How to Use a Can Stack Stepper Motor for Robotics Applications


A Can Stack Stepper Motor, also known as a can stack motor or a tin can motor, is a type of stepper motor widely used in robotics applications for its precision, reliability, and compact size. This article will delve into the workings of a Can Stack Stepper Motor, explain how it can be beneficial in robotics, discuss its applications, provide a step-by-step guide on how to use it, and highlight some considerations to keep in mind. So, let's dive into the details!

Understanding Can Stack Stepper Motors

Can Stack Stepper Motors, as their name suggests, consist of a stack of cans. These cans are made of thin, laminated steel sheets and are used to create a holding mechanism for the rotor. The rotor, also known as the tin can, consists of a permanent magnet rotor typically laminated to reduce eddy current losses. The stator, on the other hand, comprises of copper coils that create magnetic fields when energized. These magnetic fields interact with the permanent magnets of the rotor, causing step-by-step rotation.

Benefits of Can Stack Stepper Motors in Robotics

Can Stack Stepper Motors offer several benefits that make them ideal for robotics applications. Firstly, they provide highly precise and repeatable positioning, allowing accurate control over robotic movements. This precision is crucial for applications that require fine adjustments and exact positioning. Secondly, Can Stack Stepper Motors can generate high torque even at low speeds, making them suitable for applications that require the robot to exert force or carry heavy loads. Additionally, these motors have a compact size, which is especially advantageous in robotic systems with limited space.

Applications of Can Stack Stepper Motors in Robotics

Can Stack Stepper Motors find widespread usage in various robotics applications. One prominent application is in robotic arms, where these motors enable precise and controlled movements for gripping, lifting, and reaching. Can Stack Stepper Motors are also extensively employed in 3D printers, providing accurate control over the positioning of the print head. Robotic exoskeletons, used for medical rehabilitation or assistance, utilize Can Stack Stepper Motors to mimic natural joint movements. Furthermore, these motors are utilized in surveillance robots, robotic cameras, and robotic vehicles, where precise movements and control are essential.

Using a Can Stack Stepper Motor - Step by Step Guide

Now, let's discuss how to use a Can Stack Stepper Motor effectively in robotics applications. Follow these steps to integrate and operate the motor correctly:

Step 1: Select the appropriate motor - Consider factors such as torque requirements, speed range, and physical dimensions of the motor. Ensure it meets the specifications of your robotic application.

Step 2: Mount the motor - Securely attach the motor to the desired location in your robotic system using appropriate mounting brackets or fixtures. Ensure that the motor is firmly positioned to prevent vibrations.

Step 3: Connect power supply - Connect the power supply to the motor using suitable wires or connectors. Refer to the motor's datasheet for the correct voltage and current requirements.

Step 4: Connect driver/controller - Use a suitable stepper motor driver/controller to control the motor's operation. Connect the driver to both the power supply and a microcontroller or computer system for sending commands.

Step 5: Wiring the motor coils - Identify the motor's coil connections and wire them to the appropriate terminals on the motor driver/controller. Typically, stepper motors have four or six wires, depending on their configuration.

Step 6: Configure the motor driver - Adjust the motor driver's settings, such as current limits and microstepping, according to your application's requirements. This optimization ensures desired torque performance and smooth movements.

Step 7: Sending commands - Develop or utilize robotics software that can send step and direction commands to the motor driver. This allows precise control over the motor's rotation, speed, and position.

Considerations for Using Can Stack Stepper Motors

While using Can Stack Stepper Motors for robotics applications, here are some essential considerations to keep in mind:

1. Heat dissipation: Can Stack Stepper Motors can generate heat during operation. Ensure proper heat dissipation to prevent overheating, as it can affect motor performance and reliability.

2. Motor power requirements: Accurately calculate the power requirements of your Can Stack Stepper Motor, including voltage, current, and power supply capacity. An insufficient power supply can limit the motor's performance.

3. Duty cycle limitations: Pay attention to the motor's duty cycle limitations, which indicate the maximum continuous operating time. Operating beyond the duty cycle can lead to motor damage.

4. Noise and vibration: Can Stack Stepper Motors can produce audible noise and vibrations. Consider implementing noise reduction methods, such as using damping materials or employing microstepping techniques.

5. Mechanical load: Ensure that the mechanical load on the motor remains within its recommended limits. Overloading the motor can lead to decreased performance, increased wear, or even motor failure.


Can Stack Stepper Motors are an invaluable component in robotics applications, offering precise positioning, high torque, and compact size. By understanding their working principles, benefits, and applications, you can effectively integrate and utilize these motors in your robotics projects. Follow the step-by-step guide, considering the relevant considerations and recommendations, to ensure optimal performance, reliability, and longevity of your Can Stack Stepper Motor-driven robotics system. Embrace the power of Can Stack Stepper Motors to elevate your robotics applications to new levels of precision and control.


Smooth Motor is a professional stepper motor manufacturer in China, with years of exporting and manufacturing experience. Our main products contain: Linear Stepper Motor, Stepper Motor, Lead Screw And Nut, Voice Coil Motor and Linear Rail Systems, welcome to contact us!
Just tell us your requirements, we can do more than you can imagine.
Send your inquiry
Chat with Us

Send your inquiry

Choose a different language
Current language:English