I’m fairly new to Arduino but I am working on a project where I have to control at the minimum 5 motors independently along with a solenoid and possibly a 6th motor.
My project runs 3 axis similar to a 3d printer but I need a few extra motors and solenoids for another operation (like a large pick and place machine).
I was going to order a ramps 1.4 since I could control 5 motors and there seem to be tutorials posted online.
Here are some of the questions I have after looking at some diagrams and reading some posts:
1a. Is 6 stepper motor control possible with the ramps? The first two diagrams attached below have 2 motors connected to the z axis driver.
I believe these are connected in parallel (I’m not sure what the board I have circled in red is for in the second picture).
Since they are both connected in to one driver, I’m assuming they both run at the same time + in the same direction etc?
Is there anyway I can run these independently?
1b. I’ve seen people suggest a stepper expander as seen here (Adding more extruders - RepRap). But I am not able to find this on amazon to ship for my project in time.
Is there anyway I can run the 6th motor on an uno and somehow have the mega and uno communicate with each other?
2a. Could I use the extruder bed power points to power a solenoid + relay and use any remaining pins eg. thermistor pins to tell the arduino when I want to turn on the solenoid?
2b. If 2a isn’t possible can I have a solenoid circuit separate on an uno and somehow communicate to the mega controlling the ramps?
Any help/links would be greatly appreciated. I feel like I’ve been reading forums and watching videos for two days but I’m having a hard time understanding some aspects of the board and arduino as they apply to my project.
If you have any other suggestions for motor controllers I could order please do let me know. I came across ramps as I saw many people using it for hobbyist projects so I thought it would work for my application (plus i can order it off amazon prime).