Aug. 2, 2014

Instructables user pitrack has designed and 3D printed a Brushless Direct Current (BLDC) motor, and used an Arduino to control the motor. All parts of the motor, excluding magnets, solenoid wrapping wire, and hall effect sensors, were printed with a Makerbot Replicator 2.

The final design consists of 4 distinct parts; the bottom enclosure, rotor, top enclosure, and solenoids.

(a) Bottom enclosure (b) Rotor (c ) Solenoid (d) Assembled motor (e) Top assembly.

The bottom enclosure makes up the bottom cap of the motor. The rotor contains the 8 magnets, 4 used to drive the motor and 4 used to provide position data to the hall effect sensors. The rotor slides onto the bottom enclosure in a journal bearing style.


The top enclosure fits over the rotor and couples with the bottom piece to enclose the motor. The top enclosure contains the 3 hall effect position sensors, as well as triangle cutouts which allow for the solenoids to snap into the enclosure.


The solenoids have triangles placed in their center to allow them to be lined up with the holes in the top enclosure, which themselves are vertically lined up with the rotor magnets.

Pitrack tells that all the parts were printed all at once in clear PLA plastic at 20% infill with a 0.20 mm layer height. But the magnets and hall effect sensors need to be added during the printing process:

Pitrack explains, "The magnets and hall effect sensors were inserted into assembly by designing a correctly sized internal void in the appropriate place, printing to just below the top of the void, pausing the print and inserting the device, and then continuing the print."

After the printing job is complete, the 3D printed pieces can be removed from the Makerbot, and can be fit together. The solenoids require the most post-processing. Each solenoid should be wrapped ~400 times with 26AWG magnet wire.

The instructable is available as a pdf here along with cad files and the program for motor control. Motor control program for arduino is available here on github.

Check out the video below showing the completed working motor.

Posted in 3D Printing Applications

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