Purchase of parts for an electronic leadscrew

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May 30, 2022, 3:39:04 AM5/30/22
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For anyone who has not met me, I'm Joseph, a fairly new member of the space (also known as the idiot with the lathe).

I've been working on making an electronic leadscrew for the lathe for a couple of months (since it's change gearing was rendered somewhat useless by some modifications to the pulleys).
I'm happy to provide the control circuitry (in the form of a Pico) for it, and I have been offered a quadrature encoder by another member. I am fairly sure the space has spare power supplies I can use.
However, it leaves us short of an actual stepper motor and controller.
I do not think that a 3D printer motor would be powerful enough, and I very much doubt that any of the stepper controllers we currently have are capable of the current loads required.

Therefore I would like to request money for one of three ideas:
Use a 4A, 2.2Nm stepper motor, with an 'analogue' controller, like this
Totalling around: £31.98

Use a 4A, 2.2Nm stepper motor, with a 'digital' controller, like this
Totalling around: £46.67

Use a 4.2A, 3Nm stepper motor, with a 'digital' controller, like this
Totalling around: £56.19

I do not have any particular preference, though using the more powerful digital controller should allow for quieter operation and higher torque at higher speeds.
It would also allow it to be upgraded more easily if we decide to do so in the future. 
We could get the parts a bit cheaper, but they will not arrive in time for me to finish the leadscrew project before September (and I presume that thread cutting would be appreciated before then).

If anyone has any other ideas (or happens to have parts), please let us know.

Thank you


May 30, 2022, 3:39:04 AM5/30/22
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Miki Mokrysz

Jun 8, 2022, 3:10:29 PM6/8/22
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Hi Joseph,

These all look like good options - I think a digital controller's worth it for so little money extra. I'm not sure how best to cajole people into helping you decide what to buy, but hopefully this email will bump it up a bit in inboxes.


My pronouns are they/them.

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Gavin Atkinson

Jun 8, 2022, 4:02:15 PM6/8/22
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Realistically you are the lathe expert here, and are best placed to know what the best choice is. From a treasurer point of view I'm happy with any of those options; if you think there's a decent benefit in the most expensive one, go for it.



Jun 9, 2022, 3:09:02 AM6/9/22
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Given that we have been donated a large NEMA 34 motor now, I would suggest that we get the slightly more capable driver (the DM542T).
If the motor turns out to not be suitable (though given the size and ratings, that is unlikely) we can buy a more suitable motor at a later date.
Assuming there are no objections, would a trustee be happy to purchase the controller directly?


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