The Differences between Linear and Rotary Voice Coil Motors


The Differences between Linear and Rotary Voice Coil Motors


In the realm of motion control, voice coil motors (VCMs) play a pivotal role in various applications. These motors, known for their excellent precision and responsiveness, are used in a wide range of industries, including robotics, aerospace, medical equipment, and more. Two prominent types of VCMs are the linear voice coil motor (LVCM) and the rotary voice coil motor (RVCM). While both share similarities, they differ significantly in terms of construction, operation, and application. In this article, we will delve into the distinctions between linear and rotary voice coil motors, exploring their respective advantages, disadvantages, and areas of implementation.

Overview of Voice Coil Motors

Before we dive into the disparities between linear and rotary voice coil motors, let's first understand the concept behind VCMs. A voice coil motor is a type of electromagnetic actuator that converts electrical energy into precise and controlled mechanical motion. It consists of a coil of wire (the voice coil) placed within a magnetic field generated by permanent magnets or electromagnets. By varying the current passing through the coil, the motor can generate force and move linearly or rotationally, depending on the design.

Construction and Operation

1.1 Linear Voice Coil Motors (LVCM)

LVCMs are primarily designed for linear motion applications, where force and precision are paramount. These motors typically consist of a cylindrical magnet assembly and a coil assembly. The cylindrical magnet assembly contains permanent magnets arranged to create a radial magnetic field. On the other hand, the coil assembly consists of a wound coil, which is attached to a moving rod or plunger. When a current passes through the coil, it interacts with the magnetic field and produces a force that propels the rod in a linear direction.

1.2 Rotary Voice Coil Motors (RVCM)

RVCMs, as the name suggests, are specifically designed for rotary motion applications. Unlike LVCMs, these motors convert electrical energy into rotational motion. RVCMs also consist of a coil assembly and a magnet assembly. However, in this case, the coil assembly is arranged in a circular or annular shape, and the magnet assembly is a series of magnets placed radially around the coil assembly. By applying current to the coil, it interacts with the magnetic field, creating torque that enables rotational movement.

Advantages and Disadvantages

2.1 Linear Voice Coil Motors (LVCM)

LVCMs possess several advantages that make them suitable for precise linear motion control. Firstly, they offer high acceleration and deceleration capabilities, enabling rapid movements. Additionally, LVCMs exhibit excellent responsiveness, allowing for accurate position control. They also provide smooth and precise movements, offering exceptional positional accuracy. However, one drawback of LVCMs is their limited displacement range, as it is determined by the length of the coil assembly.

2.2 Rotary Voice Coil Motors (RVCM)

RVCMs, on the other hand, offer advantages in applications requiring rotary motion. One major benefit is their ability to provide extremely high torque-to-inertia ratios, resulting in efficient and precise rotational movements. They also offer high-speed capabilities and exhibit low mechanical friction. However, RVCMs have certain limitations. One such drawback is their higher power consumption compared to LVCMs, making them less suitable for low-power applications. Additionally, RVCMs can be relatively complex to control due to the challenges associated with managing torque and rotational stability.


3.1 Linear Voice Coil Motors (LVCM)

LVCMs find extensive use in various industries, thanks to their precise linear motion capabilities. In industrial automation, LVCMs are employed in pick-and-place systems, linear actuators, and robotics, where accurate positioning and quick movements are crucial. They are also utilized in stages for semiconductor processing equipment, optical devices, and medical devices like MRI machines. LVCMs play a vital role in haptic feedback systems found in gaming consoles and virtual reality devices, providing realistic tactile sensations.

3.2 Rotary Voice Coil Motors (RVCM)

RVCMs are commonly used in applications that require precise rotary motion. These include optical systems, such as camera lenses and laser scanners, where accurate and rapid movement is essential. RVCMs also find applications in robotics, valve control, and aerospace systems. Their ability to deliver high torque-to-inertia ratios makes them ideal for gyro stabilization platforms and precision positioning systems, ensuring stable rotational motion.


In conclusion, while both linear voice coil motors (LVCMs) and rotary voice coil motors (RVCMs) have their unique advantages and applications, they excel in different motion control scenarios. LVCMs are optimized for precise linear motion, offering high acceleration and exceptional positional accuracy. RVCMs, on the other hand, are specifically designed for rotary motion, providing high torque-to-inertia ratios and efficient rotational movements. By understanding the distinctions between these two types of voice coil motors, engineers and industries can make informed decisions when selecting the most suitable motor for their specific application needs.


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