What is commonly referred to as microstepping is often sine–cosine microstepping in which the winding current approximates a sinusoidal AC waveform. Sine–cosine microstepping is the most common form, but other waveforms can be used. Regardless of the waveform used, as the microsteps become smaller, motor operation becomes more smooth, thereby greatly reducing resonance in any parts the motor may be connected to, as well as the motor itself. Resolution will be limited by the mechanical stiction, backlash, and other sources of error between the motor and the end device. Gear reducers may be used to increase resolution of positioning.
Brushed DC motors rotate continuously when DC voltage is applied to their terminals. The stepper motor is known by its property to convert a train of input pulses (typically square wave pulses) into a precisely defined increment in the shaft position. Each pulse moves the shaft through a fixed angle. Stepper motors effectively have multiple "toothed" electromagnets arranged around a central gear-shaped piece of iron. The electromagnets are energized by an external driver circuit or a micro controller. To make the motor shaft turn, first, one electromagnet is given power, which magnetically attracts the gear teeth. When the gear teeth are aligned to the first electromagnet, they are slightly offset from the next electromagnet.
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