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Pneumatic rotational stepper motor: R-64

by VincentGroenhuis Jul 17, 2018
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I suddenly understand why pneumatics logic gates exist out in the industrial wild. How fast of a switch between one direction and another can you achieve? Building a fully, 100% 3D printer has always been a problem, mainly because you need electricity to run the motors, but then if you can make a stepper motor, logice it to move it. Maybe something from a quilt machine or piano roll. You could have a fully self built on.

I guess its really the microsteps though... Humm. I wonder if there are other pneumatics logic gates designs in thingiverse.

I've been working on miniaturization of stepper motor step sizes and also rapid prototyping low-cost pneumatic valves. The fastest stepping frequency with one of my motors was 330 Hz. There are possibilities... You could even start a fire in the extruder to eliminate the need for an electric heater element :-)

It is very interesting. What pressure or volume of air is needed to power such a motor?

Not much! Less than 1 bar might be enough to get it moving, depending on the tightness of the seals. With 2 bar you already have awesome torque.

Thank you for a quick and precise answer.
I think about a certain project and it's possible that I will use pneumatics.
Thanks for showing the possibilities of 3D print pneumatics!

thanks for sharing the files. I am searching for a Triplex Pump, was wondering if you could help out.
I don't have designing expertise, I fix printers and have access to Makerbots for use. I am working on a personal project and need a Triplex pump.
Please let me know if you can help out.

Hi Melvin, thanks for your interest in pneumatic motors! From what I understand, a triplex pump is used in hydraulics. I myself do not design hydraulics stuff, only pneumatics. Still, you could try a series of pneumatic cylinders (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3123328 ) mechanically connected to a crankshaft and pneumatically coupled to a valve manifold to obtain unidirectional flow. I never tested my pneumatic cilinders with fluid (water) as medium, but it should probably work. Hopefully you find a friend to design the required parts. If you manage to get a hydraulics pump working this way, please put it on Thingiverse and notify me. Good luck!

Parametric pneumatic cylinder

Thank you Vincent, appreciate the advise.