My experience with stepper drivers is limited to the tiddly little Pololu single-chip low-power drivers that my 3D printer uses to drive Nema17 motors, and the M752 (to be replaced soon by EM806) drivers used on my CNC router. I'm now working with a small group on a joint project that will probably need something in the middle, maybe driving Nema17 motors but with a bit more current than needed for the 3D printer, or maybe a size up from that. The obvious choice (and keeping the costs down) seems to be a Chinese TBA6600-based or similar device. I'm guessing at the moment that something like a 24V supply would be enough but there are still a number of question marks about the hardware design. I am also a bit worried about the reputation of these eBay-sourced drivers and the poor sealing of the magic smoke containers they include.
Does anyone have any recommendations for something that is worth considering? I am looking at the software we are going to be using, probably something like Raspberry Pi driving an Arduino-based grbl controller, and I am going to need something to build a testbed for the software mods that will be required, hence need for a driver before we have all the other design details hammered out.
I looked at the TB6560 & TB6600 based boards but didn't fancy the gamble.
Probably not in your budget but I'd go for a separate driver set-up.
I've just done a little test project with a UNO/GRBL and 3 x AM882 drivers running NEMA 23's, worked perfectly.
This project will have a moving table with maybe 150x150mm movement, XY only (no Z). I doubt if there will be a lot of mass in it, and movement will be slow and in very small steps. I can't help feeling that the AM882 class of driver is a bit OTT!
I've had a poke around in the grbl code and it does look very interesting.
Yes of course, the AM882 is probably overkill. But something like the CW5045 from CNC4YOU should work just as good.
Until you have an idea of whether a pretty much maxed out NEMA17 at around 1.7amps/0.44Nm will work for your application or move up to NEMA23 it's difficult to recommend a drive. If you go for something like the CW5045 you will at least have a little scope on the motor choice. If the NEMA17 will suit, running them from a gShield on the UNO should be more than adequate.
Perhaps it might be worth considering upgrading the M752 now and using those drives.
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