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are stepper motors from electric typewriters good for cnc projects? Answered

I have 3 old electric typewriters i got from work, one I already condensed to a steel rod and a ziplock bag of motors and gears and screws, the other, a wheelmaster 5 is next, I am going to keep the wpt-160 because its sweet. But Back to the question, are these motors generally any good for cnc machines? I think I will have about 7 or 8 stepper motors of different sizes. anybody used these before, I'm not sure of the specs yet.


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11 years ago

 Stepper motors are sized according to Nema standards.  Their torque varies depending directly to their size.  The deciding factor on if you can use them is if they have enough torque, and how big is the machine you are going to build.  Obviously, bigger CNC machines need bigger motors.  I built one that is 48" by 36" and I use Nema 34 stepper that have about 600oz of torque.  A Nema 17 motor may only have 50 oz of torque, and may not be enough to move a machine bigger that about 12 inches.  There are two types of steppers, unipolar and bipolar.  Bipolars are stronger, and that's the type you want to use for your machine.  You can find tutorials online on how to determine if your motors are bipolar.  So to answer your question, yes you can use them if they are strong enough and if they are bipolar.  If the steppers have either 4 or 8 wires, they are definitely bipolar.