Linear actuators are presented now in the highest variety. There is no doubt that whatever project you are planning, you will find the needed actuators for it. To choose the right option, you need to pay attention to several parameters such as:
- The actuator size: it shall fit in the place dedicated to it.
- The stroke length: the item shall be able to move at a specific distance. If the stroke length isn’t sufficient, the project isn’t going to work. If the stroke length is too big, you might need to install a limit switch to control the actuator movement.
- The power of the actuator: in other words, it needs to be able to move whatever is needed.
- Another important feature is the actuator speed. While for some projects, you might just need your actuator to move at a fixed speed, it would not work for other projects. For specific applications, you might need a variable speed linear actuator.
Thus, let us check for what projects you might need to control the actuator speed and how you can do it.
DC Speed Controllers and Other Devices to Control Actuator Speed
Some actuators can move slower or faster depending on the power amount that you fuel on the actuator. While this method cannot be applied to all actuators, with some, it would work.
Consider though that every actuator has a specific speed limit. You can make the device move at a speed lower than that but if you increase the allowed limit, the device might get burnt. Another thing that even if you know that the actuator speed depends on the voltage you feed on it, you aren’t going to switch the voltage manually.
Thus, let us have a look at the options of how you can control the actuator speed safely.
- The most common option to control the actuator speed is to use a DC speed controller. Along with it, you can use other devices to keep the actuator movement under control.
- High-speed actuators are usually equipped with a potentiometer. This device allows controlling the actuator speed easily.
- Another option is to get a high-speed linear actuator with feedback. It allows you to change the actuator position by setting it up. Thus, this feature allows you to get a highly adjustable actuator.
- Arduino is a good option when it comes to actuator control. With Arduino, you can apply linear actuators in multiple projects, even those that require top precision speed and movement accuracy. You just code Arduino based on the needs of the project, and that’s it.
While in most DIY projects, you would consider actuators that work at a constant speed, for more complex projects, you might need to adjust the movement speed of the device. Moreover, you can adjust the speed every time when the requirements change.
Now, there are many options to regulate the actuator speed. Check what requirements you might have to the movement speed, and choose a device that complies with the requirements.