Rotary encoders monitor the position and movement of electric motor shafts -- but how do they work?
And what kind do you need?
What is an Encoder?
An encoder is a device used to provide feedback to a control system by sensing a change in position. Rotary encoders work with electrical motors to sense rotational motion related to the motor shaft. Depending on the type of encoder used, they can provide information about change in position, absolute position, and even the speed of the shaft.
Encoders are invaluable to the small servo motors that function with great precision and accuracy in a 3D printer. They are just as critical to the massive motors used with cranes to lift heavy, cumbersome objects. In fact, encoders are found in just about every industry, from petrochemical to paper and pulp manufacturing.