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The Best Stepper Motor Driver to Use for Your 3D Printer!

The Best Stepper Motor Driver to Use for Your 3D Printer! | 3D Printing Spot

Updated by

The Spot Team

/

December 1, 2020

One of the most important parts of a 3D printer is the stepper motor driver. The stepper motor is responsible for properly positioning the print head, so it’s an essential component to ensuring your design comes out even, looking at it’s best.

The best stepper motor driver for your 3D printer depends on the motor you have, as well as the voltage capacity. Other factors include the motor’s phase, current output rating, and adjustability.

If you’re interested in optimizing your 3D printer designs with a new stepper motor, stick around. We have the best stepper motor drivers to use for your 3D printer. Just keep reading.

Table of contents:

The Best Stepper Motor Drivers

Each stepper motor has a little something different to offer, so there’s no doubt you can find one that fits your exact needs.

If you’re concerned with the noise of your current stepper motor, choose a quieter model. Or, maybe you’re not great with the programming aspect of stepper motors, and if that’s the case, you can find one with a more simple and straightforward setup.

No matter what you’re looking for, one of these will suit your needs:

  • ULN2003 Driver Board
  • DevMo Stepper Motor Driver
  • Bolsen Stepper Driver
  • Arceli A4988
  • SMAKN TB6600
  • SparkFun EasyDriver
  • GikFun EasyDriver
  • HiLetGo 3D Step Driver
  • HobbyPower
  • KeeYees Professional
  • SainSmart Driver
  • Adafruit TB6612
  • The Allegro
  • The DROK Stepper
  • Qunqi Motor Driver Controller Board
  • DaFuRui
  • Tongbay Driver
  • BIGTREETECH Direct Driver
  • DORHEA Stepper Motor Driver

ULN2003 Driver Board

The ULN2003 Driver Board for Arduino by Elego is a great choice for someone looking for a driver that is less phase specific. The ULN2003 driver has:

  • A four-phase LED setup that allows you to check the output of the machine as it is running.
  • A unique shape, so it’s a plugin driver.

DevMo Stepper Motor Driver

The DevMo 5 piece Stepstick Mute stepper motor driver is a great choice for anyone concerned about the heat levels produced from their 3D printer.

  • The driver operates at 4.75 Volts and 28 DC.
  • The Devo model runs at a temperature of 70 degrees.
  • It’s important to check which direction you insert the driver. Putting the driver in the wrong way can result in the machine jamming and possible damage to the driver.

Bolsen Stepper Driver

The Bolsen five-piece stepper driver is a great choice for someone with a single-phase 3D printer. The driver has:

  • A simple and easy to understand direction control interface.
  • A Voltage of 35 with 2A output drive capacity.
  • A single step is set up, so it is simpler to use and understand.
  • A direction control interface.

Arceli A4988

The ARCELI A4988 Compatible Stepper is the best model to use if you’re looking to make your machine faster in speed. The ARCELI model:

  • It is compatible with multiple 3D printer voltages, ranging from 6V to 36V 2.5A.
  • Is made with high-grade material with 4-PCB.
  • Has phase by phase measuring of the current in the motor.

SMAKN TB6600

The SMAKN TB6600 Upgraded Version is a high-tech stepper motor driver. This driver comes with:

  • A maximum output current of 4.0A. The driver can be made to produce an output current of 8.0 A.
  • Six sub-modes for the driver that consists of 32 segments.
  • A power supply ranging from 9V to 40V. The power supply chip version comes with a five-year warranty.
  • A phase flow driver that is H-bridge bipolar constant.

SparkFun EasyDriver

The SparkFun EasyDriver Stepper Motor Driver is a great driver’s choice if you’re looking for a driver with many adjustabilities. This driver has:

  • MS1 and MS2 pins that allow the micro-stepping resolution to shift between full, half, quarter, and eighth steps, with the default setting starting at eighth steps.
  • An adjustable current control that allows switching between 150mA per phase to 750 mA per phase.
  • A power supply that varies from 7V to 30V. The pressure put on the machine increases with the higher voltage used from the power supply.

GikFun EasyDriver

The Gikfun EasyDriver Shield Stepper Motor Driver for Arduino is a great choice if you’re looking for an easy to install the driver. The unit:

  • It is compatible with multiple stepper motors that come on a variety of voltage. Any four, six, and eight stepper motors should be able to use this driver.
  • Has a power supply anywhere from 7V to 30V, allowing for higher voltage uses and greater torque speed.
  • It is an A3967 micro-stepping driver.

HiLetGo 3D Step Driver

The HiLetGo A4988 Stepper Motor Driver is a great model if you’re looking for versatility. This model contains:

  • Direct control interfaces with simple step control.
  • Defy basic micro-step motor resolutions, those being full step, half step, quarter step, 8th step, and 16th step.
  • And adjustable current control allowing for but drive output of up to 35V and 1.2A.

HobbyPower

The HobbyPower Stepstick 4-layer DRV8825 is the best choice for those looking for the most micro-step resolutions for their 3D printer. This driver:

  • Has six different micro-step resolutions, including full step, half step, quarter step, eight-step, 16th step, and the additional 32 steps.
  • It is known for being well suited for those who like to build their 3D printers or have other do-it-yourself inclination.
  • Is interchangeable between both a 3.3V system and a 5V system.

KeeYees Professional

The KeeYees Professional 3D Printer kit comes with more than just a stepper motor driver. It’s a great choice if you are a beginner and are also in need of other parts. The driver:

  • Has an adjustable current control feature.
  • Come with five micro-step resolutions, the common full step, half step, quarter step, eighth step, and sixteenth step.
  • The output capacity reaches a maximum of 35V.

