The up-gradation of technology has made a stepper motor driver (which is an essential part of 3D printers) more convenient by digitalizing it. Here, you will get to know about the important factors like the voltage, modes, current and output for the best stepper motor driver for 3D printer.
Before digging in, let’s get a quick view for the editor’s pick which is drawn out on the bases of its features.
Things to Consider Before Buying
Phases of Stepper Motor
- You can find two phases in stepper motor i.e. uni-polar which is a single-phase and bi-polar that is dual-phase.
- The driver depends upon the phases of the stepper motor as every motor is compatible with different phases.
- Stepper motors A5, 6, and 8 are compatible with Unipolar stepper motor drivers.
- A 4, 6, and 8 wire stepper motors are compatible with Bi-polar drivers.
- There are two types of currents DC (direct current) and AC (alternating current).
- Most drivers come with DC in the market that is perfect for the proper functioning of a 3D printer.
- AC are rare but they are available in the market.
- The stepper motor comes in different voltages.
- A traditional motor works at 2.8 Volts with the maximum current 1.68 Amps. If it runs with a high voltage current then it will get extremely hot.
- A stepper motor helps in regulating the current flow. If it gets up to 12 Volts, it will start to draw more current.
Current Output rating
- There is also an output power outing range of the driver.
- The current output rating is given per phase and the rating shows the minimum output that produces in phase one.
- One important feature of the driver is the amount of current output determines the size of stepper motor it can drive.
- The stepper motor drivers have the ability to adjust the level of power supply of the motor by adjusting the current.
- This feature is easy to use as it allows a manual adjustment to change the on-board resistor or adjustable resistor and will in return helps to choose according to the requirement.
Command Signal Input Type
- You can find different kinds of compound signals that can be found in the stepper motor driver.
- The most common input which is used for CNC is Step and Direction.
- There are different modes of operation like full-step, half- step, and micro-stepping.
- Full step is a hybrid stepping motor that add up the strength of variable reluctance and the magnet permanent motors. It usually has 200 rotor teeth.
- The half-step operates the motor and rotates it 400 steps per revolution.
- The microstep divides every step into 256 discrete that allow 51200 steps every revolution.
- You can find a different kind of drivers like L/R driver, bi-level driver, and (PWM) Chopper driver.
- PWM Chopper driver is the most common one.
Switching Speed (PWM drivers only)
- This feature is present in PWM drivers only and it provides the switching speeds.
- The PWM drivers instead of using step frequency use switching frequency for the operation of their functions.
- The minimum value that it must have is 20 kHz. Also, the higher the amount of frequency it contains, the more smoothly your driver will operate the functions.
- The step frequency is the maximum input frequency needed for the compound signal.
- For a driver to operate its function properly a frequency of 0 to 200 kHz is needed. This amount of frequency is needed if you are trying to get high speed and accuracy.
- The safety of motors and signal generator or computer is necessary and for this purpose, drivers offer various internal circuit protection.
- This required protection can be obtained by the use of optoisolators and fuses.
- If the driver isn’t providing such protection make sure that the break-out board does. Because if neither will provide one then the risk of harm will increase.
Idle Standby Feature
- This is an additional feature that is present in some drivers. Though this feature isn’t necessary it will increase the efficiency and life of the motor.
- The benefit of this feature is that after being idle for a certain amount of time it will reduce the power supply to each stepper motor.
Top 5 Best Stepper Motor Driver For 3D Printer
|Image||Name||Rating out of 5||Price|
|DEVO 3D Printer Stepper Motor |
☞ Blocks rotation detection
|Bolsen Stepper Motor|
☞Direction Control interface
☞Adjustable current control
☞Up to 35 output voltage capacity
|Arceli Stepper Motor|
☞Small CNC machine
☞5 steps resolution
☞Afford and durability
|KeeYees Professional Motor|
☞CNC expansion board
☞4 layer PCB board
☞6 step resolution
|HiLetgo 3D Stepper Motor |
☞Single step direction
☞Over temperature turn off
☞Intelligent chopping control
1. DEVO 3D Printer Stepper Motor
- Ultra Silent
- Heat Dissipation
- The module and additional pieces work quietly without creating much noise.
