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I need to rotate an object about 20 kg's in weight, 360 degrees.

I'm thinking of using a stepper motor with some kind of rubber wheel pushing along the rim of a lazy-susan. Geared or belt solutions are probably better, but I don't reckon I need the accuracy. Mostly I am unsure how to spec which stepper motor I need?

This is the given spec for a stepper motor I can get locally:

HIGH TORQUE HYBRID STEPPING MOTOR, WITH DUAL / DOUBLE ENDED SHAFT 12VDC, 0.31A, 38E5/PHASE, 1.6KG-CM TH, 6-WIRE, 120G-CM TD

Any comments welcome.

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The weight alone doesn't say much, you need the moment of inertia. It's a lot easier to rotate a 1 cm diameter cylinder than one with a 30 cm diameter, even if they're the same weight. –  stevenvh Mar 25 '11 at 10:22
    
We'll need dimensions of the turntable and mass of its rotating element to get the moment of inertia. –  AndrejaKo Mar 25 '11 at 10:26

2 Answers 2

If you are not trying to be accurate (as you allude to) but just continuously rotate something you could probably just use a normal DC motor with rubber drive wheel (have you considered using the belt/motor from an old vinyl record player turntable?). If you need slow rotation you may need a gearbox (model shop, old toy, meccanno, lego?), or need to PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) drive the motor (remote control car motor controller?). Another idea is an old variable speed electric drill/powertool, you could rig the trigger to a specific speed fairly easily (cable tie?). This will all depend on how quick-and-dirty vs robust/reliable/long-term you are aiming for and whether you need variable speed and/or direction control (things you don't specify). Stepper will give you the most control, but is probably the most complicated. Match the complexity of your solution to the complexity of your problem. :)

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Provided that you will have good bearings (and very low friction), even the lowest powerful steppers would work, even ones salvaged from DVD-drives. So you would need to focus on mechanical part & bearings, not motor.

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