in Sketchup. Any ideas if I’m doing something wrong?


Try closing SU and then re-open it…


Thank you, sorted now!


I’ve re-worked Doug Herrmann’s plugin to simplify it while trying to improve its usability for 3D printing. Aside from de-classing everything and renaming some functions to make everything local, I’ve added an input that allows you to specify the step angle for the involute calculations. This gives you the flexibility of creating a gear for viewing pleasure or adding more points for 3D printability. Since 99% of the work is Doug Herrmann’s, I’ve named this DHGear4 in recognition of his creative work.



Thanks for the update.

The way things are going, update-wise, shouldn’t a plugin like this gear one have its own site page? Then people go to one page, which can include all sorts of plugin use info besides just a place to download a file. It allows for growth and change.

The gear plugins have come a long way since the first gear plugin for SU. I beta tested that first plugin. The developer though his target market would be engineers wanting preliminary SU models that would be ultimately refined for production by a machinist not knowing an artist could use the results as a basis to create an interesting-looking convolute gear for a wooden clock. This 3D printing stuff is a game changer.

OK if I also add your gear train render on my site? I can link it to your You Tube video.


I’ve added a landing page for the DHGear4 plugin as a place to provide instructions, etc. I don’t mind the link to the YouTube video, but it’s mostly out-of-focus (Steven Spielberg I’m not).

I dragged out my gears and made a little better quality video: