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Planet carriers optimised through additive manufacturing

In this R&D project at ZPP/ZHAW, a planet carrier for a planetary gearbox was optimized by additive manufacturing. An example that excellently demonstrates the "added value" of AM (L-PBF). With the result of reducing components, assembly time, inertia forces and weight.

In a R&D project at ZPP/ZHAW, a planet carrier for a planetary gearbox was optimised through topology optimisation and consistent use of the design rules for additive manufacturing (DfAM) and manufactured additively using laser powder bed fusion. The entire planet carrier was designed as a hybrid component. The complex part, the actual planet carrier with the flexpins for holding the planet wheels, was additively built on the shaft body, which was easy to machine. Subsequently, the final machining was carried out on a turning-milling centre.


The results are striking:  

  • Increased load capacity of the gearing
  • Reduction in the number of parts, from 27 to 1
  • Reduction in assembly time
  • Reduction of mass and inertia
  • Critical interface of sleeve and pin is no longer present


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