SainSmart Driver

The SainSmart CNC Micro-Stepping Driver is a great choice for those looking for a quiet factor for their driver. The SainSmart has:

  • A voltage range is ranging from 24V TO 50V, one of the highest voltages on this list.
  • A design best suited for 2-phase hybrid stepper motors.
  • Sixteen operation modes consisting of sixty-four resolutions.

ProsConsThe driver has a special technique on current control that allows the driver to operate without creating a lot of heat and noise, so it is quieter and cooler than other drivers.The driver does well at adapting to situations of unstable electrical supplies.The driver fits any NEMA stepper motors ranging from size 17 to 34.The driver is a little more complicated in its makeup, so it might not be a good buy for first-time assemblers.This driver might be more susceptible to heating problems than others.

Adafruit TB6612

The Adafruit TB6612 1.2A DC/Stepper Motor Driver is the best if you’re looking for a simpler motor driver. The driver is chip shaped and has:

  • A current limit of 1.2A, with the ability to peak out at 3A.
  • Been known to work at small volume levels.

The Allegro

The Champion 5 pieces Allegro A4988 Stepper Motor Driver that is fairly simple to use. The driver comes with:

  • A standard micro-step resolution set, namely the full step, the half step, the quarter step, the eighth step, and the sixteenth step.
  • Multiple drivers per pack, just in case you need another one.
  • Many of the protections necessary for the operation of the driver.

The DROK Stepper

The DROK L298N V3 Stepper Motor Driver is a little different than most of the drivers on this list because it makes use of DC motors. This driver:

  • Has operability ability anywhere between 3V and 30V.
  • Services motors that use 2-phase, 4-phase, or 2 DC motors.
  • This driver is often coupled with microcontrollers.

Qunqi Motor Driver Controller Board

The Qunqi L298N Motor Drive Controller Board is slightly different from your typical driver but still performs all of the same functions. This driver:

  • Works only on 4-phase and 2-phase stepper motors, while also working on stepper motors with both phases.
  • Gives an external addition of 5V of power while also using 12V for driving voltage.
  • Works on stepper motors that have voltages ranging from 5V to 35V.
  • Comes equipped with a dual-channel as well as an H-bridge, which comes with after-flow diodes already fitted.

DaFuRui

The DaFuRui 5-piece A4988 Stepstick Driver is a great option if you want a driver that’ll fit in more than just your 3D printer. The DaFuRui has:

  • A translator is built into the complete micro-stepping motor driver frame that allows for the stepper motor’s easy operation.
  • The standard micro-step resolutions are the full step, the half step, the quarter step, the eighth step, and the sixteenth step.
  • An output capacity that has a limit of 35V and 2A.

Tongbay Driver

The Tongbay TMC2208 V3.0 Stepper Motor Driver is a more high tech motor with lots of extra advancements. The Tongbay driver has:

  • A simpler, single-axis stepper motor drive in the form of a chip.
  • An outage voltage that ranges from 4.75V-36V with a peak current of 2A.
  • A single UART wire that is used for advanced configurations.

BIGTREETECH Direct Driver

The BIGTREETECH Direct TMC2209 UART driver is a high tech motor drive that comes with a lot of extra mechanisms. This driver:

  • Has a drive current that flows easily at 2A and peaks at 2.8A. The current is also continuous.
  • Is especially made 2-phase stepper motors.
  • Makes use of MS1 and MS2 for the functioning of the stepper motor driver.

DORHEA Stepper Motor Driver

The DORHEA TMC2208 V1.2 driver is high tech and very carefully designed, allowing for increased performance and easier control over the 3D printer. The DORHEA driver:

  • Has a peak current of 1.4A, with the continuous drive current resting at 1.4A.
  • Has an output voltage range of 4.75V to 36V.
  • Has a flexible micro player interpolation unit. This unit allows the driver to have 256 subdivisions, which allows for easier control.

How to Choose the Best Stepper Motor Driver for Your 3D Printer

Before you commit to purchasing a new stepper motor driver, compile a list of features that are important to you. If you’re replacing an existing stepper motor driver, think about any areas that are lacking with your current model. If you’re getting an entirely new stepper motor, think about what’s important to you.

Here are some ideas to keep in mind when you’re considering what you’re hoping to find in a new stepper motor for your 3D printer:

  • Is the new stepper motor driver compatible with your 3D printer?
  • Are you looking for a stepper motor driver that’s more complex, or is simplicity important (they’re all fairly complex, but some are more so than others)?
  • How long will your stepper motor be active and engaged with the load?
  • What are the torque requirements for your specific 3D printer?
  • Do you want to improve the outage of your 3D printer?
  • What level of accuracy do you expect from your stepper motor/3D printer?
  • Is noise level a concern? Are you looking for a stepper motor driver that runs quietly?
  • What standard features are the most important for you in a stepper motor driver? Make a list and prioritize, what are must-have features, and that can you live without.
  • Are the models you’re looking at top quality? Do they come with protection measures against overheating, not enough voltage, or cross-over current issues?

Actually writing down each of these components and determining which ones are deal breakers will help you narrow down the choices, so you can immediately count out any that don’t meet your criteria.

Summary

There are many variables to consider in the overall “best” stepper motor drivers. What it ultimately boils down to is what factors are important for you, so you can choose the best fit for your 3D printer.

The above stepper motor drivers are some of the best available, but each have their own individual pros and cons. Once you know exactly what you’re looking for in a stepper motor driver, you can use the guide above to help you choose the one that works best with your 3D printer.

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The Best Stepper Motor Driver to Use for Your 3D Printer!

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