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Question #: 14360

Question: how to calibrate stepper motors with ballscrews In mach3

Current Solution

The easy way is to use Mach3's calibration process to calibrate the axis with the ballscrew coupled to the stepper motor. This is done in the settings tab of Mach3 and clicking the button just above the "Reset" button called "Set Steps Per Unit". A dialog box will appear asking how far you want Mach3 to move that axis. Mach3 will move that axis at a distance that is determined by the existing steps per unit value set in the motor tuning dialog box (config menu -> motor tuning). Not knowing the distance that this axis will travel, it's best to use a very small value.

The more difficult way and the technique that should be used to create the initial value for the step per unit in the motor tuning dialog box. Use the steps/unit formula. This example will use inches.

Steps/Inch
= ((motor natural steps) x microsteps) / (the travel for one complete revolution)

The travel for one revolution would be the distance a ball nut will travel with one complete turn of the ball screw. This is generally the number of starts / threads per inch. Say the ball screw has 5 starts (5 threads starting from the beginning of the screw) and 10 threads per inch (TPI), then the travel for one complete turn of the screw would be 5/10, or 1/2".

Say you set the microstepping to be 1/4 on the stepper motor driver and your stepper motor has 200 natural steps per revolution (1.8 degrees per step), then the total steps would be 200 x 4 = 800.

So, the steps/inch is 800 / 1/2" = 1600 steps per inch

Hope that helps

Respond:

Other Possible Solutions to this Question

  • With the Mach3 USB board, my stepper motors are moving or spinning slowly.

    If your motors turn very slowly using your Mach3 USB board, then either the pulse from the board is being output at a slow rate or the motor drivers are set to a higher than expected microstepping:

    The Mach3 USB board outputs the pulse rather than the computer, but Mach3 controls this pulse frequency within the motor tuning section. First, determine if the travel distance is correct with the computer and the physical travel of the machine.

    If the travel is different, then your stepper motor driver's microstepping is incorrect, or the steps per inch/mm in the motor tuning within Mach3 is incorrect.

    If the travel is correct, then simply change the velocity and acceleration parameters to your desired level. If Mach3 will not achieve the velocity you desire, then decrease your stepper motor driver's microstepping setting, readjust the step per inch/mm in mach3 and readjust the acceleration and velocity to your desired levels.

    Click the link to respond:
    With the Mach3 USB board, my stepper motors are moving or spinning slowly.

  • I am asking what to set my steps per using your kit stepper motors and a 1/2"x13 lead screw with Mach3

    Here is the formula for steps/inch (steps per inch)

    Steps = how many steps for a full ration of the motor = standard motor steps x number of microsteps for each step
    Standard motor steps for our stepping motors is 200 steps per revolution.
    Microsteps are selected on the driver and are shown as full, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, 1/32 etc... Use the denominator for the number of microsteps per step.

    Inches = how far the travel is for one full rotation of the motor. For the 1/2" - 13 TPI (threads per inch), the travel length will be 1"/13 or .076923". So, for one revolution of the motor, the travel distance will be .076923 inches.

    So, the steps = 200 * microsteps, let's make this 1/4 just for the formula.
    The inches will be .076923. Plug those into the formula:
    Steps / inch = (200 * 4) / .076923 This can also be written as:
    200 * 4 / (1 / 13) = 10,400

    Click the link to respond:
    I am asking what to set my steps per using your kit stepper motors and a 1/2"x13 lead screw with Mach3

  • How do I calibrate my machine with mach3

    In Mach3, go to the Settings Tab, and select "Set Steps Per Unit". It will ask you how far to move the machine. Before you do this, make a mark on the table exactly where the end mill is resting. You can do this by lowering the end mill until it touches the material, then spinning it by hand to cut a small dimple in the material. Then, raise the end mill to clear the material, and assign a distance to move the machine. Once the machine moves and stops, measure the exact distance that it actually traveled with a tape measure, and enter this value into the dialog box that asks how far it moved. Mach3 will automatically adjust your steps per unit for that axis to be more accurate. Do this for all axes often to ensure you are cutting accurately. The longer distances you use calibrate, and the more precise you are with your measurements, the better.

