Stepper motors are DC motors that move in discrete steps. They have multiple coils that are organized in groups called “phases”. By energizing each phase in sequence, the motor will rotate, one step at a time.
With a computer controlled stepping you can achieve very precise positioning and/or speed control. For this reason, stepper motors are the motor of choice for many precision motion control applications.
Stepper motors come in many different sizes and styles and electrical characteristics. This guide details what you need to know to pick the right motor for the job.
What are stepper motors good for?
Positioning – Since steppers move in precise repeatable steps, they excel in applications requiring precise positioning such as 3D printers, CNC, Camera platforms and X,Y Plotters. Some disk drives also use stepper motors to position the read/write head.
Speed Control – Precise increments of movement also allow for excellent control of rotational speed for process automation and robotics.
Low Speed Torque – Normal DC motors don’t have very much torque at low speeds. A Stepper motor has maximum torque at low speeds, so they are a good choice for applications requiring low speed with high precision.
What are their limitations?
Low Efficiency – Unlike DC motors, stepper motor current consumption is independent of load. They draw the most current when they are doing no work at all. Because of this, they tend to run hot.
Limited High Speed Torque – In general, stepper motors have less torque at high speeds than at low speeds. Some steppers are optimized for better high-speed performance, but they need to be paired with an appropriate driver to achieve that performance.
No Feedback – Unlike servo motors, most steppers do not have integral feedback for position. Although great precision can be achieved running ‘open loop’. Limit switches or ‘home’ detectors are typically required for safety and/or to establish a reference position.
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Will this motor work with my shield?
You need to know the motor specifications as well as the controller specification. Once you have that information, check the “Matching the Driver to the Stepper” page to see if they are compatible.
What size motor do I need for my project?
Most motors have torque specifications – usually in inch/ounces or newton/centimeters. One inch/ounce means that the motor can exert a force of one ounce at one inch from the center of the shaft. For example, it could hold up one ounce using a 2″ diameter pulley.
When calculating the torque required for your project, be sure to allow extra torque required for acceleration and to overcome friction. It takes more torque to lift a mass from a dead stop than it does to simply hold it up.
If your project requires a lot of torque and not much speed, consider a geared stepper.
Will this power supply work with my motor?
First make sure it does not exceed the voltage rating for the motor or the controller.* You can usually run a motor at a lower voltage, although you will get less torque.
Next, check the current rating. Most stepping modes energize two phases at a time, so the current rating should be at least twice the current per phase for your motor.
Established in 2007, Leader Microelectronics (Huizhou) Co., Ltd. is an international enterprise integrating R & D, production and sales. We mainly produce flat motor, linear motor, brushless motor, coreless motor, SMD motor, Air-modeling motor, deceleration motor and so on, as well as micro motor in multi-field application.
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Post time: Feb-15-2019