Peristaltic Pump Improved for Nema 17

by silisand, published

Peristaltic Pump Improved for Nema 17 by silisand Nov 16, 2015

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This is a remix of the excellent design of Ralf's Perstaltic pump. I printed his pump and built it to his specs, but I found that the small stepper motors would not really run the pump consistently or with enough power.
I decided to modify the pump to accept a Nema 17 stepper. This gives the pump PLENTY of power to push whatever liquid that you're trying to push. I had to beef up the bearing holders a bit. I also added some mounts. There's a single pump mount and a 4 pump mount. (I'm using to add fertilizers to my aquarium, so I use the 4 pump version).
I'm still using the same bearings and screws that Ralf is using, so you can get a list of the required screws and bearings from his thing. There are countersunk holes in the pump base to mount the motor. If you don't use the motor mount, I've included a spacer to use in it's place.
The washer goes in-between the bearing and the bearing holder assembly on both sides. You can also use metal washers, but I found you can adjust the printed ones for a perfect fit.

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For the bearing mounts, use an infill of at least 50% - You need the strength. I also used 60% infill for the pump top, base and centre - This ensures that everything will handle the stress. The mounting plate and base you can use as little as you can get away with, but better infill means more strength. The pump housing was printed with 4 shells. The bearing holders and mounting plates with 2 shells. I printed everything at 100 microns, but I think that 200 microns should be ok for everything but the small parts.
You probably won't need support -I was able to print everything without. (I always TRY to design to print without support.


Building the pump

I used a 12V 350mA 28oz-in NEMA 17 stepper motor from Robotshop. Part number RB-Ada-138. This motor has a shaft with a flattened side. I recommend this to keep the bearing mount from slipping.
For the screws and bearings needed, see thing 254956.
You will also need screws for the motor.

How I Designed This

I created this from the original files found on thing 254956. I brought them into Sketchup and modified them to work with a NEMA 17 stepper.

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using solicon OD : 6.4mm and ID : 3.2 mm from here :


the motor is unable to move blocked by the rigidity of the hose.

could someone help me to give me an european reseller to get correct hose and not wast my time/money ?


That looks like regular aquarium airline tubing. That won't work at all. You need the flexible silicone tubing. It's usually light blue in colour and its very soft/flexible. See the pictures above.

You only need to use that in the pump. Leave 6" or so leader on in and out and then a connector to regular tubing.


thanks for your reply but in france I'am unable to find this kind of super soft silicone tubing.

Where do you find this blue ( what reseller type) tube and/or this tube are done for what kind of usage ? to be able to find a reseller.

On this comment section you said that you are using M3 screws but on the original design, ralf is using m4 screws (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:254956). Could you please carify what is the hardware needed / pump?

Low cost peristaltic pump
by Ralf

Great Project.
What is the maximum amount of ml/min or l/h ... which can be pumped?

how many turns/min do you use?

Is it possible to ask you to modify this too work whit a tubing like this:
Outer diameter: 6.4mm
Inner diameter: 3.2mm
Wall thickness: 1.6mm

I need to be able to dose 40ml under 15sec, whitout ruining the pump. About a minutte apart.

It is already designed for 1/4" (6.4mm) hose. Make sure that you are using the very flexible silicone type hose. The normal vinyl (e.g. Aquarium airline) hose is too rigid.
It should be able to handle that flow quite fine, as long as you print in ABS or a good curable resin. PLA, I find, will crack under stress long before ABS will.
Also, if you have difficulty with the hose size, try a different sized bearing. Just make sure the height and inner hole of the bearing are the same size.

Thank you. Found a offer on some cheap pumps I am going tørreste first. And i am gong to use laboratory food graded silicone hose ;) making a ardurino bar

Cool. Be cautious if they are the little plastic snap fit cover ones with the DC motors. Trying those is what led me down the path to these.

I am also curious about the flow rate. You say you output about 10ml at a time. How long does it take to output that much?

A few seconds. You can control the flow rate to a point with your Arduino. I have it run fairly slow, but I could probably dispense 10ml in as little as 1 second if You ran the motor faster.


could you confirm me the hose diameter (od) needed please ?

Can you give an aproximation of the flowrate?

Any chance of an assembly video and a show of performance? Looks nice!

I didn't do any videos and for the most part I'm done with this project, so probably not. As far as how it works, I can tell you that I'm pumping nutrients into my aquarium with a 5' head and the quantities are accurate to the Milliliter. Most of the nutrients are ml or 10ml in quantity and the pump performs to within .1 or .2 ml. I check it every week or two to see that the quantity is accurate.

hi, great work! I like that you have used NEMA 17s for added heft, but also because I'm thinking of reusing them for a simple CNC once I no longer need the peristaltic pumps.

I had some questions, which maybe other people do to, so I thought I would post them.

  1. What stepper controller/system do you favor? I wonder if there is one that you like which has three or four outputs?
  2. In Ralf's version, he used M3 screws (~3 mm diameter) with a bearing whose inner diameter is 4 mm. Have you noticed any laxity? Maybe the washers eliminate this problem.
  3. Do you use six bearings per pump, as in Ralf's design? I suspect so, but can't tell for sure. I'm planning to adapt your model for 3 mm (1/8 inch) OD tubing, so I wonder if it's feasible to modify the design to just use 1 row of bearings.


Hi Alex,
I use an A4988 for each stepper. The Pololu board, see the link http://www.canadarobotix.com/stepper-motor-controllers/pololu-1182
I'm using the same M3 screws. They were actually a pain to find locally. I'm in Canada, which is Metric, but good luck finding metric screws! I was going to change the design to imperial screws, but since I had found the screws and they were sitting there, I decided to leave them.
There's not much laxity, but I am using my printed washer, because I can sand it down a bit for a perfect fit.
I am using 6 bearings. I didn't change much on the bearing holder other than to change the hole to support the Nema steppers and to increase the strength of he area around the mount to support the torque of the larger motor.
I don't think it would be too hard to convert to a single bearing. I would use a slightly wider bearing though. In Canada I order from Www.bearingscanada.com.
One note... With the current design, I find it very predictable to dispense the liquid down to about .2ml. I run the stepper at 1/4 step and count the clicks. There's a fair bit of pressure on the hose, so the amount of vertical head does not seem to affect the performance or accuracy. with this design I found that I also did not need check valves to prevent backflow. The pressure on the hose was enough to seal the line.