Hello, I am currently designing a 3 axis stepper controller, and was wondering if it would have any demand in the arduino community, and if i should in fact design it as an arduino shield. The purpose of this project is to design an integrated precision 3 axis controller that is easy to interface with, precise, and can be used in small scale robotics and cnc applications. The project is still in fairly early stage so any feedback would be great!
Here are the specs so far: Drives 3 2-phase stepper motors 1.5 A / coil up to 64 microsteps/step SPI interface with arduino controller does all position processing, PID control built in, acceleration, velocity Built in stall checking for switchless boundary checking in cnc application
The benefit of this controller would be that it would take high level position commands ex go(x,y,z) and execute them with preset and adjustable speeds, accelerations/deceleration, pid control, adjustable current level etc. This way, the arduino would only send high level commands, and only have 4 pins used (SPI), leaving the bulk arduino processing to carry out other tasks. Also, the arduino could act as a usb interface between the controller and a computer to carry out cnc instructions from a program. The boards will also be able to stack, and offer 6 12, etc stepper controllers in one system.
Disadvantages would be that it could only drive 2 phase stepper motors, albeit a wide variety. Also, due to the component sizes can not be offered as a kit, and will be relatively expensive, probably around $200 to buy as a unit due to component costs.