Tech  |  Video  |  Trends  |  Physics  |  Other Types 

Welcome to this installment of MC² on dc motors. Recall that industry conventions categorize most of these motors as dc brush motors, dc permanent-magnet (PM) motors, or dc universal motors. As this MC² details, there are numerous caveats and sub-classifications — especially relating to motors that employ permanent magnets.

Below are some informational resources for design engineers looking to choose from and specify these motors. So check them out and be sure to bookmark to stay current on this series.

Lisa Eitel

Executive Editor, Design World


DC Motor Motion Control Classroom Sponsored by


All about brushless (electronically commutated) motors

What are Brushless DC Motors? Technical Summary for Engineers

Brushless dc (BLDC) motors are DC motors that use magnets instead of brushes and a commutator for commutation.

What’s the difference between BLDC and synchronous AC motors?

The short answer is: brushless DC (BLDC) and synchronous AC motors are similar in construction and operation.

What are the differences between slotted and slotless motors?

In a slotted motor design, the stator is made of slotted steel laminations that are stacked together, and copper windings are inserted into these slots.

What is linear behavior for DC motors?

When the term “linear behavior” is used to describe a system, it implies that the system’s output is directly proportional to the input. 


What is a brushless motor?

This year’s survey of trends in electric motors for motion control and automation revealed several trends and emerging developments in the use of synchronous ac motors; stepper motors, especially in closed-loop offerings; brushless motors of various types; and a smattering of specialty direct-drive offerings just making inroads.

Motion Trends: New motor breeds are smart, connected, and compact

Other dc motor types and technologies

What are dc motors and how do definitions vary? 

Technologies including linear motors, linear actuators, and linear rolling guides.

FAQ: What are DC shunt motors and where are they used?

DC motors in which the armature and field windings are connected in parallel are referred to as DC shunt motors.

FAQ: Where do brush dc motors still make sense?

Brush dc motors are a mature technology that’s been around for more than a century.

Best DC motors for high starting torque?

A DC motor can be constructed in various ways, and each design has specific performance characteristics.

A Must Have Book for Design Engineers

This comprehensive collection with illustrations and descriptions, includes formulas, terms, and explanations for the calculations concerning drive systems. Order your FREE copy today!

maxon motor develops and builds precision drive systems – brushed and brushless DC motors with the unique ironless maxon winding. Flat motors with iron cores complete our modular product portfolio. maxon motor's modular system includes: planetary and spur gearheads, spindle drives, encoders, and control electronics.