PCB Motor

A smaller and cheaper open source brushless motor

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My open source PCB motor is my attempt to build a smaller, cheaper and easier to assemble micro brushless motor.

What unique about this motor design is that the stator is printed on a 4-layer PCB board. The six stator poles are spiral traces wounded 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.

It also has a 16mm diameter, 1.7mm thin 3d printed 4-pole rotor. So the total thickness of this axial flux motor adds up to 5mm (excluding the shaft) and weighs 1.5 grams.

The inspiration for this idea came from trying to build smaller and cheaper drone. Making the motor onto the PCB itself will reduce the overall price of any tiny robot, allowing swarm robotics to become more affordable.

My PCB-Motor is made from a 6-pole stator printed on a 4-layer PCB and a 4-pole 3d printed rotor. Its has an outer diameter of 16mm and is rated at 1 watt. 

I had this idea when I was trying to design a small compact drone. The PCB motor is much cheaper than other micro brushless motors and also easier to assemble. My goal is to make the rotor part of the BOM and mounted just like any other component on a PCB. 



RAR Archive - 151.40 kB - 06/04/2020 at 20:41


6-layer PCB Motor Gerber Files.rar

Gerber files for my 11mm diameter 6-layer PCB Motor

RAR Archive - 46.53 kB - 11/07/2018 at 16:52



BOM for my PCB motor brushless ESC with Hall sensor feedback

JPEG Image - 59.80 kB - 10/22/2018 at 04:42


PCB Motor ESC Gerber Files.rar

Open Source Gerber Files for my PCB motor brushless ESC with Hall sensor feedback

RAR Archive - 171.61 kB - 10/20/2018 at 17:47


PCB Motor ESC Schematics.JPG

Open Source Schematics for my PCB motor brushless ESC with Hall sensor feedback

JPEG Image - 61.15 kB - 10/20/2018 at 17:45


View all 6 files

  • 1 × 3D Printed Rotor
  • 1 × PCB Stator
  • 4 × Magnets (5mm diameter x 1mm thick)
  • 1 × Shaft (1.5mm diameter)
  • 1 × SMF681X-ZZ Bearing

  • FlexPCB Motor + Steel Stiffener Test

    Carl Bugeja10/08/2021 at 06:53 1 comment

  • Version 4

    Carl Bugeja08/05/2021 at 17:36 0 comments
  • PCB Motor Wheeled Robot v1

    Carl Bugeja05/19/2021 at 12:42 0 comments

  • PCB Motor v3

    Carl Bugeja06/05/2020 at 16:12 1 comment

  • How to design a PCB Motor?

    Carl Bugeja04/10/2020 at 13:46 0 comments

  • Rotor Flux PCB Motor

    Carl Bugeja07/13/2019 at 17:22 0 comments

    This video shows my attempt in trying to design a rotor-flux brushless pcb motor prototype:

  • SPEED!

    Carl Bugeja06/04/2019 at 00:59 0 comments

    How fast can my PCB Motor go? 

  • CORE PCB Motor

    Carl Bugeja01/07/2019 at 19:06 0 comments

    Check out this teardown of the CORE-PCBMotor!! I came across this motor a few months ago, after a few people who saw my design sent me their website's link. There's not much information on it and its also patented but this guy managed to take it apart and review it.

    I have no idea why they decided to use it for a lawn trimmer (there's much more interesting applications) but its very interesting to see how it was designed, the way the windings are connected and that it has sufficient torque to rotate a blade!

  • Smallest PCB Motor

    Carl Bugeja10/31/2018 at 00:11 0 comments

    My SUPER tiny 6-layer PCB Motor is spinning! Here's the full video describing how I designed it:

    My original 4-layer PCB motor had a 16mm diameter. By adding two extra layers I was able reduce the number of turns per layer and get it to 11mm. The total height of the motor is 3.6mm and its weight is 0.5 grams.

    No space is lost in this pcb! Each coils have 3 vias to connect the in-between layers. These forced a triangular shaped stator poles, which utilize the magnetic field area more efficiently.

    The tiny rotor design has four press-fit 2mm n52 magnets and a 3mm bearing. This new design has the shaft soldered onto the stator, so it is fixed and don't rotate with the rotor.

    I had chosen to go with this design because of two things:

    1. I couldn't find a bearing small enough to fit in the middle of the stator.
    2.I'm not planning to use a shaft. Customized 3d-printed rotors makes much more sense. 

    The phase resistance of this motor was measured to be 15ohmsand its getting to 85℃ with a 4V supply, so it should be perfect for a 1s lipo.

  • ESC details

    Carl Bugeja10/20/2018 at 17:52 0 comments

    This video shows how i designed my PCB Motor's ESC and what where the challenges involved in getting my speed controller to work.

    This is its schematics:

    It has a PIC16F1503 as the main controller and a triple half bridge driver STSPIN230, to control the three phases of the motor. These are both powered from the same supply, to avoid having an extra power wire or on-board regulator, reducing the cost even further. I filtered the digital circuitry supply from an LC filter to attenuate any noise the motor can generate. It can operate from a 5V to 2.6V supply and draws around 220mA in total.

