Nathan Matthews, by day a web developer in California, has designed and built Delta Tower, Core XY, and Cartesian style 3D printers. While he says he’s currently working on a 2.8W, 245nm laser cutter and etcher, it’s his 3D printed brushless pulse motor that caught our attention.
He says he’s always wanted to build a motor, but it took until recently for him to acquire the tools and skills to make it happen with CAD and 3D printing.
Magnets are often placed on the rotating portion of home-built motors, and while brushless motors are typically 85-90% efficient, DC brush motors are only around 75-80% efficient. The difference in efficiency generally comes down to the total power used by the motor being turned into rotational force, and thereby, less energy is lost as heat.
Brushless DC electric motors are also often referred to as “electronically commutated motors.” They are synchronous motors powered by a DC electric source via an integrated inverter or switching power supply which produces an AC electric signal which in turn drives the motor.
The rotor part of a brushless motor is often what’s known as a permanent magnet synchronous motor, and they may be described as stepper motors, but stepper motor designs tend to be used for operations where they are frequently stopped with the rotor in a defined angular position.