What is Hybrid Stepper Motor

A hybrid stepper motor is a stepper motor that contains features of both a permanent magnet stepper motor and a variable reluctance stepper motor.

What is Hybrid Stepper Motor

"Hybrid stepper motors offer the perfect blend of precision and power, to drive innovation in automation"

Ever wondered how 3D printers, robots, and other cool gadgets move so precisely? The secret lies in a special kind of motor called hybrid stepper motor. Hybrid stepper motors are like the driving force of motion control, seamless operation of CNC machines, 3D printers, robotic arms, and more with precise movements. 

In this blog, we will explore the magic behind the hybrid stepper motor. We will cover an introduction to hybrid stepper motor, the construction of hybrid stepper motor, working of hybrid stepper motor, and applications of hybrid stepper motor.

What is Hybrid Stepper Motor?

A hybrid stepper motor is a stepper motor that contains features of both a permanent magnet stepper motor and a variable reluctance stepper motor. Its name is derived from its innovative design and integrating features of both permanent magnet and variable reluctance stepper motors. These stepper motors are known for their precision in positioning and high level of accuracy. 

Typically, hybrid stepper motors have a 1.8-degree step angle which is equivalent to 200 steps per revolution. It provides excellent torque, speed, and efficiency to these motors as compared to other stepper motors. It operates in both open and closed-loop systems. Its design allows for precise control over the steps and makes it a perfect solution for applications that require accurate positioning and movements. 

Watch a visual representation of the basics of the hybrid stepper in the video posted by "The Engineering Mindset" 

Additionally, these motors have a compact size and multiple rotor stack which increases the torque and compatibility of the motor with various drive electronics. They also offer sustainable holding torque which ensures stable positioning even in stationary conditions. 

Controlling these motors is simple as they require a simple pulse and direction signal which results in seamless integration into the drive system. Furthermore, these stepper motors come in a wide range of frame sizes.

Commonly used hybrid stepper motors are Nema 14 stepper motor, Nema 17 stepper motor, Nema 23 stepper motor, and Nema 24 stepper motor. We can also customize these stepper motors to meet torque and size as per the application. 

Applications of Hybrid Stepper Motor

Hybrid stepper motors offer precise control, high torque, and versatility in their operation. These features make them a preferred choice for a wide range of applications across various industries.

Applications of Hybrid Stepper Motor

Here are some common applications of hybrid stepper motors

  • CNC Machines

Hybrid stepper motors are widely used in CNC machines for precise control during the cutting. They enable accurate movement of the X, Y, and Z axes for the milling, drilling, and cutting process. 

Mechtex Nema 17 stepper motor also offers precise control and accurate movement to CNC machines. 

  • Robotics

Hybrid stepper motors are used in robotics for controlling the robotic arm, gripper, and other components. They offer the necessary precision and reliability required for tasks such as assembly, material handling, pick and place, and many more.

  • Medical Devices

Hybrid stepper motors are used in various medical devices such as diagnostic machines, imaging systems, and surgical robots as these motors offer precise control required for delicate medical procedures. These stepper motors are also used in infusion pumps, and ventilators as they offer accurate control in operation. 

Mechtex Nema 23 stepper motor is the preferred choice of various organizations for their medical devices. 

  • Automated Manufacturing Process

Hybrid stepper motors are used in various automated manufacturing process applications such as conveyor belts and pick and place machines as they ensure precise placement of components, smooth operation of the assembly line, and efficient material handling. 

  • Textile Machinery

Hybrid stepper motors are used in various types of textile machines such as knitting machines, sewing machines, and embroidery machines. They control the movement of the needle, fabric feed, and other components with precision. 

Mechtex Nema 24 stepper motor offers precision and control in the operation of various textile machines.

Construction of Hybrid Stepper Motor

The construction of a hybrid stepper motor involves various components that work together to enable its operation.

Hybrid Stepper Motor Diagram

Here is an overview of some major components of a hybrid stepper motor: 

  • Stator

It is the stationary part of the motor. It is the rigid structure that provides foundational support to the motor. It is made up of high-quality materials such as steel and aluminum to handle the mechanical stress during the operation. It consists of two main components: 

Stator frame - It provides structural support to the motor and houses the other components of the stator. 

Stator winding - It is the coils of winding wound around the poles of the stator. In a hybrid stepper motor, there are different sets of winding: one for a permanent magnet pole and another for a variable reluctance pole. 

  • Rotor

It is the rotating part of the motor and is located inside the stator. It consists of two types of poles.

Permanent magnet poles: It is usually made of materials like neodymium iron boron (NdFeB). These poles generate a magnetic field.

Variable reluctance pole: It is made of magnetic material that can be magnetized temporarily by the stator windings.

These poles are arranged in alternating patterns around the rotor. The permanent magnet pole provides a constant magnetic field that interacts with the changing magnetic field of the stator and creates a force for movement. 

After magnetizing the stator winding, the variable reluctance pole enhances the magnetic force and allows for precise control and stepping movement. 

  • Shaft

It plays a crucial in the working of the stepper motor. It transmits the rotational motion generated by the rotor to external components. It involves a solid rade made up of durable materials and allows for coupling with other devices. Its extension outside the motor casing provides versatility and makes it connect with various mechanical systems. 

  • Bearings

It is a crucial component of a hybrid stepper motor. It supports and guides the shaft of motors for smooth operation within the rotor. It reduces the friction between the rotor shaft and motor casing for smooth and efficient operation.

  • Endbells

They are positioned at both ends to enclose and safeguard the internal components of the hybrid stepper motor. It is made up of materials such as aluminum and steel to offer durability in various operating conditions. It provides structural support and provides alignment and stability to the stator and rotor for smooth and precise operation. 

Working of Hybrid Stepper Motor

A hybrid stepper motor combines the features of both permanent magnet and variable reluctance stepper motors. A hybrid stepper motor consists of a rotor with a permanent magnet with poles and a stator with windings around its pole. This winding is typically divided into two sets of effects: permanent magnet effect and variable reluctance effect. 

When current flows through the winding of the stator, it creates a magnetic field. Then the rotor aligns itself with the path of the lowest reluctance of this magnetic field. This effect is called the variable reluctance effect. This effect allows a hybrid stepper motor for precise movements. 

Simultaneously, the permanent magnet in the rotor provides a constant magnetic field. When stator windings are energized, they attract the teeth of the rotor toward the closest position of alignment. This effect is called the permanent magnet effect. It enhances the torque of a hybrid stepper motor, especially at high speed. 

The combination of the permanent magnet effect and variable reluctance effect offers fine step resolution to hybrid stepper motors. The variable reluctance effect offers a large number of steps per revolution, while the PM effect ensures the accuracy and stability of the rotor position. 

Therefore, the hybrid stepper motor's working principle involves the blend of permanent magnet and variable reluctance effects to provide precise movements and enhanced torque at high speeds.