strain wave gear (RL-S) vs. cycloid gear (RL-C)

The strain wave gear is available as a product in the size RL-S-17 and RL-S-20. RL-S-30 is a prototype and still in development.

The cyclo gear can be an alternative in future and is not available as a product yet. The sizes 17 and 20 are currently in development.

Both types of gears contain a coaxial in- and output axis (different from RL-D worm gears), they consist of three similar components:

  • An outer (static) toothed ring
  • An inner toothed ring (rigid in the cycloid gear, flexible in the SWG)

  • A drive (an excentric in the case of the cycloid gear, the wave generator in the SWG)



strain wave gear with flexible inner ring                  cycloid gear with excentric ring



more data for download (Catalogue, STEP, drawings)

I want to supply more data for you to be downloaded, especially about our RL-DC “standard arms”. Our standard arms include all joints, motors, connections (=c-shaped metal sheets), cables and chains. Attached our NEW catalogue (now also available in ENG), STEP data for our 8 standard configurations and also the related drawings with part lists. We have “small arms” (up to 1 kg, based on our joints RL-D-30 and RL-D-20) as 4 or 5 DOF and “big arms” (up to 3 kg, based on our joints RL-D-50, -30 and -20).


Version With motorencoder and Ini switch or “output encoders” (-AE). I will explain the difference in a later entry.


NEW Catalogue 2017-04 in engl.:  EN_robolink_2017_2

STEP data small robots (4 versions): STEP Daten BC klein

DRAWINGS small robots (4 versions): Zeichnungen BC klein

STEP data big robots (4 versions): STEP Daten BC groß

DRAWINGS big robots (4 versions): Zeichnungen BC goß

HMI interview with Martin Raak (product manager)

As the international product manager for RL at igus I have started this blog ~5 years ago and I use it as a platform to share our experiences and NEWS with most current data (download links for STEP data, datasheets and videos in most entries). Please find today an interview statement from me about our latest HMI presentation. This might be the most comfortable way for you to get an impression of our latest developments. In my next entry I will also present our new “roboolink design tool” which is now online!

Find out more on our low cost robotics page, which includes inspiration in the form of application examples.

RL-S strain wave gears now available

At the HMI trade show we released our strain wave gear (RL-S) as a product in addition to our worm gears (RL-D). The smallest version of the strain wave gear (RL-S-17-N11-00-28-020K0) is used for the fifth axis in the standard joint arms RL-D-RBT-5532S-XX and RL-D-RBT-3322S-XX. The RL-S-17 gear comes in two variations, both have a transmission rate of 28:1:

1. suitable for small motors (like NEMA11 stepper motors, holding torque = 0.1 Nm), output torque max. 1 Nm

2. suitable for slightly bigger motors (like NEMA17 stepper motors, holding torque = 0.5 Nm), output torque max. 3 Nm

The biggest available joint is the RL-S-20-N23-00-38-12000 with a transmission rate of 38:1. The maximum output torque is about 5 Nm, depending on speed and usage duration. Also here you are able to choose between two versions:

1. high-end: RL-S-20-N23-00-38-12030 (with PRT-01-20)

2. standard: RL-S-20-N23-00-38-12000 (with a standard PRT-02-20-AL)

attached are CAD data and the current data sheets: RL-S-STEP+Data

All gears can be purchased with igus stepper motors, initiator kits, encoder kits or customized to be combined with your motor!

robolink DC at HMI – igus factory automation

Hannover show (HMI) was a great succes for igus and robolink department especiallly! New records in numbers everywhere. I will share new informations within the next days and weeks (videos, data sheeets, STEP data, …). Starting today with a video of our igus “factory automation unit” how we showed it on the booth. It shows a real application in our factory in cologne, e-chain parts are placed for automatic assembly with a robolink joint arm (RL-D-RBT-5532S-BC with 5 DOF) plus a drylin linear system for adjustment (rotation).

The 2nd video comes from a neighbour booth, company RUBICON AUTOMATION, they show a belt system plus automation with robolink 5 DOF “smalll arm” (RL-D-RBT-3322S-AC).

igus factory automation for e-chains with robolink

RUBICON booth at HMI show

Page 1 of 3912345...102030...Last »