using a motor moving a platform holding 10 lbs

How to figure out motor size

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Beginning my journey into electronics and circuit boards.

I have this project idea where I want a switch to be able to raise and lower a platform. The platform is going to hold some object weighing about 5-7 pounds, so my very first question is: how do I decide the appropriate motor that can perform this sort of task? Any other tips on how to get started would be great as well.

At the moment all I have is the idea, a breadboard, a multimeter, a bunch of alligator clips, and resistors.




edited 7 hours ago


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  • 2You decide the weight, the acceleration, top speed, and whether you want it to stay elevated passively or actively. – DKNguyen 7 hours ago
  • 2Motors are not really the best thing for a first project. You can do it, but know that motors are more complicated than most intro-to-engineering projects. – Hearth 6 hours ago
  • 1Yeah I figured I’d work my way up to the part where the motor is involved Just wanted to buy all the things ahead of time. I’m no genius but I’ve had my fair share of creating super simple circuits years ago. (Traffic light, airport runway light, sirens) but nothing that required a motor. Plus I have a degree in CS so problem solving is “fun” for me lol. – SudoHaris 6 hours ago
  • 1Weight is 5-7 pounds. Not including the levers and platform weight itself. Acceleration could be very slow and steady. And I’d like the platform to fully rise with one flip of a switch and stay risen, then flipping the switch again to lower it completely. – SudoHaris 6 hours ago
  • 2Selecting a motor is a mechanical problem. You need to determine the required motor shaft toque and speed. You need to figure out how you will convert the rotary motion of the motor shaft the required lifting motion. Then figure out how the motor torque will transfer through the mechanism to produce the 5 to 7 pounds of lifting force. Then add the friction of every pivot point and gear mesh. That is all mechanical engineering, not electrical. – Charles Cowie 5 hours ago 
  • 2I’m voting to close this question because it is aabout mechanical engineering not electrical. – Charles Cowie 5 hours ago
  • @SudoHaris, Oh my goodness, a CS degree is more than enough to solve your electromechanical or mechatronic problem. I have a rusty EE diploma and I have been playing with motors for a couple of years, as a hobbyist, and I found EE guys should find playing with motors would update EE knowledge and skills. Nowadays almost all EE guys use MPU such as Arduino or Raspberry Pi to solve such basic automation problem. If you have no Arduino experience, I would suggest you to browse this forum to get to know the basic things such as (1) blink a led, (2) read a push button, / to continue, … – tlfong01 1 hour ago  
  • (3) I would suggest to start off with (a) a newbie friendly MPU (Micro Processing Unit), (b) a couple of newbie friendly tutorials, and (c) Toy motors and newbie friendly motor drivers. (4) Arduino is a bit old school, Rapberry Pie is a bit hard for newbies, I would suggest to start with US$4 Pico, for which you can easily find new friendly tutorials, and I would suggest Tom’s Hardware tutorials: Rpi Pico: Tutorials, Pinout, What You Need to Know, Les Pounder, Tom’s Hardware, 2021jun29: (4) tomshardware.com/news/… – tlfong01 9 mins ago  
  • The above reference has many newbie friendly tutorials, including one for playing with DC motors: (4) How to Use Your Raspberry Pi Pico With DC Motors, Les Pounder, Tom’s Hardware, 2021jan30 tomshardware.com/how-to/dc-motors-raspberry-pi-pico – tlfong01 7 mins ago  
  • (5) All DC motors and their drivers work on more or less the same principle. In other words, the knowledge and skills you acquired from playing with toy motors and drivers can be readily transferred to the real world industrial automation applications. (6) If you can show us a photo of your perhaps present mechanical “platform” and how or why you wish to use motors to automate things, we are glad to make suggestions. – tlfong01 36 secs ago  Edit  

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