A stepper motor acts as a brushless DC motor dividing a full rotation into an equal number of steps is an electromagnetic device. It converts a train of digital pulses into a precisely defined mechanical shaft position. In simple words, it converts electrical energy into mechanical energy.
It has multiple numbers of electromagnets surrounded in a central gear-shaped piece of iron which are then energized by an external microcontroller. Using the theory of operation for magnets, when a pulse is provided, it makes the motor shaft a precise distance. Then the electromagnets produce a circle (one complete revolution) which is divided into groups called as a phase.
So, to form a uniform pattern of arrangement, the electromagnets of each group are interconnected with the other group’s electromagnets. This is how the stepper motor works.
Stepper motors are well designed to give smooth application over slow speeds, micro-stepping a stepper motor is also another option to provide better results when it comes to achieving smoother outcomes from machines.
Micro-stepping the stepper motor means breaking down the rotational steps of the motor into micro steps so that the working efficiency of the motor is enhanced.
Types of the stepper motor.
There are mainly three types of a stepper motor, which are:-
- Permanent magnet motors use a permanent magnet in the rotor which then operates on the attraction and repulsion between the permanent rotor magnet and the stator electromagnets.
- Variable reluctance stepper motors consist of a plain iron rotor which operates on the principle of minimum magnetic reluctance that arises with minimum gap. So, the stator magnetic poles attract the rotor point.
- Hybrid synchronous stepper motors syntheses of a permanent magnet and variable reluctance types in order to maximize the power in small size.
Advantages of a stepper motor
- It is low in cost.
- It possesses high reliability.
- It provides high torque even at lower speeds.
- It is very simple to construct and require low maintenance.
- It will work in any environment.
- It has an excellent chance to be used in robotics on a large scale.
- It shows an excellent response to starting and stopping.
- It is used in linear and optics equipment such as linear actuators, linear stages, rotation stages, goniometers and mirror mounts.
- It is mostly used in hard disk drives, scanners usually used in medicals for x-ray, image scanners, and computer and 3D printers.
- It is used in lenses which are operated by photographers for focus and zoom purpose.
- It is used in toys.
This brushless DC motor is a digital input-output device. It uses digital pulse as control signals in place of AC analog. Since DC is more efficient than AC in electronics, the motor is highly preferable, and it works in every kind of environment. Even you can use a stepper motor by referring its working principle if you are interested in robotics.
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