This page is an archive of the original crowdfunding campaign for this project. It may not be up-to-date with the latest updates and product availability. Return to the current project page.
IQ Fortiq BLS42 modules are full servo motors built to maximize torque and speed output while minimizing motor vibration and footprint. Our unique hardware design and advanced calibration techniques have allowed us to create the most compact and power-dense industrial servo motors on the market.
These modules can be used in a wide variety of applications—from 3D printers to conveyor belts to robotic joints—and are ideally suited to replace both stepper motors and traditional servo motors. They are intended for industrial machinery companies, research institutions, and individual makers alike. A Fortiq BLS42 motor offers the performance benefits of a high-end industrial servo at a price that is comparable to what you’d pay for a quality stepper motor and a controller. And it does so while occupying significantly less space.
Fortiq BLS42 modules are around 55% more compact and 65% less expensive than traditional servos with similar torque and speed ratings. Many companies use industrial servos with optical encoders for position sensing, but optical encoders are bulky and expensive, so we replaced the optical encoder with a magnetic encoder to make the design more compact and less expensive.
Our calibration algorithms make these motors extremely smooth and precise. Our encoder linearization algorithm, in particular, reduces typical magnetic errors by an order of magnitude. The Fortiq BLS42 modules have ±2 encoder tick accuracy. In addition, Fortiq BLS42 modules are able to maximize torque and decrease cogging torque ripple by 90% due to their straight stack, straight magnet motors and anticogging algorithm.
We are offering four different Fortiq BLS42 models, each with its own torque rating. Whether you’re trying to bring advanced, reliable motion control to a device that previously used steppers or trying to reduce costs by replacing an expensive industrial servo, the Fortiq BLS42 line will deliver exceptional results. Possible applications include:
3D printers typically use stepper motors for actuation. Steppers have high-torque output and are often a tenth of the price of industrial servos, which makes them well-suited for most 3D printers. High throughput is a key metric for 3D printers, however, and stepper motors are unable to spin quickly without a significant reduction in torque and a high risk of position loss. Our Fortiq motors—which are also capable of endstop homing without limit switches—are smoother and more efficient than steppers.
Fortiqs will never skip a step or get lost:
Stepper motors are quite loud. Our motors are silent:
Mills, lathes, and routers typically use both servo and stepper motors. High-end machinery that requires precision, speed, and torque use expensive servos. IQ offers a more compact and cost effective alternative to traditional industrial servos. You can replace both expensive servos and cheap steppers with Fortiq module.
Because they need to operate smoothly under large inertial loads, conveyor belts rely on industrial servo motors. Fortiq modules are ideal for belt mechanisms, as they provide consistent torque characteristics at low speeds and at high speeds.
Robotic systems demand high performance in extremely small packages. Whether you’re building an Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV) or a robotic arm, you can use Fortiq motors to optimize for power density, precision, and smoothness.
The diversity of the IQ Fortiq BLS42 line makes it perfect for projects and prototypes. With four different sizes and four different torque levels to choose from, these motors are suitable for a wide range of applications. We can’t wait to see what you build!
|Frame Size (mm)||42x42||42x42||42x42||42x42|
|Total Body Length (mm)||57||77||97||117|
|Motor Length (mm)||39||59||79||99|
|Drive Housing Length (mm)||18||18||18||18|
|Shaft Diameter (mm)||Φ5||Φ5||Φ5||Φ5|
|Shaft Length (mm)||20||20||20||20|
|D-Cut Length (mm)||15||15||15||15|
|Sensor||14-Bit Magnetic Rotary Encoder||14-Bit Magnetic Rotary Encoder||14-Bit Magnetic Rotary Encoder||14-Bit Magnetic Rotary Encoder|
|Max Controller Voltage (V)||48||48||48||48|
|Max Controller Current (A)||17||17||17||17|
|Rated Voltage (V)||24||24||24||24|
|Rated Speed (rpm)||4000±10%||4000±10%||4000±10%||4000±10%|
|Rated Torque (Nm)||0.063||0.125||0.185||0.25|
|Rated Current (A)||1.8±10%||3.4±10%||4.8±10%||6.4±10%|
|Rated Power (W)||26||52.5||77.5||105|
|No-load Speed (rpm)||6140||5634||5319||5071|
|No-load Current (A)||0.125||0.16||0.23||0.27|
The following table compares size, speed, torque, and cost among various products between 100 and 160 Nmm.
|Company||Rated Torque (Nmm)||Volume (mm^3)||Speed (RPM)||Cost ($)||Torque / Cost||Volume Relative to IQ|
|Oriental Motor Co.||160||1,194,088||5,500||$1,393||0.11||870%|
The Fortiq line of motor modules interfaces with our open source Python, Matlab, C++ and Arduino libraries. You can learn more on our Support site. We have also published datasheets for the IQ Fortiq BLS42 Modules.
We have already produced prototype motors, controllers, and controller-sensor housing units with trusted manufacturers. The prototypes have performed well, and we plan to continue testing them throughout the campaign. We do not expect to change the internal rotor and stator designs, but we will likely make slight performance and manufacturability optimizations to the PCB and controller-sensor housing units once testing is complete. For the initial production batch, we will assemble, calibrate, and perform QC checks in-house, with the ultimate goal of outsourcing this process for future runs.
We plan to complete our prototype testing in July and order the production units in early August. We will receive the parts in September and then assemble and calibrate them in October. We expects to ship the motors to Crowd Supply’s warehouse by the end of October. From there, Crowd Supply will handle fulfillment of all orders.
We are doing everything we can to minimize the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on this campaign. While the overall situation is improving in the US, there are severe supply-chain issues for a number of electronic components. Fortunately, we purchased a batch of ST Microcontrollers in anticipation of this campaign. This part has been the most inconsistent in terms of availability, so we do not expect any delays in production due to component shortages. We will continue to monitor the supply chain situation closely and use alternative components if necessary to hit our time lines, assuming these changes don’t have an impact on the Fortiq’s performance.
We manufactures our motors overseas. When we do a major production run, we usually send an IQ staff member to supervise the final steps of the process as a way to reduce risk. Since we can’t do that now, we will have to double and triple check all specifications and processes to ensure the manufacturer gets everything right the first time. It is essential that the manufacturer hits the agreed upon specs. If they don’t, our timelines get pushed back by a minimum of six weeks.
If any situation arises that would delay the expected delivery date, we will inform backers promptly by means of a project update.
After testing and packaging the production batch of IQ Fortiq BLS42 modules, we will ship them to Crowd Supply’s fulfillment partner, Mouser Electronics, who will distribute them to backers worldwide. You can learn more about Crowd Supply’s fulfillment service under Ordering, Paying, and Shipping in their guide.