Arduino Stepper motor

Arduino Stepper motor

Arduino Stepper motor are perfect for upgrading Arduino projects. Arduino-controllable motors can turn precise quantities. Best of all, they expand your project’s moving parts and motion options. This post covers everything you need to know to spin steppers using Arduino. Learn how they function, how to connect and control them, and see examples you may use to build robots. You can achieve complex motion control with a driver chip, code, and power supply. Let’s move!

An Introduction to Stepper Motors

Stepper motors offer fine rotation control by rotating in small stages.

They Work How?

An Arduino-like microprocessor powers stepper motors’ numerous coils. In order, each coil energizes the motor shaft, rotating it a fraction of a revolution. Energizing the coils in series lets the motor revolve fractions of a degree.

Stepper Motor Types

Three stepper motor types are common:

  • Unipolar steppers have center-tapped coils each phase. They’re cheap but hard to control.
  • Two coils per phase increase torque in bipolar steppers. Their drive circuit is more complicated but easier to manage.
  • Hybrid steppers combine unipolar and bipolar properties. They have good torque and function with simpler drives. Hobby stepper motors are usually hybrid bipolar.

Controlling Stepper Motors

Arduino requires a stepper motor driver board to control a stepper motor. The Arduino’s step and direction signals are amplified by this board to activate the stepper coils. Popular Arduino stepper motor driver boards include:

The inexpensive ULN2003 driver only supports lower-current unipolar steppers.

Popular for driving 1 amp bipolar steppers with A4988 driver.

Another fantastic driver for 2.2-amp steppers is the DRV8825.

The Stepper library for Arduino controls the stepper with the motor driver connected. Set the number of steps, speed, and rotation direction. You can precisely regulate position and speed by spinning the stepper motor in small increments.

Stepper motors expand Arduino motion control capabilities. Steppers are used to make robots, CNC machines, 3D printers, and other motorized devices. Have fun moving your Arduino with stepper motors!

How Stepper Motors Work

Stepper motors are brushless DC electric motors that rotate in equal increments. Stepper motors respond to electrical pulses in discrete steps, unlike DC motors. This allows accurate motor shaft position and speed control.

Stepper motors have phases of coils. Energizing each phase sequentially moves the motor shaft to the next step. Electronic controllers like microcontrollers energize the phases. Each phase receives a pulse from the controller to advance the motor one step.

The number of motor phases and rotor/stator configuration determine the steps each rotation. A 2-phase motor may have 3 or 4 steps each revolution, while a 5-phase motor may have 100 or more. More stages improve resolution and rotation smoothness.

Powering Coils

The controller repeatedly energizes phases to rotate the stepper motor. The pattern for two-phase stepper motors is:

Phase A on, B off

Phase A off, B on

Both phases on

BOTH phases off

Repetition moves the rotor one step at a time. How rapidly the controller pulses phases determines spinning speed. Phases are pulsed faster to rotate faster.

Stepper motors are used in 3D printers, CNC machines, robotics, and more for fine control and retaining torque. A microcontroller like an Arduino can power the coils in sequence to spin your stepper motor and improve your projects.

Stepper Motor Selection for Arduino Projects

Choosing a stepper motor for your Arduino project involves several criteria. Most important:


Motor torque is measured in ounce-inches (oz-in) or kilogram-centimeters (kg-cm). Stepper motors with enough torque can transfer your project’s load. Low torque causes motor stalling or slow movement. Small robot arms and camera mounts can use 5-20 oz-in motors. More than 50 oz-in is needed for CNC machines.

Step Angle

Stepper motors move in stages. Total revolution steps depend on step angle. Smaller step angles improve resolution and precision. Common Arduino step angles include 1.8° (200 steps/rev), 0.9° (400 steps/rev), and 0.45° (800 steps/rev). Choose based on control needs.

Currently Rated

Stepper motors need a driver board to manage coil power. Choose a motor with the same current rating as your stepper driver board. For most Arduino-compatible driver boards like the A4988, a 0.5A to 2A motor works. Advanced driver boards and power supplies are needed for higher current motors.


Stepper motors range from matchbox-sized to several inches in diameter. Choose a motor size that fits your project enclosure or chassis and meets your demands. For basic robotics and CNC, 1.5-inch motors work well, but 3″ motors are preferable for 3D printers.

These tips can help you choose a stepper motor for your next Arduino project. You can develop complex motion control systems and robots quickly with the appropriate motor and driver board combination!

Stepper Motor Control With Arduino

The exact steps of a stepper motor enable for precision control and placement. Stepper motors suit 3D printers, CNC machines, and robotics. Arduino is a great stepper motor controller since it’s easy to program and has digital outputs.

Stepper Motor Connection

You must first connect your stepper motor to the Arduino. A typical stepper motor contains four wires and four electromagnets that move the shaft. Most wires are designated A+, A-, B+, and B-. A+ and A- should go to one Arduino digital pin and B+ and B- to another. This lets you operate electromagnets separately.

Motor Control

To rotate the stepper motor, engage and deactivate the electromagnets sequentially. The Arduino Stepper library simplifies this. Put the library at the top of your sketch.

#include <Stepper.h>

Set four parameters for your stepper motor:

Stepper(steps, pin1, pin2);

Number of steps per motor revolution

Arduino pins 1 and 2 control A and B coils.

Finally, you can set the motor’s RPM and steps:

setSpeed(10); stepper.step(100);

This spins the motor 10 RPM for 100 steps. In a loop, stepper.step() rotates the motor. The Stepper library automatically activates and deactivates coils. Stepper motor placement and speed control can be achieved with creative programming!

Have fun moving your Arduino with stepper motors! They provide your projects endless options. Have more questions? Let me know!
Stepper Motor Applications and Projects With Arduino
Stepper motors are adaptable and adjust position precisely. They suit robotics and automation tasks. Arduinos make stepper motor control easy for entertaining DIY projects.

Mini CNC Machine Build

Mill circuit boards or etch designs? Mini CNC machines make fun weekend projects. Stepper motors control X, Y, and Z axes. Mount steppers to move the cutting tool across the workpiece. Then attach them to motor shields and configure the Arduino to accurately control the steppers. You’ll cut precisely quickly!

Make a Pan-Tilt Camera Mount

Make a motorized pan-tilt mount for a manual-focus camera to get properly framed photos. Control pan and tilt with two stepper motors on a platform. An Arduino with a motor shield can tilt and rotate the camera smoothly. Time-lapse, nature, and home security pictures benefit from this.

Build Your Own 3D Printer

Print robot parts for your next project? Stepper motor-powered DIY 3D printers make unique plastic parts. Steppers regulate the extruder, which extrudes molten filament, and X and Y axis movement. Connect steppers to Arduino and motor shield. After calibrating your printer, design and print your own parts!

With stepper motors and Arduino, the possibilities are unlimited. These adaptable actuators may be precisely controlled to produce automated tools, robotics, and sophisticated machinery. So brainstorm what you want to make, take some stepper motors and an Arduino, and build!


That’s it! With a few simple components, stepper motors can propel your Arduino. Controlling the motor with the appropriate pulse sequence is crucial. After practicing, you may build robots, conveyor belts, and small CNC machines. The Arduino opens up new motion and movement options. Connect your stepper motor and driver board and begin rolling! Your next project could go far with Arduino.

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