Machine Design

Motor wiggles while it works

Building small motors out of magnets, coils, and solenoids is difficult and expensive, and the resulting motors are not that powerful, precise or efficient.

A new type of motor, the Squiggle motor from New Scale Technologies Inc., Victor, N.Y. (, gives engineers a more precise, faster, and efficient alternative that is comprised of just a few parts. The motor uses a piezoelectric ceramic actuator supporting two threaded nuts holding a threaded shaft. Electrical signals cause the actuator to vibrate ultrasonically and this rotates and moves the shaft back and forth. A demonstration model, the SQ-1000, is cylinder measuring 0.29 in. in diameter and 0.81 in. long. Stall force is 5 N, resolution is better than 100 nm, without encoders, and start/stop times are 200 msec. Speeds range from 1m m to 2.5 mm/sec, and the threaded shaft can move up to 50 mm. The motor runs on 24 Vdc, and needs less than 200 mA, with an output frequency of about 40 kHz.

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