Tag Archives: 3D-Printed Motor

3D printing an Arduino-controlled stepper motor

As a way to help teach others how stepper motors work, this Maker designed one of his own. 

Normal DC motors are fairly easy to use. Connect the propper voltage across the positive and negative leads, and one of these motors should spin. Stepper motors, however, are somewhat more complicated, both in how they are controlled and how they are constructed.


Maker “Proto G” decided to not just learn how to control one of these mechanisms, but actually built one from scratch. To achieve this, he 3D printed a stator (body of the motor) as well as a rotor that he could attach six permanent magnets to. These magnets were then sequnetially pulled by eight electromagnets on the outside, each made out of a nail wrapped with 25 feet of wire. You can see his hand drill wrapping process at around the 1:30 market in the video below.


Control is handled by an Arduino Uno (ATmega328), along with some other electronic components, nicely enclosed in a project box. The motor is turned by energizing the electromagnets in a counterclockwise direction to spin the rotor clockwise, and clockwise to spin in the opposite direction. It is capable of 15-degree full steps, as well as 7.5-degree half steps, accomplished by energizing two pairs of coils at the same time.

As linked toward the end of that video, Proto G has made a version 1.1 version of his motor with a NeoPixel LED ring to show which coils are activated. The results are visually quite interesting, though the video also notes that he’s working on a second version!

Interested? You can check out the entire project on its Instructables page here.

Video: 3D print a fully-rotating four-cyclinder engine model

Maker builds a moving four-cylinder engine with a RepRap 3D printer.

Over the past couple of months, we’ve seen the emergence of 3D-printed vehicles. Most recently, Local Motors demonstrated the future of car manufacturing by printing the main structure of an entire car right on the floor of the 2015 North American International Auto Show. The company extrudes just about everything that it can, both exterior and interior, before plugging in the wiring, suspension and engine. However, that begs the question, how close are we to the day of a 3D-printed motor?


Well, engineer and auto enthusiast Eric Harrell decided to design and replicate a Toyota 22RE four-cylinder engine using a RepRap Prusa 3D printer. In total, the entire build consisted of 80 separate parts and required just about three days to finish. While it may be a bit longer than your typical DIY project, keep in mind that the end result is a fully rotating engine with a working crank, pistons, and valve train — with valves that open and close. Other than some bearings and fasteners, Harrell notes that all the components were 3D-printed.


“It may not be the most exciting engine, but its the only one I had in my garage. Great if you want to learn about engines and how the moving parts in them work. All parts are printed except for a few bearings and fasteners,” Harrell explains.

Intrigued? You can learn all about the project on its Thingiverse page here, and watch the Maker elaborate upon his build below.