How do I set up 3d printers step motors or a stepper motor driver?

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How do I set up 3d printers step motors or a stepper motor driver?

 

Usually, they come with three inputs. One tells the driver to step the motor one position. It’s up to you to consider acceleration and deceleration and final speed of the motor by spacing these pulses appropriately.

The second input defines the direction the motor goes as from these steps. Again it's up to you to ensure you don't do stupid things like suddenly changing the direction without decelerating and stopping the motor before changing the direction.

The third input enables or disables power to the motor. It is up to you to decide whether the motor when it is stopped is powered or not. If it needs to hold it’s position against something that may change it you need to hold the power on. But if it will not be moved then you can disable it and save power.

Some drivers have two power supply inputs. One for the three control signals which may be 5volt, and a second one to power the stepper motor - say 24 volts.

Some driver have jumpers or switches that let you set up the current levels required by your application and the motor, and some also have jumpers or switches that set ‘microswitching’ which allows you to do a fraction of a step, like 2, 4, 8 … etc pulses per ‘step’.

You need to choose a motor which has sufficient torque, speed, holding torque, acceleration for your application, and to match them with the specification of your driver. You need to read these specifications carefully before you start. You may like to buy a cheap driver and stepper motor in order to play with them and get a feel for the way they work before going ahead with your final system. A little experience is a very valuable!

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