Thing-O-Matic: New X Axis Stepper Motor

New X axis 34 mm NEMA 17 motor in place
New X axis 34 mm NEMA 17 motor in place

A group of 34 mm NEMA 17 steppers arrived from the usual eBay seller, I wired one up, and popped it in place under the original cork sheet. The bolts sit on steel washers riding atop compliant bushings from the batch of 43 mm NEMA 17 steppers that drive the extruder and Y axis.

[Update: Not that you’ll ever find another one, but here’s the straight dope directly from the motor label…

  • Astrosyn P/N FH5-1043 02
  • Minebea 17PM-J034-P2VS
  • No. T6Z01-03


Putting a cork sheet under each motor was a nice idea, but  it didn’t work as intended: the bolts quite effectively couple the vibration to those resonant acrylic and plywood sheets. I had to cut the two front bushings in half to ease the bolt heads under the X axis stage at that end of its travel, but the motor is now isolated from the Y stage. I’m sure the bolts touch the slots, but even I am unwilling to fit compliant bushings around the bolts.

Lashing the cable to the side of the box should suffice for strain relief, as the jacket forces it to flex in a large upward loop with no sharp bends.

X axis motor wire strain relief
X axis motor wire strain relief

That picture’s inverted so the flash lights up the stuff sticking out of the bottom of the box. The thin silvery arch is a cable tie around the motor connector holding it securely against the motor frame, but the Y axis follower bearing just to its right actually sticks out slightly more.

This motor has six active terminals and could run in either unipolar or bipolar mode. The wiring harness has four leads and that’s why I bought it: the MBI driver board expects a bipolar motor.

The winding resistance is a mere 2 Ω, compared to the MBI motor’s 35 Ω. Of course, I don’t have any specs for this motor, but similar Minebea 17PM-J0xx motors run around an amp with 130-180 mN·m of pull-in torque, compared to the MBI motor’s 14-ish mN·m. I expect to run it around 500-750 mA at half the rated torque, where it’ll dissipate maybe a watt, tops, with no overheating.