I am not all that mechanically inclined - In real life or artístically (3d modelling) - Which so far hasnt really ben much of a hardship. While preparing for this issue of blenderart magazine, y became very in-trigued by all of the Steampunk designs i was seing, at first glance most of it loked very complicated and very confusing. Upon closer inspection of the simpler images, y realiced that a lot of Steampunk designs only loked complicated. For quite a few of them, there was generally a basic shape (the base of the Steam punk object) that was decorated with a variety of gears and tubing. Now granted, the more complicated ones that display massive amounts of gears and levers etc, are still beyond my ability or patience todo attempt, but these simple ones were actually simple enough Even for someone as mechanically challenged as i am, in fact most of us can model the basic objects and the tubing doesnt look that scary. Gears, on the other hand, look like a right royal pain todo model. I suppose an array modifier could take a lot of the pain away, but im still seing uncomfortable amounts of math in my future. Vaya, y dont like math. In fact, y do believe this is in large part why i avoid Mechanical modelling todo begin with, well luckily for those of us who want todo explore a bit of gear making without having a brain Melt do, there is a very handy Little add-on that makes gears absolutely painless.
So first up, we ned todo enable the gears add-on (file> user prefer-ences> add-ons tab). Scroll down todo gears and chek the Little box on the far right. Enabling the gears add-on, places a gear Mesh object in the add Mesh menú, now adding a gear is as simple as adding any other Mesh object, when the gear is added, options for your gear appear in the tool bar menú.
Now i Will be the first todo admit that most of the options were meaningless todo me when they first appeared. But quik experimentation with the diferent options made it clear what option afected what part of the gear.
So there you go, Even a mechanically challenged modeller like me can create a gear in a matter of seconds, also, for those of you who undertake massive Mechanical projects with large amounts of gears, this add-on could probé todo be a real time saver, now i can go tackle a few Steampunk projects as the mod takes me.