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Did You Know? Microstepping Flexibility

by Len Herkomer

Microstepping in most Applied Motion drives is variable in increments of 2. Many stepper drives offer a selection of microstepping resolutions that include commonly used values like; 1,000, 5,000, 10,000, and 20,000 steps per rev. These are commonly selected by mechanical dip switches. Most of Applied Motion’s intelligent drives allow you to select between 200 steps per rev and 51,200 steps per rev in increments of 2. This can make the math calculations simpler where it is desired to have specific linear or rotational movement correspond to round numbers. Then, once your configuration is set and downloaded to the drive using our free Configurator software, it is non-volatile.

For example: suppose you have a 200 steps per rev motor (as all Applied Motion’s step motors are) with a 16:1 gear head. For smoother motion you want to microstep the motor and you want each rev to equal 1,000,000 steps. Simply configure the drive for 1,000,000/10th step=100,000/16=6250 steps per rev.

Other uses: You want to convert English units to metric (e.g. inches to millimeters) or vice-versa.

Suppose you have a 3 or 5 phase step motor system and you need to change to a more common 2 phase system. You can decrease the resolution by 3/2 or 5/2 without changing mechanical drive components.

You may have a linear motion application using a lead screw and the screw pitch is 5 turns per inch, then 20,000 steps/rev will provide a nominal movement of .00001 inches per step. That will make it easier to calculate move lengths. If you wanted to work in metric using that same lead screw, you could set the drive for 50,800 steps/rev and get .0001 mm per step.

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