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    How do I calibrate my machine with mach3

  • how do you calibrate steps per inch using Mach3 and a 1/2x13 lead screw

    You will first need to derive the number of turns per inch that your lead screw produces. If there is only a single start (typical all thread screws), then the turns per inch is the same as TPI (threads per inch). If there is multiple starts, then the number of starts is divided by the TPI to determine the turns per inch. For example, 10 TPI with 5 starts is 10 / 5 = 2 turns per inch. Now that we know this, we can get the number of steps per inch as described in the previous question: take the number of steps per revolution that the motor will output. This will be the number of full steps that you motor produces (typically 200, or 1.8 degrees per step) multiplied by the microstepping per step to which the driver is configured. Simply multiple the number of turns per inch and the number of steps per revolution and you will get the steps per inch. Ok, lets see the formula:

    200 steps * 16 microsteps * 2 turns per inch = 6400 steps per inch


    Additional Information:
    14798


    Additional Information:
    hallo i have cnc with ball screw 2.5mm of pith..n driver stepping 1/16 how to setup step value

    Additional Information:
    i have ball screw with 2.5 mm of pith n 1 start motor 200 step 1/16 driver stepping

    Click the link to respond:
    how do you calibrate steps per inch using Mach3 and a 1/2x13 lead screw

  • How long does it take to ship to Israel 3 nema 11 stepper motors ?

    Unfortunately I am not able to give an estimate of shipping time. This is because there are multiple shipping options, Some of them cost more than others, but ensure the package arrives in a certain number of days. Others do not give a number of days, and many factors could change the length of shipping time, such as weather, or busy season. It would be best to choose an option you are comfortable with the price of, and then Google search the typical times it takes for that option to get to you, or call the shipping company and request that estimated time from them.

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    How long does it take to ship to Israel 3 nema 11 stepper motors ?

  • How do I wire two stepper motors for one axis?

    Yes, you can use 2 motors in the same axis output, however you will still need a driver for that motor! Also depending on the orientation on which you mount the motor you might have to invert the direction of the motor, and that will be simple by swapping the A+,A-, to the B+,B- locations and vice versa, from the driver to the motor wiring.

    Also you can run a slave motor using another axis on the board, and setting it up in the Planet-CNC settings.

    Planet-CNC/File/Settings/Axes, here you will enter 3 in the Number of Axes location, and then change the Function of the Axis 4 to Slave 1. There you will have the 4th axis or A-axis be a slave for the x-axis.
    Slave 1 - X-Axis
    Slave 2 - Y-Axis
    Slave 3 - A-Axis
    Slave 4 - B-Axis
    Etc...

    Click the link to respond:
    How do I wire two stepper motors for one axis?

  • How can I have two stepper motors on one axis

    Yes, you can use 2 motors in the same axis output, however you will still need a driver for that motor! Also depending on the orientation on which you mount the motor you might have to invert the direction of the motor, and that will be simple by swapping the A+,A-, to the B+,B- locations and vice versa, from the driver to the motor wiring.

    Also you can run a slave motor using another axis on the board, and setting it up in the Planet-CNC settings.

    Planet-CNC/File/Settings/Axes, here you will enter 3 in the Number of Axes location, and then change the Function of the Axis 4 to Slave 1. There you will have the 4th axis or A-axis be a slave for the x-axis.
    Slave 1 - X-Axis
    Slave 2 - Y-Axis
    Slave 3 - A-Axis
    Slave 4 - B-Axis
    Etc...

    Click the link to respond:
    How can I have two stepper motors on one axis

  • HOW DO I CALIBRATE IN MACH3?

    In Mach3, go to the Settings Tab, and select "Set Steps Per Unit". It will ask you how far to move the machine. Before you do this, make a mark on the table exactly where the end mill is resting. You can do this by lowering the end mill until it touches the material, then spinning it by hand to cut a small dimple in the material. Then, raise the end mill to clear the material, and assign a distance to move the machine. Once the machine moves and stops, measure the exact distance that it actually traveled with a tape measure, and enter this value into the dialog box that asks how far it moved. Mach3 will automatically adjust your steps per unit for that axis to be more accurate. Do this for all axes often to ensure you are cutting accurately. The longer distances you use calibrate, and the more precise you are with your measurements, the better.

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    HOW DO I CALIBRATE IN MACH3?

  • What brand and/or country of origin are the stepper motors?

    The stepping motors we sell are from China.

    Click the link to respond:
    What brand and/or country of origin are the stepper motors?

