Stepper motors are popular to use in applications when something needs to move – like 3D printers. They are low cost, have a high torque at standstill and at low speeds without using a gearbox, and you can split up a full rotation in steps, making them ideal for positioning tasks. Splitting up a full rotation in steps, however, quickly leads to audible and sometimes even visible vibrations. In particular at low speeds and near specific resonance frequencies.
“The vibrations generated by the stepper motors were transferred to the printer’s construction, which reflected on the quality of the 3D prints,” explains Marek Kantowski, R&D Manager at VERASHAPE. It was important for the Polish-based company to find a solution to minimize these vibrations. Especially since VSHAPER 3D printers are mainly used by companies for rapid prototyping in different fields such as automotive, aerospace and medicine, where even the smallest flaws due to vibrations are unacceptable.
By further splitting up the steps of the stepper motor into smaller pieces – up to 256 microsteps – Trinamic’s advanced technologies allow for a more precise current control and thereby minimize vibrations according to Electronics Engineer Tomasz Kuc. “Using Trinamic’s TMC2208 driver has significantly improved the performance thanks to stealthChop2, and the noise generated by the device has dropped by more than 15dB.” The TMC2208 proved to be so successful that they can now be found in the production line of every VSHAPER 3D printer.
But that was not enough for the passionate team of professionals. With innovation, quality and continuous development as their core values, VERASHAPE turned towards the TMC2130 drivers with stallGuard2. Tomasz Kuc comments that these motion control ICs even “allow you to measure the force with which the filament is fed into the print nozzle. This makes it even possible to determine the pressure in the print nozzle and to include that variable in the printing process.”
With this new variable, VERASHAPE is determined to take their VSHAPER 3D printers one step further.