ChainringGen is an OpenSCAD script I wrote that can generate a bike chainring with any specifications you like.

You can download ChainringGen here: https://github.com/nothinglabs/chainringgen

You can control parameters like bolt-circle-diameter (BCD), number of bolt holes, number of teeth and other stuff.

I primarily created ChainringGen because I thought designing / milling my own 110 BCD 39 tooth chainring would be the most practical and economic way to obtain one.

I also wanted to explore ways I could get from an OpenSCAD design to an object created on my CNC mill.  It’s a bit trickier than just exporting an STL file.

The video above includes instructions on how to use ChainringGen in conjunction with other open-source tools to actually make a chainring out of 7075 aluminum using an inexpensive CNC mill.

Stuff I used:

Zen Toolworks – mill

OpenSCAD – design

MakerCAM – toolpathing

Universal Gcode Sender – Gcode sender!

GRBL – CNC controller

MakerCam is both quite useful – but also limited.  Instead of dealing with 3d objects directly – it converts 2d paths / areas into (3d) milling operations that you define manually.  It also likes niceties like being able to save your work.

I’ll say that compared to 3d printing – the open-source toolpathing options for CNC milling seem immature.  I couldn’t find any “full 3d” options that were stable / usable.

If you’re getting into milling – I’d definitely suggest checking out these resources in addition:

Autodesk Fusion 360 – free for students / hobbyists (commercial) CAD software with built-in mill toolpathing

TinyG – Inexpensive, arm-based CNC controller with built-in motor drivers

ChillPeppr – Web-based CNC control software with lots of cool stuff

PyCAM – Open source 3-axis toolpath generator (interesting – but seems abandoned / buggy)

 

Be sure to check out my other bike-related projects:

3d printed friction shifter

3d printed SRAM TT500 friction conversion

 

 

 

6 thoughts on “ChainringGen / making a chainring with open source software

  1. I tried to use the script but it tells me that there is a parser error in line 100?

    Please can you advise?

    1. Sorry for slow response. Can you tell me what version of OpenSCAD you are using?

  2. Interesting chainring project. I want to build a 110 BCD to 130 BCD adapter to make a particular crank compatible with a Gates Carbon Drive belt ring. Ever see anything like that?

    1. I haven’t – but I’ve thought about making a 3d printed crank out of nylon – or something else tough… ended up not pursuing – at least partially out of concerns about tensioning.

  3. Thank you for providing this. I’m going to have a go a making a 28T 94mm BCD 5-bolt chainring to get the right gearing for my 1×9 mountain bike. I can’t get anything locally in New Zealand for my bike in that size. How is your chainring after a few months use? Have you ever considered making oval or non-round chainrings?

    1. Haven’t tried making any oval chainrings myself – but I recall a while ago another user mentioning they modified the script to do so with some success.

      Chainring works fine – but it’s not on my make bike – so maybe only 100 miles or so on it. 7075 aluminum is commonly used for chainring – so no reason to think it’ll have wear issues.

      -Rich

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