Trinamic Stepper Drivers

Has anyone used any of the Trinamic stepper drivers on their X-Carve? They are very popular with 3D printers, very quiet and have loads of configurable features.

The TMC2660 comes on this break-out board which could be useful for a custom-built controller.

They have more expensive driver modules that I believed are used in high-end linear motion applications, but the price on those are a bit much for a hobby CNC machine.


3D printers typically use smaller motors that need much less current to generate the much lower torque requirements. They are also quieter machines with the steppers and little 40mm fans being the loudest components. You could run one on your nightstand with the trinamic drivers. The sound of the steppers is the least of your worries with a router or mill. You’d also have half the available current as you get with the X-controller.
When they come out with a silent way to carve wood and aluminum, I’m all over it.

I came here to talk about this concept, read Neil’s reply and went…oh yeah, right, good point. :wink:
(shouting over spinning router) “Isn’t it amazing!? How quiet it is now?!?! Huh?”

The only thing I wonder about is any possible motion benefits you could get using these, with microstepping, and a 32bit board. I’ve replaced the pololu drivers in my 3D printer not just for the quiet, but for the smoothness of the motion, and the ability to use a 32 bit processing. Huge difference in print quality.

If the little Pololus can run an X-carve, I’m sure (within reason) the TMCs could handle the current of one. Lots of TMCs are drop in replacements for Pololus.

I have wanted to explore this more. I know the duet 3 6hc, has the 5160 Trinamic drivers, which could handle more power than the x-carve could handle. The specs on the 5160 are really interesting, you wouldn’t need end stops anymore, they are built into the driver. The only problem with the Duet is it runs RepRap, and I don’t many who run RepRap for CNC, it is possible but I think it was intended more for 3d printers. I think I am just going to build a Pi based controller, with a shield I can attach the 5160’s too. I have no idea how, but I want try and figure it out.

How is the positional feedback provided?

There is none. They detect “crashes” to determine machine limits.

Gotcha - so if they bump (detect current spikes I assume) enough times they will trigger an alarm?

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