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Are there any other parts, in your view, that could be improved in a similar fashion? It doesn't look like there was a radical difference between the driving rings, but clearly a relatively small change has made a significant improvement to it.
Up until the late nineties, Technic sets were all even studs wide and used Technic Bricks. With the introduction of Technic Beams every set that uses them are odd studs wide.
Other pieces have moved from even dimensions; the Differential is now three studs wide as is the Universal Joint. Both were initially four studs wide.
Now the Driving Ring is three studs long up from two, and I guess that there will be more use of the Beam Frames in simpler but sturdier gear boxes.
I'm wondering if a Cross Axle with End Stop can be used for the Gear Wheel so that an additional driving ring can access both side of the gear wheel. Maybe there will be insufficient support.