What components do i use?

Hi there i have a project with a fillament re spooler.
I want to attach a stepper motor to drive it.
The stepper motor needs to be speed adjustable (software or pot) and needs to have a manual on off switch and also a fillament sensor style micro switch to auto trigger off on a runout.

Componants i have spare
Nema 17
3d printer motherboards
Raspberry pi
Arduino nano
+other smalls

Question is could i program a 3d printer mainboard or would it just be alot simmpler to use other components and what components?

Thank you

1 Like

The simplest solution would be something like this:

connected to the Arduino, with the pot connected to a analog input and the filament sensor connected to a digital input. However, the exact module you would use depends on whether the stepper you have is unipolar or bipolar or both.

The printer motherboard could be an interesting option if you want to drive the spooler from a PC or Pi. How practical that would be depends on the implementation - if it’s a GRBL device then there are many free apps that can be used to control it, and speed would be controlled from within that app. Marlin would also work although the best available app is somewhat complex to configure. The filament sensor might be a problem - you could get an indication in the app, but whether or not that can stop the spooler without user intervention would need to be looked at. A proprietary motherboard implementation would be a problem and would depend on what documentation is available. Again, that option would depend on what type the stepper is.


Hi All
Shane says he has a “Nema 17” stepper.
I may be wrong but does not “Nema 17” just refer to the physical size of the stepper with emphasis on the mounting hole arrangement. It has nothing to do with the could set up and thus the method of driving such a device.
Cheers Bob


Yes. The module referred to above is for a bipolar (4-wire) stepper, and the motherboard almost certainly is also for bipolar. The Nema 17 could be unipolar or bipolar or both. A unipolar motor will not work with a bipolar driver.


Hi Jeff
Shane does not indicate what sort of stepper he has. Or if he did it did not appear on my computer.
Cheers Bob

1 Like