The closest to answer I've gotten is this video: Wikipedia: Making gears by hand without machines

However, I don't really know if Archimedes and his contemporaries would have the above tools or not. I'd assume his process would be more rudimentary and less refined. More specifically, I'm wondering how the complex set of gears in the Antikythera were made.

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    Isn't sand casting actually quite easy with bronze? Or casting with the other mold materials they used for the bronze statues. Feb 21 at 9:49
  • Wouldn't they need the gears to be accurate and smooth for the antikythera? Perhaps I'm wrong in that assumption.I'm pretty sure die casting is far better for producing small, accurate gears. Feb 21 at 10:15
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    If they needed to be very accurate, they could use clay/plaster casting instead of sand casting or the "lost wax" method they used with statues. And after the piece was produced, hammering, sanding and polishing would make it perfect. Ancient Greeks did very detailed bronze decorations for helmets and little statues with these methods Feb 21 at 10:46
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    Did Archimedes "forge and shape metal gears"? Feb 21 at 15:44
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    It's worth remembering that while they certain made gears, they didn't make a lot of them -- things like the antikythera machine were hardly in mass production! So they almost certainly used the same techniques they used for making jewelry.
    – Mark Olson
    Mar 3 at 12:45


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