Stepper Controller feasability

Hi all,

I’m in need of a controller to use on a ball screw/linear stage setup for doing some focus stacking photography. There are a couple of commercial units available, but none with the range and control I need, so I started looking around and found arduino—cool! I think it would be able to do everything I need, but before I jump in and start wrapping my head around the code and buying gear, I thought it wise to post the question and see whether my needs are feasible…

To place it in context; focus stacking allows multiple macro photos to be taken, then composited in software, thereby overcoming the shallow depth of field issues surrounding larger magnification… sometimes these stacks can be hundreds of images deep, depending on the magnification. I already have the linear stage and ballscrew up and working manually, but am sick of spending hours turning a little handwheel, triggering the camera, turn the handwheel…

1 - I can gear the ballscrew to suit my needs, so what I’d like is an adjustable output to drive the stepper motor.

2 - Would like a slow stop at the end of each movement ie; hit button, motor drives at top speed, then slows gradually to a stop, ready for the next exposure—I’m trying to remove any vibration from the system.

3 - I need some outputs to trigger the camera/flashes ie; motor drives, stops, a slight pause to allow any residual vibration to be dampened, then the camera is triggered, motor is driven again etc

4 - An automatic return upon reaching the end of the run.

Dream package would go something like this;

(Depending on magnification/depth of image etc) I’d set the distance of overall travel, the increments, the pause after each increment before triggering the camera, then hit the start button and go make myself a coffee. The camera would advance, take a shot, advance, take a shot etc, reach the end of the run and return to the start. It would also be extremely nice to be able to set each of the parameters with out needing to plug back into the laptop each time (I also use it in the field sometimes) Adjustable pots, or switches, it doesn’t matter really.

So, would this sort of thing be reasonable for an arduino package to handle? If not, I’m happy to accept direction on where to look for alternatives :slight_smile:

Thanks for the help!



ayashko: So, would this sort of thing be reasonable for an arduino package to handle?


Thanks… :)

I'll get back when I have some more specific questions