3D printing! Isn’t that simply amazing? It has opened up so many possibilities that we are still in awe! If you are into 3D design, we are sure you know the importance of stepper motors.
Without stepper motors, we wouldn’t be appreciating 3D printers as much as we do because they wouldn’t have the same charm. Stepper motors are nothing but electric motors that have a series of electromagnetic coils. These coils are activated when you want to spin the motor. The motors are responsible for accuracy in terms of degrees. We agree that these are quite technical and maybe even hard to grasp, which is why we decided to write this article down. We shall help you choose the best stepper motor for 3D printer after discussing the parameters that you must keep in mind. Let’s begin.
How to choose stepper motor for 3D printer?
The right option for you depends on the torque you require. This is because these motors are divided based on their torque ratings. There are basically 3 types of stepper motors: pancake, standard, and high torque. Now, unless you know the torque requirements of your particular 3D printer, you will not be able to make a choice. Also, picking the wrong one will cost you dearly because it won’t work at all. Here’s a brief about each to make things easy for you:
- Pancake stepper motor: This is ideal for lightweight or low torque applications. It is small in size and simple with 20-25N*cm torque rating. It is best used for direct-drive extruders with the biggest advantage being its price and compact design.
- Standard stepper motor: As the name implies, this is the standard option with 40-45N*cm torque rating. It is the most popular option and works with a majority of 3D printers. It is larger than a pancake stepper motor and has a wide range of applications.
- High torque stepper motor: These are the largest and most powerful with 50-56N*cm torque rating. They can only be used in a fixed position because they are large. They work best for CNC work and not much with 3D printing. So, you can essentially ignore these.
Once you determine the type of motor you want based on the torque, you can choose the best based on rated current, inductance, resistance, rated voltage, etc.
Best Stepper Motor for 3D Printer
Let’s quickly take a look at our top picks now!
1. Kysan 1124090 NEMA 17 Stepper Motor
With a holding torque of 54N*cm or 5.5.kg-cm, the Kysan stepper motor is among the top models today. Here’s a peek at its features:
- It has a step angle of 1.8 degrees.
- It is a standard stepper motor and is one of the most popular motors used in 3D printing.
- It works well at 12 volts.
- It is a strong and durable motor, allowing you to work without hindrances.
- It does not come with issues such as overheating, making it even more attractive.
2. Zyltech Nema 17 Stepper Motor
Another standard stepper motor, this one has more applications than the prior. It is also a best seller with high efficiency and high torque. Here’s more about it:
- It has a D shaft for better coupler connection.
- It has a full metal body.
- It has applications in 3D printing as well as CNC, making it quite versatile.
- The holding torque is 59N*cm.
- The rated voltage is 3.06 V.
- Its phase resistance 1.8 Ohms.
- With a step angle of 1.8 degrees and step accuracy of 5%, we think it is quite a catch, especially at its price.
3. Usongshine 38mm 4 Lead Nema 17 Stepper Motor
It has a steel body with low self-inductance reactance and high responsiveness. It has been constructed to avoid system errors and to ensure high efficiency. This is why we think it is one of the best options out there. We have listed its features down here for you:
- One of its USPs is that it makes little to no noise. So, you can work peacefully without getting a headache.
- The package comes with a stepper motor and 4pins cables.
- It promises uniform speed with no lost step.
- It is a stable stepper motor with no jamming issues.
- It has a motor coil and a silicon steel rotor.
- You can use it not just for 3D printing but also for medical equipment, stage lighting, textile machinery, laser engraving, placement machine, automation equipment, and more.
- Remember, though, that you should connect this stepper motor to a chopper driver or constant current. If you connect it directly, it will get damaged. We request you to go through all such stipulations before you make a purchase so that you are safe from hazards and problems.
4. STEPPERONLINE – Nema 17 Stepper Motor
This stepper motor for 3D printers is an Amazon’s Choice product! It comes with a 1-meter cable and connector, and multiple features such as the following:
- It promises high torque without producing too much noise. The holding torque is around 1.50 Ncm.
- Its stepper angle is 1.8 degrees.
- It has a 1m pin connector.
- The phase resistance you can expect is around 2.3 Ohms.
- It delivers high efficiency.
- It can act as the extruder without making you worry about skipping.
5. Nema 17 Stepper Motor – DROK Store
This is another Amazon’s Choice product with high torque and low noise. It has many competing features that you will appreciate. Let’s take a look at a few:
- It is made up of high quality steel.
- It has low self-inductance reactance and is very responsive.
- The holding torque is 0.46 Nm.
- The motor kit has been made through German craftsmanship. It has a rotor rubber that reduces noise significantly.
- The stepper angle is 1.8 degrees.
- The size of the motor frame is 42 x 42 mm.
- You can use the motor for various purposes besides 3D printing. It has applications in automation equipment, placement machine, medical equipment, etc.
To ensure that you do not have any confusion or concerns, we have come up with a list of FAQs and their answers.
How do I choose a stepper motor?
Since there are many options, we advise you to choose based on your need. Standard stepper motors are the best for 3D printing but you can also consider pancake motors for basic needs and small printers.
Do printers have stepper motors?
Yes, they do. Printers, in fact, have a number of stepper motors. Each motor has 4-8 connecting wires.
How much torque does a 3D printer stepper motor need?
40-45 Ncm is the usual requirement because it covers many applications.
What type of stepper motor is used on a small 3D printer?
Nema 17 is the standard stepper motor for all 3D printers, big and small.
Is a stepper motor AC or DC?
Stepper motors are AC motors. However, their inputs can be DC as well.
What are the other applications of stepper motors?
Besides 3D printing, here’s what stepper motors can be used for:
- CNC milling machines
- Gaming machines
- Medical imaging
- Textile machines
- Printing press
- Small robotics
We hope this article works as an end-to-end guide for you and enables you to make the right choice. If you have any more questions or concerns regarding the same, please feel free to comment. We are always happy to help.