Jan.7, 2013

German RepRap GmbH announces the availability of a powerful stepper motor driver board. The Powerlolu board can drive stepper motors up to 500 Watts, drawing currents up to 10 Amps.

The existing Pololus boards found in common RepRap 3D printers are at their limits when driving the 2 Nema17 z-axis stepper motors in parallel. Continuous z-axis movement can cause the board to overheat. These boards hardly drive stepper motors bigger than a Nema17. To avoid overheating or to drive larger motors a more powerful driver board is needed.

The Powerlolu board enables the use of bigger stepper motors for a wide range of uses. This could be the conversion of manual milling machines into computer controlled milling machines (CNC-Machines) using the affordable electronics such as Arduino and RAMPS. Building 3D printers with a larger print volume or with larger extruders would be possible.

Technical specifications:

  • Fully Assembled PCB
  • 3-wire control with DIR, STEP, Enable-signal, compatible to the Pololu board
  • Supply voltage of the stepper motor from 12V to 50V
  • Adjustable stepping via SMD-jumper, 1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/16 (default) steps
  • Precision pot to adjust the current limiter
  • No extra heat sink required due to passive cooling
  • Molex snap-on connector for connecting the RAMPS board to the Powerlolu
  • Dimensions of the PCB: 75.5mm x 65mm

To test the design, the GermanRepRap lab connected a Nema43 stepper motor by Nanotec Electronic (capable of 6.6 Amps per coil, Torque 2000Ncm, Weight 8,4kg) to a Powerlolu attached to a 3D printer's RAMPS X-port.

Watch below a short video of the new driver. After two hours of motor usage the Powerlolu board only got luke warm.

Developed by Alfred Bauer, an investor and consultant to GermanRepRap GmbH, the schematics for the Powerlolu driver are freely available at Github.

The fully assembled Powerlolu board is available for preorder for 39.90 Euros without tax at German RepRap shop, shipment starting in calendar week 6, 2013.





Posted in 3D Printer Accessories


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Matija wrote at 1/7/2016 1:41:52 PM:

Hi thanks for your post. It would be nice to see more about conversion of manual milling machines into computer controlled milling machines.

DZ wrote at 2/18/2014 5:19:06 PM:

Ridiculous. Driving a big motor under no load, wow, how testy of you. Crappy video, crappy demonstration of big claims makes for a failed product. I would never waste my time.

Giancarlo Colasante wrote at 11/23/2013 10:55:25 PM:

Dear Steven, great review. I'm thinking to build one to test NexFet. Do you think A4989 will manage TI NexFet? http://www.mouser.com/Texas-Instruments/Semiconductors/Discrete-Semiconductors/Transistors/MOSFET/_/N-ax1sf?P=1z0zls6Z1z0y3zrZ1z0xz4pZ1z0xzmx&Keyword=discrete+mosfet&FS=True Regards.

steven wrote at 10/22/2013 4:06:12 PM:


qiwating wrote at 10/16/2013 11:08:56 AM:

it will be a amazon thing if a 3d printer cn print themselves. step motor

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