- Controlled by PWM copper Motor Drive
- 4.75V – 28 DC
High working temperature: While utilization, the temperature might be around the ranges of 70 degree in 0.5A. This 3d printer stepper motor kit has potential and promises durability. Yet there are some guidelines you need to follow in order to make it work properly. Firstly, make sure that you’re not inserting it in the wrong direction. Otherwise, you’ll stay stuck while trying to work it up. Moreover, while measuring the voltage, please don’t attach the motor or it’ll result in the burning off the drive. this arduino stepper motor driver is an excellent choice for 3d printers and in case of any faults, can be returned.
According to consumers, the price of this 3d printer stepper motor kit might be a bit higher as compared to it’s opponents yet it offers a lot more efficiency than those same items. So, this is a offer worth sealing.
2. Boleson Reprap Stepper
- Single step and direction control interface
- Include; full-, half-, quarter-, eighth- and sixteenth-step modes
- Adjustable current control
- The 35 V and 2 A output drive capacity proves the fact that it deserves the acclaim this best stepper motor driver for 3d printer receives.
- This will aid in making the procedure easy as it allows easy implementation.
If you’re even the least familiar with the tech world, you understand that how much-complicated direction control interfaces complicate a task. Well, if you’re sick of this issue as well you can rely on this best stepper motor driver for 3d printer. The easy to understand direction control interface gets the job done in a few steps.
Moreover, now you don’t have to put in extra effort to chose the correct current decay mode, as the automatic selection chopping control gets it done for you.
Due to its high grade multiple automatic features, it cuts down manpower to the most and that’s one of the reasons why you’ll find it in various customer reviews and lists for the topmost best stepper motor driver for 3d printer available in the market.
Leading the line with extremely positive ratings, RONSHIN’s 3d printer stepper motor kit is a customer favorite. Although some customers were confused over color deviations. That’s only because of different monitor settings. So, you don’t have to consider it as a problem because it’s not.
3. Arceli A4988 Stepper Motor
- The material used in its construction is high grade with the 4 – PCB. This glass fiber resin will increase the working life of this most precise 3d printer. Also, it is usually used while manufacturing other printed circuit boards and tech items.
- This driver is very adaptive with the stepper motor below the voltage 6V-36V 2.5A.
- It works by sending current in pulses during various phases towards the stepper motor. It’s an extremely efficient way to control the working mechanism of this most precise 3d printer.
- Its motor phase current is the sort of current that’s measured during each of the phases of the motor.
What if we told you, you can purchase a durable micro step driver only under $20? No, we’re not kidding because this ideal 3d printer Mode Stepper Motor is only under $20. this 2a stepper motor driver, this proved to be one best stepper motor driver for 3D printers. like prusa i3 stepper motor This micro-step Arduino stepper motor driver from this brand is as exceptional performance-wise, as it’s previous critically acclaimed items are.
Is it as extraordinary as we claim? Is it really that durable? Well, the customer reviews from previous consumers seem to agree with this stand. Even if anything goes against your wishes, you can avail the remarkable 10 days return policy from Amazon.
4. KeeYees Professional Motor
- CNC expansion board
- Printer that aids in easy operation
- If you’re intending to achieve higher step rates that go way up than your stepper motor’s rated voltage
- Adjusting feature for current control
- In case of any sort of complication that can harm the device, automatic circuit protection utilizes under voltage lockout, thermal shutdown and crossover-current protection.
- This best stepper motor driver for 3d printer offers various step resolutions including; full-step, half-step, quarter-step, eighth-step, sixteenth-step
Now, if you’re really into the 3d printer trend like most people you need the best stepper motor driver for 3d printer as well, which obviously is this product. Geekcreit makes sure that when you’re looking for a high grade and best stepper motor driver for 3d printer, their brand is your top most choice. Featuring the output capacity of 35 V, the power reduction feature makes it one of the most economically preferable choices out of all. Furthermore, the simple mechanism makes improving pulse-width modulation as easy as eating a piece of cake. Only under $27 you’re getting access to a 5pcs set of this best stepper motor driver for 3d printer with automatic current decay mode, and it seems like a pretty great offer to us.
