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  A friend of mine was talking about his latest rep-rap project and he mentioned that the stepper motor controller was the most expensive part.  
  Hmmm...are we not makers?  There should be no "expensive" parts.  We have the whole chinese continent churning out inexpensive components at our ebay fingertips.

   So, I was thinking: 3 hbridges to control 3 stepper motors and an mcp23017 attached by I2c to an arduino to handle any other stop switch/sensor thingies.  The hbridges were cheap only a buck or so.  Iteadstudio kicked out a pcb after a few weeks, but testing showed that the hridge I selected couldn't provide enough power to drive a NEMA-17 ($15 ebay stepper motor suitable for 3D printer).

   So that idea went on the shelf for awhile and then I saw this $4 hbridge on ebay: http://www.ebay.com/itm/L298N-DC-Stepper-Motor-Dual-H-Bridge-Drive-Controller-Board-Module-for-Arduino-/380520063503? I used them before to drive some rc tanks.  They have plenty of power.

   And so the idea was reborn.  I'll created a github repo to open source the improved schematic and source codes to handle g-codes here: https://github.com/Paulware/3DPrinterController/.  Here is a crappy video:
 
« Last Edit: February 20, 2013, 10:49:08 pm by Paulware » Logged

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Updated schematic and ordered new pcb from Iteadstudio...Github repo updated
https://github.com/Paulware/3DPrinterController/
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 A friend of mine was talking about his latest rep-rap project and he mentioned that the stepper motor controller was the most expensive part.  
That's entirely undefined.  What is considered "expensive"?

That attitude of "the most expensive part is too expensive" is a mindset that results in poor quality.
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Capacitor Expert By Day, Enginerd by night.  ||  Personal Blog: www.baldengineer.com  || Electronics Tutorials for Beginners:  www.addohms.com

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Looking for gcode module for Arduino.  There must be some libraries out there to interpret g-codes.
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https://www.google.com/search?q=arduino+gcode+library
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Thank you.
   Now the question is, how to integrate their library with what I'm using: stepper.h from http://www.arduino.cc/en/Reference/Stepper
  or Perhaps I can just my code since it is just a goofy example for proof of concept. 

  I guess the question is how to calibrate or get the same "quality" results. 

  I have nema 17 stepper motor which I believe is standard.  I probably need to get a real table to compare results.
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