Build a simple brushless motor

Quite a few things inspired me to make this motor: I’ve been watching Walter Lewin’s excellent 8.02 lectures from his MIT course on electromagnetism, I saw a 3D printed motor on Hackaday, and I’m working on some simple educational science projects for kids.


I started off by copying the 3D printed motor, but made it parametric in Fusion360 so I could fiddle around with things. Thanks to Angel for helping with the 3D printing.

Screen Shot 2016-04-01 at 18.24.15

Then after winding and testing a few coils (thanks Pachon for all the wire!), I realised it was going to be way too much work for a few hours of a science workshop. So I tried to make a motor with just one coil. That meant using a sensor to detect where the magnet was and getting movement through timing.

After a few iterations I got a nice adjustable setup and had replaced the Arduino with a few cheap components.

I don’t have detailed instructions, but if enough people request it, I’ll write them up and email them to you.


You might notice from the picture the hall effect sensor is on the wonk – I somehow forgot how the breadboard was wired and made the pivot for the coil on the wrong edge! I’ll fix that in the future.

Walter Lewin promised 1 point for each 100RPM up to a total of 20 points on his MIT course. I’ve managed 12 points so far! All the design files are on github.

And here’s a not so simple brushless motor!

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