    As i explained in my previous project logs, the back emf generated from my pcb motor was too weak to implemented a sensorless speed controller. So i decided to use a hall sensor to provide feedback to the microcontroller and then implemented a speed closed loop speed controller. 

    The open source gerber files and schematics for this PCB are available for download. 

    In the beginning of November I will be giving a demo of this project at the Hackaday Superconference so see you there! 

View all 31 project logs

  • 1
    Step 1

    Its this simple:

View all instructions

Enjoy this project?



Hexastorm wrote 11/04/2021 at 15:21 point

Hey Carl, great project. I am working on prism laser scanner with a BLDC motor see .  What kind of weight can you spin with this rotor? How planar is the rotation? The most important requirement is that the prisms stays flat and does not wobble during rotation. The size of the prism, depends on the application.

  Are you sure? yes | no

NccWarp9 wrote 08/27/2021 at 15:16 point

Have you thought about using SMD inductors as coils? Top of inductors would most probably need to be filed down to expose the core. This would make it possible to increase the power

  Are you sure? yes | no

yueliang1315 wrote 06/02/2021 at 07:39 point

Good project! and I have also seen a tutorial blog about pcb, maybe you are interesting in it:

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reginev wrote 03/02/2021 at 14:51 point

Your PCB is amazing.

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reginev wrote 02/26/2021 at 13:34 point

Nice work dude. Any tutorial?

  Are you sure? yes | no

ogiea wrote 02/26/2021 at 13:09 point

I am using this when I was in college.

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Tim E wrote 03/26/2020 at 01:09 point

I think this motor could change many things in society. Good work!


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Jarrett wrote 11/15/2019 at 00:18 point


For your first 4-layer coil, is there any particular reason you went with the layering order you did?

You go for top->L3->L2->Bottom, just wondering if there was some sort of design reason there

  Are you sure? yes | no

sash wrote 10/12/2019 at 23:23 point

can u make tutorials on how to make 3d print rotors and stators?thx

  Are you sure? yes | no

sash wrote 10/12/2019 at 22:07 point

what are the dimensions of the SMF681X-ZZ Bearing. Can you reply sap this is for my science project and i need to use a pcb motor becuase it a cheap and small motor to make. Thank you so much Carl.

  Are you sure? yes | no

albper wrote 04/19/2019 at 14:52 point

Hi, Carl:

Your  PCB motor is really amaizing.

I think that perhaps you can improved the torque using flex-PBC coil.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Martin Parnell wrote 04/03/2019 at 12:01 point

hi. I wondered if you could get one of these to spin at much lower RPM. I am in need of this design to build a remote foot switch operated motor to be placed over a volume potentiometer. Specifically for guitar effects pedal.. I believe it is a very sought after use for this sort of motor. Would you like to collaborate in a busines venture? My email is

  Are you sure? yes | no

nokemono wrote 02/18/2019 at 16:49 point

How did you design this coil?

What is the CAD you used?

  Are you sure? yes | no

ClearloveG wrote 01/24/2019 at 12:40 point

hello Carl,I  did one of your steps, ESC version.

When I prepared all the devices, I found that I did not have MCU program.

So, I want to say, is this program not open source?


  Are you sure? yes | no

anton.fosselius wrote 01/07/2019 at 05:44 point

Have you seen this:

"A company called Core makes some unusual electric lawn tools based on axial flux PCB motors.  I first heard about them several years ago, and finally picked up one of the motors to take apart."

  Are you sure? yes | no

Carl Bugeja wrote 01/07/2019 at 19:09 point

I just saw the article it very interesting to see how they're designed!

  Are you sure? yes | no

bboyes wrote 01/02/2019 at 04:12 point

What a great idea! I love how this makes you go to the basics and analyze what really makes a motor and how can you compromise to make a "usable" motor out of unconventional materials? I'd like to try making one of these... I notice the bearing, SMF681X-ZZ, obviously a key component, is about $9 each from Boca bearing. Any idea on lifetime and lowering that cost? Boca doesn't list lifetime data:

I wonder if this could be adapted to be a low cost local fan for circulating air from a PCB heater.

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TinLethax wrote 10/19/2018 at 13:07 point

Cool project ,Interesting 

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ep.hobbyiest wrote 10/18/2018 at 05:13 point

great idea and Awesome project !!!

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Michael Graham wrote 10/16/2018 at 23:47 point

HI Carl, I love your projects, very creative! Just curious if you have experimented with stacking these things? 

 You could ~double your torque if you stack a second stator to sandwich ether side of your rotor.  Connect the stators together in parallel with the headers
 The result would still have your nice flat profile (thicker but no diameter change) and it would support the output shaft on either side making it more robust. 
 It would prevent you from attatching a fan but the rotor could still be used as a gear/pulley.

  Are you sure? yes | no

majolillo wrote 09/18/2018 at 18:21 point

Have you considered rebuilding to a switched reluctance motor instead of a bldc? My gut feeling tells me this could be done slightly cheaper and more efficient. What would be required:

- Keep the ferrite sheet in the back

- Ferrite core in each winding

- Replace permanent magnet with reluctance core patterns to match the amount of windings. Probably 3d printed in ferrite, any high permeability low conductive material. A pattern like one that is shown in the end of this video:

As for the required torque, you might want to consider a 3d printed planetary gear

  Are you sure? yes | no

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