Download this thingThis pair of asymmetric gears really shouldn’t work – but it’s a peculiarity of this particular shape that as one gear’s diameter gets smaller, the other gets correspondingly larger. It’s a particular property of the nautilus shell, which follows the Golden Ratio as it expands.
This object was the brainchild of designer Misha T, and was first made available on Thingiverse on July 24, 2012. You can download it here. Our version, though, was modified by J_Hodgie just a week later. The main innovation was that the connecting bar so that one side of it had a spoke, and the other a hole: this meant you could now print two copies of the same part, rather than having to print two separate parts. You can download the modified version using the link at the top.
What purpose does it serve? None whatsoever. And yet it’s beautiful to look at, and endlessly fascinating to play with. But more significantly, it’s an example of the collaboration between designers that gives rise to ingenious solutions.