DC Gearmotor Teardown


The RepRap project has made heavy use of the Solarbotics GM3 Gearmotor as part of their extruders. Unfortunately they’ve proven to be underpowered for the task and the plastic gears could cause future problems. [Zach] decided to investigate some other options. He bought a pile of motors from Kysan to try out. He posted a teardown of one of the motors on Flickr. He found it not only easy to disassemble, but the metal gears were also easy to put back together. Next up is testing it on the machine.

15 thoughts on “DC Gearmotor Teardown

  1. (more danny bashing)

    The title clearly states ‘DC gearmotor teardown’

    If you don’t want to read it don’t click


    does the internet make everyone an arsehole?
    (@me not danny)

  2. @techicolour
    yes, it does, because everyone can hide behind an “anonymous” nickname.

    I grew up doing this kind of thing. I liked to see how things worked. used to scare the crap out of my mom because she was afraid that the thing wouldn’t work if I got it back together. Never had anything that didn’t work after taking it apart. Keeping track of screws and stuff was the easy part. figuring out what did what when I was 10 was the hard part.

  3. seriously.. this kind of ‘hack’ is usually secondary to a project..

    this is the kind of stuff you ‘figure out on your own’ when ‘something goes wrong’..

    Show me a tech manual for something that says, “and then I had to disassemble the gear motor.. here are the detailed pics.. “

  4. I agree that this isn’t a hack. To be fair though the title is “teardown”, and this is in fact just that. I too did the exact same thing when I was ~8, but for those who haven’t perhaps the pictures are interesting.

    I don’t see the harm in the posting, although it is not up to the usual Hack-a-day standards. There was certainly no reason to gang up on Danny like that, a little honest criticism is a good thing.

  5. hi all. just a thought, but has anyone tried using a VCR loading motor? these are fairly standard and cheap (and often have a small H bridge chip for control onboard!)

    Another idea might be to use the pancake spindle motor from a dead Zip drive, I have a few here. They are three phase “wye” motors so can be controlled using off the shelf chips.

    regards, -A

  6. Perhaps a better alternative solution would be to collectively organize this information into a common resource.. possibly add it in with the rest of the ‘parts’ series? I have rarely found a ‘good’ one-stop-shop reference page, and some of the parts that have been featured recently would be a great addition..

    I do agree, it is good information for the less experienced but there seems to be some question about it’s validity as a hack-a-day worthy post..

  7. I personally like to see these kinds of posts. It takes me back. Not everyone has everything figured out. I do wish they had posted a few more comments about their write-up.

    For all those nay-sayers: This is one post of 4 for the 10th. Don’t read it if you don’t like the title.

  8. In my slot car racing days I would have done a rewind on this baby, skewed the laminations, epoxied it, balanced it and found a way to cram some neodymium magnets in there – shimmed to reduce the air gap. Of course there were no neodymium magnets back then.

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