Stepper Motors: Its working, Advantages and Disadvantages [Video Included]

A stepper is widely used in electronic circuits and other machines to obtain motion in steps. It is also referred as stepping motor.

How it works?

Like other electrical machines, it has two parts namely the rotor and the stator. The timed sequence pulses are delivered to the stator windings. In response to these pulses, the rotor (shaft) of the motor rotates in precise steps. A stepper motor utilizes an external control system which provides pulse sequence to the machine.

Models/Variants

Reluctance stepper motors: These are the simplest type of motors whose rotor is an electromagnet. Mostly they use a sensor which reads the shaft angle and provides the information to the electronic circuit. Small sized motors don’t use closed loop system.

Permanent magnet steppers: The rotor of such motors are made of permanent magnet. In such motors, the magnetic field stator is reversed so to attract and repel the rotor.

Bipolar stepper motor: It is controlled by H-bridge

Unipolar stepper motor: It is the simple motor which is often used by hobbyists in robotics projects.

Hybrid motor: The rotor hybrid motors have permanent magnets along with toothed rotor. It provides greater efficiency and is commonly used due to its precision.

Practical applications

  1. Telescope adjustment controls
  2. Computer printers
  3. Document scanners
  4. Copiers
  5. Value control in fluid systems

Advantages

  1. Provide precision motor
  2. Are highly reliable, they have no wear or tear

Disadvantages

  1. Motion generates noise
  2. They exhibit resonance while running at lower speed

Stepper motor in action:

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