Multiple stepper motors - 1 driver

Hello all!
I would like to know if there is a way of controlling multiple (lets say, 8) stepper motors from 1 (or less than 8) drivers? All the motors will have to work independently though.

So, here is the scenario:
I would like to have 8 stepper motors and 1 Arduino (or similar) controlling them. Each motor will have to work independently, however I am hoping to share a main power source (they might all be utilised at the same time).
All I have seen here is 1 driver for 1 stepper motor, is this always the case? Is there a cheaper (in cost, and power usage) way of doing this?

Thank you :slight_smile:

  • James
1 Like

You will need a separate driver for each motor. However you could use one power suppply for all motors. And it is possible to have multiple drivers on a single controller. They are available for either Arduino or Pi. For instance:
Protoneer.co.nz | Electronic Prototyping Specialists

Thank you Jeff for the link and information!
Shame about that, I was hoping that there was some type of magic that allowed me to control motors without the use of a driver, however, it is what I fear…

Ohhh well. Thank you again :slight_smile:

Hey James,

Depending on the amount of power that you have to use you could get away with some small drivers. Usually its good having quite a lot of headroom but if you are able to identify exactly how much power you need that can cut costs quite a bit.
PS: If two steppers are completing the same action you can link the two as some mainboards on 3D printers do, I’m not sure where exactly that link is myself (linking from the driver or signal side) but @Jeff105671 or @James might be able to shed some insights!

1 Like

Both are possible. 3 ways to add a dual Z axis - Including G34 auto Z levelling - YouTube
Linking from the driver side assumes the driver can deliver enough current for both motors, but the motors are not separately controlled. Linking from the signal side allows separate control, but also requires separate drivers.

2 Likes

Hi Liam and all,

When I’ve opened up 3D printers with dual Z screws, I’ve generally only found one driver. While this is definitely less-than-ideal for levelling, I’ve found it gets the job done.

I’ll have a deeper look into this one to see how the right way to do this is.
-James