Arduino based point to point linear positioner? How to do it?

Hi.

I would like to make a device that you could enter a distance in mm and hit the go/start button and then it will go to that position.

I think that arduino could do it, but as I have never used an arduino I have not idea where to start or what to do. You can see the attatched diagram that is included.
What I would like to know is.

  1. Firstly is it possible?
  2. I would need a LCD screen to see what numbers to enter etc.
  3. Need a keypad.
  4. Stepper motor or servo motor or something else?
  5. I already have a 270oz stepper, what is the max size in amps that arduino can run a stepper motor?
  6. I think I need an arduino, motor shield, linear or rotary encoder shield?
  7. What arduino do I need, there are heaps. Arrghh, lol.
  8. Would need to set motor speed too, and I guess acceleration and decelleration.
  9. Would need to be able to zero device.
  10. Would need to have a limit switch at either end of travel.

These are just a few things I can think of that would be needed.

The idea is you punch in a distance you want the thing to move in mm, then press start/go. Then it will move that that position.

How do I get started doing this? I mean all the computer code and stuff. To make the arduino work you use a motor shield right? Does the arduino send pulses to drive the motor shield?
How do you get a display in mm to show on the LCD screen if the motor is only turning from pulses? I guess you some how write a program for the linear shield?

Can some one show me some links or information on how to do each of the steps need for this type of project.

Keen to try this arduino stuff out

Peter

Hello Peter.

Firstly is it possible?

Yes, an Arduino can handle all the the inputs and outputs in your project. The project is entirely feasible.

I would need a LCD screen to see what numbers to enter etc.

Need a keypad

Alternatively an LCD with pushbuttons could be used. The pushbuttons could be used to increment or decrement a numerical value.

Stepper motor or servo motor or something else?
I already have a 270oz stepper, what is the max size in amps that arduino can run a stepper motor?
I think I need an arduino, motor shield, linear or rotary encoder shield?

You already have a dandy stepper motor. I see no need to seek another motor. DO NOT attempt to run a any motor right off a Arduino. Motors require more power than can be provided by an Arduino. Yes you will need a motor driver of some kind. As for a motor shield, if you are referring to the motor shields commonly used in projects discussed in these forums, I'm pretty sure they don't have the drive capability your stepper requires. Depending on what you are mechanically driving, I think you may not need an encoder since the the stepper motor you have has enough torque to accurately maintain steps.

What arduino do I need, there are heaps. Arrghh, lol.

The UNO should be fine for you. Can't see your project needing anything more. There is oodles of documentation and support for the UNO.

Would need to set motor speed too, and I guess acceleration and decelleration.

Libraries are available to handle all of that and more for you. Others have already been there and have done the coding for you.

Would need to be able to zero device

Yes, but that is easy stuff.

Would need to have a limit switch at either end of travel.

Yes. More easy stuff.

In searching out some Arduino stuff, I came a site that has some pages dealing with linear motion. Some of the methods like thishttp://n0m1.com/2012/03/24/cnc-half-nuts-the-smell-of-melting-plastic/ I found interesting.

  • Scotty

Thanks for the reply Scotty,

I actually have a stepper driver for the stepper. It is one of the geckodrive stepper drivers, which I currently have it set up using mach3. I want to get away from using the laptop and mach3 simply because it is too bulky for the application.

I will look into the arduino Uno in the mean time.