Stepper Motors Revisited

In the spirit of Throwback Thursday, we’re also going to look at one of the posts on the blog from last┬áNovember. James, one of our interns, explained exactly what a stepper motor is and how they work. It’s in-depth and incredibly useful.

A 4 phase stepper motor rotating the gear.
A 4-phase stepper motor rotating the gear.

In James’ words: “As a brushless motor, the central shaft of a stepper motor does not physically touch anything in order to rotate. Rather, stepper motors use electromagnets that are concentrically located around the┬ácentral shaft to induce it to rotate. For those of you who might not know, electromagnets work by having current flow through wire that is coiled around a ‘soft’ magnet. This combination produces a magnetic field, inducing the central shaft to rotate so that the teeth of the shaft to line up with the teeth of whichever electromagnet is energized. A lot of stepper motors only have two such electromagnets that are located 90 degrees apart from each other.”


Check out the blog post and get steppin’ to some new projects with motors!

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About Amber Mear

I was the Digilent blog editor, and now I'm a contributor. I love learning about wearables and writing about social issues in STEM. Outside of work, I can be found watching Netflix with my cat, working on an art project, or trying to find new, delicious local foods.

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