I'm trying to find a 1:1000 gearbox for NEMA 17, but the highest (affordable) one I've found is 1:100. Is it a good idea to drive a 1:100 planetary gearbox with a 1:10 planetary box? Is it common to drive a gearbox with another? Are there issues in this setup?

Is this an example of a gearbox 'series'?

enter image description here


1 Answer 1


I think that on the attached picture, the two things from the right, are a stepper motor and encoder. Notice that both have wires coming out of them. So it is not an example of two gearboxes in series.

That being said, it should probably work. After all, most of the gearboxes are multistage internally. However, keep in mind that the more stages the gearbox has, the less efficient it is and the more backlash it has. You can also have problems assembling it all together, as the mounting holes of one gearbox may not fit into another.

  • $\begingroup$ Right. But there are 3 pieces on the attached photo: one with a cylinder housing, one with a black housing and one with a clear housing with the PCB exposed. Isn't the part with the exposed PCB the encoder? $\endgroup$
    – John M.
    Mar 31, 2019 at 13:49
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, the rightmost part is the encoder, that's what I meant. Then in the middle is the motor. I'm not sure what is the part on the left. $\endgroup$
    – mactro
    Mar 31, 2019 at 13:53
  • $\begingroup$ I assume you also considered the accompanying speed reduction (i.e. output speed will be 1/1000th of input speed). $\endgroup$
    – guero64
    Feb 5, 2020 at 22:22

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