PCB Motors Hack Chat

Carl Bugeja will be joining us in the Hack Chat to talk about making PCB Motors!

Friday, August 10, 2018 12:00 pm PDT Local time zone:
Hack Chat
Similar projects worth following

Carl Bugeja will be hosting the Hack Chat on Friday, August 10th, 2018 at noon PDT. 

Time zones got you down? Here's a handy time converter!

Join Hack Chat

Carl Bugeja is a 23-year old electronics engineer who is trying to design new robotics technology. Their PCB Motor design won the Open Hardware Design Challenge and will be going to the Finals of the Hackaday Prize. This open-source PCB motor is a smaller, cheaper, and easier to assemble micro-brushless motor. 

What is unique about Carl's PCB motor design is that the stator is printed on a 4-layer PCB board. The six stator poles are spiral traces wound in a star configuration. Although these coils produce less torque compared to an iron core stator, the motor is still suitable for high-speed applications. 

In this chat we will be discussing:
 - Designing motors
 - PCB applications beyond standard circuitry
 - Building accessible robotics technology

Learn more about Carl's PCB Motor in the video and in their personal links below!

  • PCB Motors Hack Chat Transcript

    Stephen Tranovich08/10/2018 at 20:03 0 comments

    Stephen Tranovich12:05 PM
    Okay, let's get this chat started!

    Arsenijs12:05 PM

    Stephen Tranovich12:05 PM
    A big welcome to @Carl Bugeja for joining us on the chat today to talk about their PCB Motor designs!

    Carl Bugeja12:05 PM
    Thanks for having me

    Stephen Tranovich12:05 PM
    @Carl Bugeja , kick us off by telling us a little bit about yourself!

    Carl Bugeja12:07 PM
    So my name is Carl Bugeja. I'm a 23yr old electronics engineer, graduated from uni 2 yrs ago and since then i've been trying to build cool robots

    Stephen Tranovich12:09 PM
    Sounds like the dream to me.

    Stephen Tranovich12:09 PM
    Our first question comes from @Lutetium : Where did the inspiration for your PCB Motor design come from?

    Carl Bugeja12:09 PM
    I had this drone startup were we were trying to design a very tiny coaxial drone.. we have failed because we were trying to use off-the-shelve parts to integrate it into our drone.. after this i had come up with the brsuhless pcb motor concept were i was aiming to combine the prop, stator and electronics driver into one unit

    Carl Bugeja12:10 PM
    Haha i guess that answers the question

    Stephen Tranovich12:11 PM
    Hehahe It totally looked like you were the fastest typer on the planet!

    Carl Bugeja12:11 PM
    this is the drone

    Carl Bugeja12:11 PM

    Stephen Tranovich12:12 PM
    Wow, awesome! I see the PCB Motor in there. Any videos of it flying?

    Frank Buss12:13 PM
    doesn't look like it can fly stable with only 2 rotors, e.g. the Tiny Whooper has 4

    Carl Bugeja12:14 PM
    this was actually before i came up with the idea of the pcb motor.. so this robot has an off-the-shelve brushless motor.. It had four tiny flaps that control the roll and pitch axes but that's were we failed as the flaps were too small to create a strong enough force to move the drone

    Rebecca E. Skinner12:15 PM
    You just very precisely identified the design problem, so isn't that fixable ?

    Carl Bugeja12:16 PM
    at that time we had given up.. this robot weight under 30 grams and it was very hard to go lower than that

    Frank Buss12:16 PM
    only one prop? the whole thing must spin like crazy :-)

    ꝺeshipu12:16 PM
    the duct has a second fan in it

    ꝺeshipu12:17 PM
    if you look closely

    Carl Bugeja12:17 PM
    no it has two props rotating in opp direction to control the yaw.. this is the pcb as you can see it is really packed and that dual brushless motor driver in the middle inspired me to try and design the pcb motor

    Kris Winer12:17 PM
    Are pcb motors more efficient than off-the-shelf brushless motors?

    Carl Bugeja12:18 PM

    Boian Mitov12:18 PM
    the magnetic fields of the 2 solenoids will not interfere when they are so closely packed?

    Boian Mitov12:19 PM
    I mean on the PCB dial motor design

    Carl Bugeja12:19 PM
    my current prototype of the pcb motor is coreless so you cannot actually compare it with the off-the-shelved ones as they have an iron core.. so efficiency-wise it is not but it is much smaller and cheaper to assemble and manufacture

    Stephen Tranovich12:20 PM
    Where has the design of the PCB Motor left this tiny drone project?

    Stephen Tranovich12:21 PM
    And then we'll hop into some more community questions, because we have some juicy ones waiting.

    Kris Winer12:21 PM
    Please show us what a pcb motor looks like and describe how it works...

    Stephen Tranovich12:21 PM
    @Kris Winer here is the project page for the PCB motor:

    Kris Winer12:22 PM

    Stephen Tranovich12:22 PM
    You're welcome!

    Stephen Tranovich12:23 PM
    Okay, the next question is by @Jarrett : Ever consider doing a multi-pcb stackup? Or aluminum substrate?

    Danny FR joined  the room.12:24 PM

    Carl Bugeja12:24 PM
    So in this startup drone project, i was not alone.. but i was responsible for the hardware design. After this drone project has ended, i started working alone on the pcb motor which is...

    Read more »

View event log

Enjoy this event?



Jarrett wrote 08/10/2018 at 19:16 point

Any plans to hide single coils inside PCBs to actuate things, kinda like a solenoid?

  Are you sure? yes | no

Boian Mitov wrote 08/10/2018 at 19:08 point

What is the coolest Robot that you have built?

  Are you sure? yes | no

Jarrett wrote 08/10/2018 at 19:04 point

Project fodder: You could draw coils with a hole in the centre, and then use many PCBs stacked up with a tube through them as a coilgun, yeah?

  Are you sure? yes | no

Stephen Tranovich wrote 08/10/2018 at 19:04 point

Tell us about your linear PCB motors and flexible PCB actuators!

  Are you sure? yes | no

Danny Andreev wrote 08/10/2018 at 19:03 point

Will there be a video/call for this?

  Are you sure? yes | no

Stephen Tranovich wrote 08/10/2018 at 19:04 point

The Hack Chats are text only AMA style Q&As.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Jarrett wrote 08/10/2018 at 19:02 point

What software do you use? How do you easily draw the coils?

  Are you sure? yes | no

Stephen Tranovich wrote 08/10/2018 at 19:02 point

What projects have you used your PCB motor in so far? What projects are you hoping to incorporate it in in the future?

  Are you sure? yes | no

Jarrett wrote 08/10/2018 at 19:01 point

Ever consider doing a multi-pcb stackup? Or aluminum substrate?

  Are you sure? yes | no

Lutetium wrote 08/10/2018 at 19:01 point

Where did the inspiration for your PCB Motor design come from?

  Are you sure? yes | no

Interested in attending?

Become a member to follow this event or host your own