What is a PCB Stator Motor?

Printed circuit board stator motors, also known as PCB Stator motors, have been gaining popularity in recent years due to their unique design benefits and improved performance over conventional copper wound machines.

These motors offer several benefits that make them an attractive solution for various applications. In this blog, we discuss what is a printed circuit board stator, what makes PCB Stator motors differ from conventional copper wound machines, and what improvements are offered through integrating a PCB Stator solution.

An image of a PCB Stator compared to a conventional copper wound stator. The significant differences in form factor are clear.
Above is an image of a PCB Stator compared to a conventional copper wound stator. The significant differences in form factor are clear.
Conventional Motors

Conventional copper wound motors consist of a rotor and a stator. The stator is made up of a core with copper wire wound around it, which creates an electromagnetic field when energized. The rotor is a permanent magnet that rotates within the stator’s magnetic field, creating a rotational force. These copper wound stators often have inefficient winding designs that lead to significant energy waste and require excessive raw materials. 

Image of a traditional stator motor with copper coils
Conventional electric motors use copper wound stators that require excessive raw materials to produce and lead to inefficient performance.
PCB Stator Motors

PCB Stator motors, on the other hand, have a stator that is made up of a printed circuit board with conductive traces that replace the copper wire used in conventional machines. The PCB Stator design allows for the conductive traces to be precisely positioned and oriented, resulting in a more efficient motor with improved performance.

ECM’s software technology designs electric motors with an ultra-thin PCB Stator disc, which makes that big copper block obsolete. 

Now, instead of designing electric motors with the limitations of winding copper wire, PCB Stator motors utilize PCB technology to optimize the placement of copper throughout the stator – only placing copper exactly where it is needed. This results in higher efficiency machines that need only a fraction of the copper. 

Close up image of a PCB Stator
PCB Stators replace the bulky copper windings found in conventional electric motors with an ultra-thin printed circuit board that places copper only where it is needed. The result is higher efficiency machines that need only a fraction of the copper.
3 different sized PCB Stators on black background
PCB stators can be produced in varying shapes and sizes and offer several benefits over traditional electric machines. 

PCB Stator motors provide a compact, efficient, and durable solution for a wide range of applications. The many advantages include the following:

  • Size and weight: PCB stator motors are smaller and lighter than traditional motors because they eliminate the need for bulky metal components. This makes them ideal for applications where space and weight are at a premium.
  • Efficiency: PCB stator motors are more efficient than traditional motors because they have less resistance and can generate a stronger magnetic field. This means they require less energy to operate and can help extend battery life in portable devices.
  • Durability: The absence of metal laminations and epoxy coating in PCB stator motors makes them less prone to mechanical failure and stator damage. They are also less susceptible to corrosion and other environmental factors.
  • Precision control: The use of printed circuit boards allows for more precise control of the motor’s operation. This can be particularly useful in robotics, drones, and other applications that require fine motor control.
  • Quiet Operation: PCB Stator motors are extremely quiet due to their lack of vibration and fewer moving parts. PCB Stators are fully encapsulated in FR-4.
  • Sustainability: The use of a PCB stator instead of a copper wound stator increases the sustainability of the motor design. PCB stators require only 20% of the copper and produce motors that waste less energy.
  • Increased Flexibility: Utilizing a PCB based stator rather than a copper wound stator increases the flexibility of the motor design. Copper can be placed exactly where it is needed in a PCB and PCBs can be constructed in many shapes.
Image of a PCB Stator vs a traditional copper wound stator
PCB Stator motors utilize printed circuit boards with conductive traces that replace the bulky, inefficient copper wire used in conventional machines.
An added benefit of utilizing a PCB based stator lies in manufacturing.

Manufacturing traditional copper wound stators requires specialized winding machines that are expensive and complex, often necessitating retooling when manufacturing two separate stator types. With PCB Stator production, none of this equipment is required.

The PCB manufacturing industry is a mature and globally available industry. PCB Stators are manufactured the same way as the printed circuit boards in your phones and laptops. With PCB Stators, multiple stator configurations can be printed at the same time with the same machine making both prototyping and scaled production easier, cheaper, and faster.

By utilizing the established PCB industry, PCB Stators can be easily manufactured around the world without expensive tooling and equipment costs.

ECM PCB Stator Technology offers an innovative and uncomplicated design and manufacturing process for PCB Stator motors through the application of PrintStator, a proprietary Motor CAD platform. PrintStator is a cloud-based software that uses optimization algorithms to covert specified motor parameters into exact PCB Stator motor designs for any application. PrintStator also generates Gerber Files with each design that code for the immediate manufacture of the unique PCB Stator.

An image of the upper layer Gerber File for three differing stators.
Above is an image of the upper layer Gerber File for three differing stators.
In conclusion

PCB Stator electric motors offer many advantages over conventional copper wound machines. Their high power density, reduced cogging, greater design flexibility, and improved motor control make them an attractive solution for various applications. Integrating a PCB Stator solutions can lead to improved performance, reduced energy consumption, less noise, and cost savings.

And what does this mean for you?

This translates to more energy-efficient and cost-saving home fan systems. It results in electric vehicles that are both environmentally friendly and have longer ranges on a single charge. This entails robots that accomplish tasks more efficiently with fewer resources, creating essential products at affordable prices. This signifies the adoption of billions of motors that consume less energy and generate reduced waste.

As the world rapidly electrifies, expect to see PCB Stator motors become more prevalent not only in the industrial and commercial sectors but also in more of the devices people use daily.

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