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Can you use the stepper motors out of small printers for cnc ? Answered


3 Replies

mattgilbert (author)2009-10-26

Many printers, copiers, and definitely scanners have stepper motors, though psymansays is kinda right, sometimes they are DC instead. I've found there's sometimes a mix of both, especially in "all-in-one" type devices. I've never seen a scanner that didn't have a stepper motor though.

I'm working on a McWire CNC, and I tried to use steppers from an old printer. They apparently aren't strong enough, though I haven't given up yet. If the stepper is geared down I may have better luck, and a laserjet fuser I found had a very highly geared down stepper motor. I'll try that next and keep an eye out for more trash laserjet printers.

So, my answer to your question is: maybe. Power is the big issue, and personally I'm thinking torque can compensate if you can keep any gearing-down mechanisms in tact. The older the printer/copier/scanner/electric typewriter that you find, the more likely it is to have big motors that may work for CNC.

Good luck!

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psymansays (author)2009-03-04

Most printers use DC motors with optical encoders, rather than more expensive stepper motors. Anyway, CNC often require a lot of force to hold your router in place, so strong steppers are best.

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11010010110 (author)2009-03-04

probably yep. you need to make or find a controller thatl drive the motor

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