Affordability is the top most spec that makes this best stepper motor driver for 3d printer such a high ranking product among contemporary customer scores and ratings. it is the best stepper motor motion controller and It’s selling like hot cakes thanks to its advanced features and economical price.
5. HiLetgo 3D Stepper Motor
- The 64 or 128 subdivisions present in this microstep driver.
- This motor more steady and precise if its current is less than 1.5A
- The module and additional pieces work quietly without creating much noise.
- Measure the internal resistance with this. Although make sure you adjust it again to avoid the burning of the drive.
- Over-temperature thermal shut down
- 5 Different resolution
Most of the time you’re not well aware of the product you’re purchasing is A grade or not. Consequently, Semoic’s gadgets are only sold by authorized places. So, don’t worry you’re definitely purchasing the best 3d printer stepper motor quality-wise and works better than a Pololu stepper driver. Thanks to the subdivisions, the ultra-quiet nature of this 3d printer stepper motor creates no noise whatsoever. it has ramps 1.4 stepper driver and Here’s a suggestion to make it work properly, try to keep the voltage at the range of 10 V-12 V.
Some customers face issues regarding the cooling and temperature of the 3d printer stepper motor otherwise it has fairly appreciative ratings.
What is a Stepper Motor Driver and Why do you need one for a 3D Printer?
Have you ever found yourself in a situation when you’re looking for some sort of parts or segments for a gadget but don’t really understand any terminologies at all? It’s troubling when it’s not really your area of expertise but the task requires immediate solution. You’d face the same issue while looking for the best stepper motor driver for 3d printer.
Still confused? Well, the function of a 3d printer stepper motor is to usually place the extruder or to build the platform along the x, y, and z axis during a task.
Moreover, an interesting fact about this best stepper motor driver for 3d printer is that they come in various proportions and sizes such as; NEMA 14, NEMA 17, NEMA 23, and NEMA 24 etc. Most precise 3d printer usually need the best stepper motor driver for 3d printer to deliver ultimate precision.
Stepper motor is a brushless DC electric motor that plays a huge role in the 3D printer functioning. It has the capability to divide a full rotation in a number of equal steps, which in turn is used to control the frequency and speed of the pulses. But to do this operation properly you need a stepper motor driver.
Stepper motor drivers has the ability to produce continuous contraction with precision. And this feature can be used even without a feedback system. These features are specifically designed in the stepper motor driver for the proper functioning of the motor.
These drivers are an important part of 3D printers. They are used in every type of printer. For example, stepper motors are used to move the extruder in 3D printer, but it is stepper motor drivers behind the scenes that is regulating and controlling the speed of the stepper motors.
How do Stepper Driver and Controller work?
Electromagnets play a major role in the working of the stepper motor driver. Electromagnets surrounds the rotor that is attached with the metal gear. Just like rotor, electromagnets also contain gear-like teeth structures. Both rotor and electromagnets faced each other but they both are not in contact with each other.
Apart from construction, stepper driver and controller also play a role in the working of driver. Stepper driver and controller controls the motor as it switches on electromagnets alternately. Pulsed waveforms pass through each coil and produce electromagnetic fields. After that an event of changes will start occurring, gears will line up with first electromagnet but not with the second electromagnet. The process will continue from one electromagnet to the other electromagnet. By this process, a single stepper motor can take at least 200 steps in one revolution. You can also reverse the motor rotation by changing the order of direction of energized electromagnets.
Type of Stepper Drivers and Controllers
Stepper motor functioning and performance is greatly dependent upon the type of stepper driver circuit is used. There are 3 types of stepper drivers that are explained below.
