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Stepper Motor Drivers

What is a Stepper Motor Driver

  • A stepper driver is an electronic device which changes the current into the pulse.
  • It actually does nothing on its own, it needs to be used with a controller.
  • The basic function of a stepper driver is to drive the motor.

Why a Stepper Motor Driver is needed?

  • The voltage and the current required by the motor are not from the controller.
  • The stepper driver could transform the movement instructions into the sequences.
  • The sequences will be fed into the winding of unipolar step motor to make the motor run.

Types of Stepper Motor Drivers

1. Digital Stepper Driver

These drivers are implemented using the most modern technology. They are easy to use and can be used for driving 2-phase or 4-phase motors. Some digital stepper drivers can work with a voltage of 24 - 70 V DC, and their maximum current can reach up to 10 A. And a DIP switch can be used to set the required current and micro-steps resolution.

Some of the ímportant features of the digital stepper drivers are

  • Anti-resonance.
  • The motor movement will become smooth.
  • Low heat and noise.
  • Support multi-axis control.
  • The micro-step resolution is selectable.
  • Support over-current protection and over-voltage protection.

2. Analog Stepper Driver

These drivers may use THB7128 IC and can provide a micro-step resolution as much as 25,600 steps per rev.

Some of the ímportant features of the analog stepper drivers are:

  • The output current is selectable.
  • The micro-step resolution is selectable.
  • H-bridge bipolar steady current driving.
  • The signal input and output are isolated.
  • The single pulse interface uses standard common anode.
  • Off-line protection available.
  • Semi-closed housing for the rough working condition.
  • Automatic semi-flow lock available.

Commercial stepper drivers

For Nema 17 - upto peak current of 2.5A

  1. A4988
  2. DRV8825
  3. Trinamic TMC2100, 2209, 2208 etc.

For larger stepper motors > 2.5A

Note: Stepper drives rated for 4.2A have effective cutting of 70% of that value so about 3A. Accordingly a stepper driver rated at 5.6A will have effective current rating of about 4A.

  1. Cheaper drives - Toshiba TB6600
  2. Mid tier drives - Lichuan
  3. Better ones - Leadshine drivers
  4. DM422C Leadshine Digital 20-36VDC 0,3 - 2,2A
  5. DM442 Leadshine Digital 20-36VDC 0,5 - 4,2A - suitable for Nema23
  6. Leadshine DM542EU Digital 20-50VDC 1,0 - 4,2A - suitable for Nema23
  7. DM556 Leadshine Digital 18-50VDC 0,5 - 5,6A - suitable for Nema23 - 34
  8. DM556EU Leadshine Digital 20 … 50 VDC 1.8 … 5.6 A - suitable for Nema23 - 34
  9. Higher end - Benezan (made in Germany)
  10. Triple beast

Last update: January 5, 2022