Need help with choice of driver and controller (for a 2 degrees rotational machine)

as part of a research project I am making a rotational moulder. As seen in the picture, the mould would be fix in the middle by rubber bands and thanks to the action of 2 stepper motors, the rotor will rotate along two axis (x and y).

As I don’t have experience with motors and their control I don’t know what I exactly need to control the motors. I selected the LulzBot NEMA 17 Stepper Motor for his high torque and dimensions. Data sheet :

I found out that I’ll need:

  • stepper shield
  • arduino

Is the stepper only for the electronics and the arduino for the programming? Which aspect of my motor do I need to consider to chose these elements? The voltage and current only? Knowing that my motors have a rated voltage of 2.8V and current of 1.5 A.
Would the following be compatible? or do you have other suggestion?

  • Adafruit Motor/Stepper/Servo Shield For Arduino V2 Kit - V2.3
  • Arduino Uno R3

Looking forward to hearing from you,
Thank you for your support,


Hi Alice,
Sounds like a fairly involved, but fun project!

As far as motors go there’s 3 main things to consider:

  • Type of motor (ie. Stepper, servo, brushed)

  • Voltage of the motor

  • Current draw of the motor

Let’s take your motors with a voltage of 2.8V and 1.5A draw. You’d then need a stepper motor driver which can output 1.5A continuous, at 2.8V. If it has a rating higher than 1.5A then that’s fine as it is simply over spec’d, however, it cannot be under, or have a different voltage.

Bear in mind too that motors (and motor drivers) have continuous ratings and peak ratings. Don’t mistake a peak current draw rating (usually only for a second or two) for the continuous current draw rating.

The stepper motor driver/shield is usually only to drive the motor from a power perspective, and the driver can be controlled via a microcontroller such as an Arduino. Some may come with a simple control to drive the motor, rather than needing an Arduino to be programmed and communicate with it, but those ones will clearly specify that.