1. L/R Stepper Driver – Resistance Limited
The L/R stepper motor driver is a low-performing driver but it provides full-rated rotation. But this rotation is provided at a low to medium speed that will result in the limited range of power output. This driver was the basis of the old drive designs and it was operated on the full and half-step mode operation. Also, this driver doesn’t have the feature to provide variable control of current levels and therefore because of this it will produce a system performance that lies in between low and moderate.
2. Bi-level stepper driver
A bilevel stepper driver has the ability to use both high- and low-level voltages. When bilevel use high voltage, it will gain a high rate of current that is required to increase the rise time of motor windings. After that, when the current level is reached to the required level the stepper will turn the supply of high voltage off automatically and will maintain the current supply from the low voltage. Because of this reason it is known as bilevel. This feature of switching the low- and high-level voltage is the reason that this bilevel stepper driver is more efficient and produce lower cost.
3. (PWM) Chopper stepper driver – Microstep
This is the third type of stepper driver. PWM (pulse width modulation) stepper driver is also known as chopper, constant and Microstep driver. unlike others it used a single supply of high voltage and operates on that. For the regulation of an average level of current PWM stepper driver uses output transistors that are switched on and off automatically.
PWM offers both advantages and disadvantages. The most prominent and important feature that PWM contains is its ability to drive stepper motors in the Microstep mode. This Microstep mode provides the level of smoothness that isn’t offered by any other driver. Microstep mode will regulate the current rate at all speeds. No doubt this feature offers excellent performance but it is more costly and complex than any other stepper motor driver. On one hand, this driver offers current boosts and mid-range stabilization but on the other hand, it contains some disadvantages such as the production of WMI and RFI. Also, another issue chopper driver has is overheating.
What is Microstepping?
Some drivers contain advanced features in which instead of moving one gear at a time and taking alternate turns, the driver will simply apply enough supply of current that will hold the gear in between the steps. Resulting in the increasing accuracy of the output. Nowadays, 1/16th microstepping is considered as a standard. But some drivers contain greater microstepping like, 1/32, 1/64, 1/128 and 1/256. The basic function of these microstepping is the same, but the driver with greater microstepping requires more amount of current to hold the rotation of the electromagnet gears in a fixed position.
Good silent stepper motor that also comes at reasonable prices can be of great help as they provide ultimate precision. Furthermore, they have the capacity to place an object to a repeatable position, which is something quite complicated during a manual effort like an ender 3 stepper motor upgrade.
These sensorless homing facts further back up the reason why silent stepper motor is used in most electronic and robotics items. Yet, there are certain requirements that every efficient stepper motor driver board is supposed to fulfill and a buyer shouldn’t overlook.
Try to find out whether the stepper motor driver board you’re about to purchase has a built-in translator or not. Every high-grade driver is supposed to include adjustable current control and multiple-step resolution settings otherwise it’s just a wastage of your money.
Don’t get fooled after viewing the large frame of the best stepper motor driver for 3d printer as having a larger frame doesn’t mean that it possesses more torque. Lastly, try to read reviews on Amazon to avail the best deal and to stay aware of what you’re about to land yourself into.
For more reviews, click here!
What’s a stepper motor driver?
A stepper motor driver is specifically used for controlling the motor more precisely. 3d printer stepper motor are usually found under the hoods of usual 3d printers. Their function is to trigger the coils of the motor and making it rotate according to recommendations.
Are stepper motors better than usual motors?
Even at low speeds, stepper motors possess more torque as compared to usual motors. Consequently, they’re the best choice for items that need high precision at lower speed.
How to choose stepper motor for 3d printer?
There are a a few aspects like; size, torque , voltage and current that should never be overlooked as they can be used to detect a silent stepper motor.
How many stepper motors can Arduino control?
An Arduino can control around 7 stepper motors. Also, don’t forget to use batteries as external power source because steppers will need lots of amps during the process.
- How do stepper drivers work?
A silent stepper driver is like a driver circuit that determines the functions of a stepper motor. The stepper driver conveys the current to the stepper motor in a pulse. It prevents the repetitive variations of the torque. It has four types, which are microstepping drives, wave drives, two-phase on, and one-two phase-on drives.