Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Stepper Motors and Bluetooth

About a week ago I needed to order a few things from SparkFun for another project, so I decided to save on shipping and also order the stepper motors from them. They just came! SparkFun is a great company, I am always excited when I order stuff from them. In addition to the stepper motors, I also ordered two of their Bluetooth modules for another project. These modules are great! Once I have my electronics working for my Prusa, I will probably use this to make it wireless.

The Bluetooth module from SparkFun soldered onto a custom board I designed.
So, about the stepper motors. They are way heavier than I expected, but I think that's a good thing. The ends of the wires have no connectors and are simply stripped and tinned. I will have to solder on standard .1" headers to them in order to hook them up to the board I will be making in the future.

I hooked up one of the stepper motors to what I have already assembled. Despite not having a flattened side on the shaft, the gear's fit is quite snug.
For those of you who have yet to buy your motors, I sadly do not recommend buying them from SparkFun. The problem lays with the shaft: the size is correct, but shaft is completely circular. This will make it difficult to stay connected to the plastic gear, the solution is to either flatten one of the sides of the shaft yourself or buy a different stepper motor (the third solution, which is the one I am using, is to hope for the best with the shaft as is). After I already received the motors, I was speaking with the person who I purchased my printed parts from, and he recommended that I buy the motors from Ultimachine because "they are the beefiest motors [he has] found and [they] also come with a flattened shaft on the motors."

I hope this post helps some of you to choose your motors more carefully than I did.

Later this today or this week I will try to post more pictures of the build.