Understanding the Working Principle of Can Stack Stepper Motors


Stepper motors are an important component in many industries and applications, providing precise and controlled motion. Among the various types of stepper motors, the can stack stepper motor stands out for its simplicity, reliability, and compatibility with a wide range of applications. In this article, we will delve into the working principle of can stack stepper motors, explaining how they operate and their advantages over other types of stepper motors.


Stepper motors are widely used in automation systems, robotics, 3D printers, CNC machines, and many other applications that require accurate control of position and speed. They are electromechanical devices that convert electrical pulses into rotational motion with discrete steps. Among the different types of stepper motors available, the can stack stepper motor is particularly popular due to its compact size and high torque output.

The Basics of Stepper Motors

Before diving into the specifics of can stack stepper motors, it is important to understand the basic principles of stepper motors in general. Stepper motors consist of a rotor and stator, with the rotor typically featuring a permanent magnet or teeth. The stator contains coils which are energized in a sequence to create a magnetic field that interacts with the rotor, causing it to move in discrete steps.

Stepper motors operate based on the principle of electromagnetism. By energizing the stator coils in the correct sequence, the magnetic field generated attracts the rotor teeth or magnet, causing it to align with the energized coil. Once the current is switched to the next coil, the rotor moves to the next step. By continuously controlling the sequence and timing of coil energization, precise control of the motor's position and speed can be achieved.

The Structure of Can Stack Stepper Motors

Can stack stepper motors, also known as tin-can stepper motors, derive their name from their cylindrical shape resembling a tin can. These motors consist of a rotor and stator housed within a can-like enclosure. The rotor typically features teeth made of a permanent magnet, while the stator contains multiple coils wound around laminated steel poles.

One of the defining characteristics of can stack stepper motors is their modular construction. They are composed of multiple stacked plates, each plate containing a set of stator coils. The interaction between the rotor magnets and the stator coils allows for precise control of the motor's rotation. Additionally, the stacked design provides increased torque output, making can stack stepper motors suitable for applications requiring high torque.

The Working Principle of Can Stack Stepper Motors

To understand the working principle of can stack stepper motors, let's break it down into three main steps: energizing, alignment, and rotation.


When a stepper motor is not in motion, all the stator coils are de-energized, and no magnetic field is present. To initiate motion, electrical pulses are applied to the stator coils, sequentially energizing them. The sequence and timing of these pulses determine the direction and speed of the motor.


As the stator coils are energized one by one, a magnetic field is created around each coil. The rotor, featuring permanent magnets or teeth, aligns itself with the magnetic field generated by the energized coil. This alignment allows for precise control of the motor's position, as each pulse causes the rotor to move to the next step.


By continuously repeating the energizing and alignment steps, the can stack stepper motor can rotate. The rotation speed is determined by the frequency of the electrical pulses applied to the stator coils. By controlling the pulse frequency and sequence, precise speed control can be achieved.

The Advantages of Can Stack Stepper Motors

Can stack stepper motors offer several advantages over other types of stepper motors, making them suitable for various applications. Let's explore some of these advantages:

High Torque Output:

The modular design of can stack stepper motors allows for stacking multiple plates, resulting in increased torque output. This high torque capability makes can stack stepper motors ideal for applications that require high holding torque and precise positioning, such as robotics and CNC machines.

Compact Size:

Due to their cylindrical shape and stacked design, can stack stepper motors offer a compact form factor. This makes them easier to integrate into space-constrained applications, where size and weight are important considerations.


Can stack stepper motors are cost-effective compared to other types of stepper motors. Their simpler construction and manufacturing process contribute to a more affordable price point, making them a popular choice for budget-conscious projects.

Ambient Temperature Compatibility:

Can stack stepper motors can handle a wide range of ambient temperatures, making them suitable for applications in different environments. Whether it's operating in extreme heat or cold conditions, can stack stepper motors reliably deliver performance without significant degradation.

Increased Reliability:

The modular design of can stack stepper motors provides increased reliability as compared to other types of stepper motors. The stacked plates offer better heat dissipation, reducing the chances of overheating. Additionally, the use of laminated steel in the stator construction minimizes magnetic losses, enhancing the motor's efficiency and overall performance.


Can stack stepper motors are versatile and reliable devices that find applications in diverse industries. By understanding their working principle and advantages, it becomes clear why they are a popular choice for many automation and motion control systems. With their compact size, high torque output, cost-effectiveness, and compatibility with various environments, can stack stepper motors prove to be a valuable component for achieving precise and controlled motion. Whether it's in robotics, CNC machines, or other automated systems, can stack stepper motors continue to be a reliable solution providing accurate positioning and smooth operation.


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