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Working on my plasma table and trying to learn more about it. It has Nema-type motors.

Is Nema a brand? Or a standard? If standard, what does is specify? I imagine bolt pattern and shaft dia. Anything else?

Difference between Nema 23 and 34?

Will the same CNC electronics control any nema-type motor? Could I easily upgrade motors? Or is there a voltage barrier or something?

Thanks in advance ...

J. J.
 

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NEMA is nothing more than National Electrical Manufacturers Association...basically an organization that sets standards for performance, ratings, dimensions, etc.

In your case, NEMA 23 probably refers to the package dimensions of the motor. It's a pretty common stepper size.

Basically, a stepper motor has a bunch of windings in a sequence, and as you apply power to a winding, the rotor advances to the next one in the series. So you pulse a square wave to the windings in the proper order to keep the rotor spinning, and you know each pulse will increment it x degrees, so you can keep track of how far your axis has traveled. The motors themselves could vary in the number of steps per revolution (basically a finer increment depending on how much precision you need or how much $$ you want to spend), and I imagine your software would have to know that, but the basic driving function should be pretty much the same.

(this explanation is kind of oversimplified, but it should give you a basic idea)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
So say I wanted to upgrade my stepper motors for something with a little more torque. What specifications would I need to know to do so? Or is the torque rating along with NEMA 23 all I need to know?

J. J.
 

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I don't have any info on the steppers themselves, but I can lead you to cnczone.com. There is a forum on there that is specific to plasma tables and waterjets. Those guys know their way around this stuff and are extremely helpful. I'm starting the planning of my table build right now and my info is coming from there.
 
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