Whether you build motors for business, competition, or fun, you probably know that each motor you build must be configured with the specs designed for the task it will perform. While at first this may take some trial and error, eventually, you can design a motor that works exactly the way you need it to. To reduce the amount of trial and error, and consequently the cost of your builds, it is a good idea to know the basics of motor configuration. When you are ready to choose your options, you will understand what each one will do for your finished product.
Choosing Your Motor
Your first step is to choose the style of motor you will start with, as this sets the stage for the various options you can attach. For the most part, you will be choosing between a linear, stepper, brush, or brushless servo motor. Most people choose to go with the brushless motor because it doesn’t have a point of electromechanical contact that can wear out, causing it to have little need for maintenance. Also, despite the fact that many brushless motors might use servo control systems, which use radio signals, it is not prone to interference, either from electromagnetic or radio frequencies. This makes it great in sensitive conditions when you need to use radio servo controls but can’t afford to have your device act up in an explosive situation.
Selecting Your Housing
Normally, you can get many of your motor options in a variety of housing materials. For the most part though, people tend to choose between housings in plastic, metal, or brass. Steel housings are heavier and most costly, but they will be able to take on a heavier load. However, if they are damaged, the parts are more difficult to replace. Brass housings are commonly used because even when paired with steel or plastic, the softness of the brass will take on most of the damage, leaving you with only one part to replace. When plastic is used, it is often for devices that will have relatively light loads, as are often found in robotics. It is fairly durable, but less flexible than brass, so it will crack under pressure. Again, your choice all depends on the task the device is being designed to do.
Determining Technical Configurations
If you chose a brushless motor with servo controls,you should be able to choose between a few different technical configurations. For these choices, you’ll need to do a little math and understand the physics behind what you are trying to accomplish. You’ll have the ability to choose how much torque your motor will have and which windings it should come with. This will regulate how much energy you’ll need to get the desired level of torque for the task. You’ll also be able to choose the type of seals, shafts, gearbox and mounting plate you want, and whether or not your device will need a brake.