Motor driver board maximizes performance of open source 3D printers

May 30, 2018 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Motor driver board maximizes performance of open source 3D printers
The EVALSP820-XS motor driver board from STMicroelectronics makes the chip manufacturer's in-house know-how in the field of industrial controls available for the open source 3D printer platform RAMPS (RepRap Arduino Mega Pololu Shield). This enables 3D printer manufacturers to better exploit the potential of their devices to achieve higher print speeds and smoother surfaces.

With the modular RAMPS platform, FFF-3D (Fused Filament Fabrication) printing technology becomes accessible for makers, small businesses and private users, whether for rapid prototyping, spare parts production or for training purposes. The Arduino Mega 2560 or Arduino DUE baseboard provides basic control and allows users to connect their preferred motor drivers, extruder controllers and other desired functions with mega-compatible expansion shields.

A plug-and-play expansion board, the EVALSP820-XS from ST RAMPS printers can drive at high speed, which results in a significant throughput increase and ensures outstanding surface smoothness with micro-step resolution between half a step and 1/256 steps per micro-step.

Crucial to this improvement in 3D printer performance is the STSPIN820 stepper motor driver IC, which contains fast motor control input circuits and algorithms developed for industrial applications. Also integrated in the ultra-compact, only 4 x 4 mm QFN housing is a powerful output stage designed for 1.5 ARMS with built-in protection functions with undervoltage protection, overcurrent and short-circuit protection and overtemperature shutdown.

The board can also be used in other projects to accelerate the development of smooth, fast stepper motor controllers for surveillance cameras, textile manufacturing and sewing machines, medical devices, ATMs, office and home automation, point-of-sale terminals and robots, for example. With its operating voltage range from 7 V to 45 V and its uncomplicated host interface with stepping clock and direction input pins, the STSPIN820 is versatile, economical and easy to integrate.

Further information at www.st.com/evalsp820 .


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