Stepper motors are an essential part of many modern 3D printers. They help power the machine and perform a range of important tasks like moving the build platform or extruder along a specific path.
While you can build a setup without one, it’s much more costly and likely not worth the time. That’s why you want to ensure you get the best one for your machine.
In the following sections, we will cover the best 3D printer stepper motors by breaking down their various aspects and then explaining how those aspects enrich or further the printing process.
Each model is similar in function, but there are a few differences that every user should take note of before making their final purchase.
- The Usongshine Nema 17 is one of the more durable stepper motors money can buy. This high torque option has a steel body, is highly responsive, and utilizes both a motor coil and a silicon steel rotor.
- If you’re searching for a strong-but-quiet motor, the Kysan 1124090 might be your top choice. This device, which has a 1.8-degree step angle, is tough and can work for extended periods of time without overheating.
- The DROK Stepper Motor is perfect for people who need a tough stepper motor. This has a high-quality steel design, a rotor rubber to reduce noise, and a side wall matte texture.
Who Should Get This?
As the title suggests, the stepper motors in this article are for people who either own or want to build a 3D printer. The devices play an essential role in the machine’s construction and they help give you great results time and time again. As they are also affordable and easy to find, steppers tend to be perfect for anyone on a budget.
The only users who would not want one for their device are people who either don’t mind spending extra money for a different setup or who don’t like stepper motors and want to try out something else.
Best Stepper Motor for 3D Printer: What to Consider?
The first thing you need to know when getting a stepper motor is its type. There are three different varieties (pancake, standard, high torque), and each one has a specific purpose. Pancake motors are small and best for low torque situations, while standard motors are much more versatile and have many more applications. High torque options are typically not used for 3D printing, but there are some fringe cases where they come in handy.
When it comes to stepper motors, size also matters. There are a few different ranges out there, and they are marked by the Nema size as well as the number length. Knowing that, the most popular for 3D printers is Nema 17. That’s largely due to the different available lengths and extra versatility. However, you can also find Nema 23 and Nema 24 motors for extra torque if you so need. Nema 14 is available as well.
The final aspect to consider with your stepper motor is build quality. As with any piece of your 3D printer, you want to make sure it’s sturdy, well-made, and can stand the test of time. Getting a cheap motor that will only last a short while doesn’t just leave you with a worse printer, it also means you’re going to have to pay more in replacements down the line. Always get high-rated motors from reliable or trusted brands.
Best Stepper Motor for 3D Printer: Our Picks
Sturdy and well-made, the Usongshine Nema 17 is a powerful device that’s able to stand up to a lot of abuse. That power works with the natural longevity to ensure you get a lot of time from the small device. Not only is it high torque, but it also has a well-constructed steel body complete with a motor coil and silicon steel rotor.
This device is extremely responsive and is designed in a way that avoids errors and gets you maximum consistency. In fact, it’s one of the most stable 3D printer stepper motors money can buy. You’ll find no jamming issues here, and the speed is incredibly consistent. If you have any issues, Usongshine has a great customer service team that will be able to help you through any problems that might arise. This option is quiet and doesn’t get too hot as well.
What We Like:
- High torque
- Excellent customer service
- Motor coil and silicon steel rotor
- Uniform speed
- Low heat
- Stable and reliable
What We Don’t Like:
- Cannot connect it directly
- Not the best for longer prints
One of the most popular stepper motors used in the world of 3D printing, the Kysan 1124090 is a little device that can do just about everything. This machine is used, not just for its reliability, but for its durability as well. The tough shell is able to withstand a lot of use and will operate for long periods of time with no issues. It also doesn’t overheat, which is a great bonus for anyone who likes performing long tasks.
Beyond that, the Kysan has a holding torque of 5.5kg-cm and works incredibly well at 12 volts. Add on the 1.8-degree step angle and you have something that can do it all. It’s also extremely quiet, which is a feature that every 3D printer user can greatly appreciate. If you want something with no jumps that will stick around for quite a long time, this may be the way to go.
What We Like:
- Does not overheat
- No jumps
- Reliable and durable
- 1.8-degree step angle
- Works well at 12 volts
- Tough construction
What We Don’t Like:
- Could be more durable
The DROK Stepper Motor makes the list due to a combination of responsiveness, reliability, and sturdiness. This device is made up of high-quality steel to ensure durability, and it’s extremely reliable in a way that actively cuts down on potential errors. In addition, it’s incredibly responsive and has a 1.8-degree stepper angle. Those who value silence will also love the rotor rubber that exists purely to cut down on noise.
What We Like:
- Made of high-quality steel
- Rotor rubber cuts down on sound
- .46 Nm holding torque
- 1.8-degree stepper angle
- 42 x 42 mm motor frame
What We Don’t Like:
- Not the strongest motor on the market
Useful Tips and Information
Stepper motors are important parts of any 3D printer setup, but they can also overheat to unfortunate consequences. You want to keep them cool whenever possible. To do that, consult this guide and follow the tips listed inside.
3D printing is an involved process. There are many steps to getting started, and that can be a bit overwhelming for newbies to the hobby. Rather than going in alone, this video will give you a good place to get started.
At the end of the day, all 3D printer users want a reliable stepper motor. There are many different options to pick when making your final decision, but few can match the excellent models outlined above. If you want to enhance your device and get the best possible prints, simply choose the one that works for your needs.
What stepper motor do you use with your 3D printer? Are there any great ones we didn’t cover above? Let us know below.