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I designed a 3D printable LEGO-compatible enclosure for an inexpensive brushed DC motor. The intended use is outdoor holiday decoration, so I fully enclosed the motor to weatherproof it. LEGO Technic motors are fully enclosed in plastic as well. But I recently learned that enclosing a brushed motor is a bad idea since the ablated brush material will eventually short the motor. This is why brushless fans are used around electronics.

Is my understanding correct? Should I not enclose such a motor? (Perhaps the LEGO Technic motors are brushless.)

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I notice there is a tag for brushless DC motors, but not one for brushed DC motors. \$\endgroup\$ – Moby Disk Oct 8 '15 at 20:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't have numbers, but a lifetime of experience with motors seems to indicate this depends on the size of the brushes, expected lifetime of the machine and relative size. I've seen 500KW machines that were enclosed, but they were also water cooled, horizontally mounted and had an air filter. \$\endgroup\$ – Sean Boddy Oct 8 '15 at 21:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ My guess about the tag situation is that people are interested in brushless motor controllers, which can get pretty complex. Brushed motors don't require any control electronics. \$\endgroup\$ – 2012rcampion Oct 8 '15 at 21:03

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