  • So after I install the stepper motors, how does the system know what’s the start position ? I’m modifying a lathe.

    If you are using a control program, like Mach3, then you will move (jog) the axis to the location that you want to set as your start position and "zero" that axis. Make sure that the axis moves in the positive direction where you would expect. If this is not the case, you will need to reverse that axis according to the instruction with your control program.

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    So after I install the stepper motors, how does the system know what’s the start position ? I’m modifying a lathe.

  • Is there a warranty on the NEMA 34 651 Oz-in stepper motors you sell?

    Yes, we honor a one year warranty on the NEMA 34 651 oz-in stepper motor.

    Click the link to respond:
    Is there a warranty on the NEMA 34 651 Oz-in stepper motors you sell?

  • i want to use servo motors(panasonic liqi series) instead of stepper motor,would it work with your breakout board if i buy one from you?

    I would need to see the drivers and what type of input it requires.

    Additional Information:
    actually my neighbour is using panasonic liqi series servo motors, and yes i can show you the connections he made on the driver terminals. he had used a loacal made breakout board, which i dont want to use... the breakout board has 5 terminals, step,direction,vcc,ground,and 12v

    Additional Information:
    The connections are the same as stepping motor drivers. I would assume that those servo motors have the closed loop control between the motor and driver and the computer is not considered as a part of the closed loop. In that case, the breakout board would work fine.

    Additional Information:
    i've seen your videos related to the connections of the breakout board to the motor driver,your breakout board dont have 12v terminal as in that local made breakout board.can i provide that extra 12v from another source to the servo motor driver?
    i can send you the photos of the driver connections and the breakout board connections?
    how can i purchase your breakout board,can you send your parallel port breakout board to my country?
    how much would it cost me including shipping?

    Additional Information:
    What terminals will require the 12v power. If the 12v serves as the data signal level power for step and direction, then it is not possible with this board, but if the 12v serves as power for another part of the driver, then you can use a separate supply.

    Additional Information:

    Click the link to respond:
    i want to use servo motors(panasonic liqi series) instead of stepper motor,would it work with your breakout board if i buy one from you?

  • I have theNema 24, 425 Oz stepper motors kit what are my Ports and Pins?

    The ports and pins are designated by the breakout board that you have, Now here are the schematics for both(https://www.buildyourcnc.com/item/electronicsAndMotors-parallel-breakout-relay#prettyPhoto/2/ and https://www.buildyourcnc.com/item/electronicsAndMotors-electronic-component-USB-Controller-Breakout#prettyPhoto/2/) Which for the Parallel the pins will be 1,14,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9. For 1,14 you will need to use them together for a additional axis. Setup will be (ex.mach3) step in (2) / direction pin (3). continued for other pins, 4,5 6,7 etc.
    Now for the USB it has the label on the board right next to the terminal blocks, x-axis/etc.

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    I have theNema 24, 425 Oz stepper motors kit what are my Ports and Pins?

  • I have an emco vmc 100 mill with a rotary head tool changer I would like to use existing stepper motors do you have a kit you would recommend?

    We currently do not have an available kits for adapting other versions of electronics (motors) to our drivers, other than our complete kits including our steppers.

    For further custom related kits or requests please contact us: customerservice@buildyourcnc.com

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    I have an emco vmc 100 mill with a rotary head tool changer I would like to use existing stepper motors do you have a kit you would recommend?

  • Hi please could you tell me how to work out the size required for the stepper motors ? which kit to get thanks

    The size of motors required for your machine build will depend on many characteristics of the machine.

    If the machine uses a gantry (rather than moving the table bed) and the weight of the gantry (specifically with inertia),

    The mechanics used with the axes, lead screw, roller chain, timing belt or rack and pinion. Generally you will need less torque if using lead screw due to the mechanical advantage, but friction is important to consider.

    If you are building a 4'x8' or larger machine, it would be best to use: https://buildyourcnc.com/item/electronicsAndMotors-3axis-heavy-gantry-elcombo

    Otherwise: this electronics: https://buildyourcnc.com/item/electronicsAndMotors-3axis-425-elcombo should be fine for most configurations.

    If you feel that you need extra torque on the z-axis (the z-axis will use a very heavy spindle, for instance), use this electronics: https://buildyourcnc.com/item/electronicsAndMotors-3axis-651-elcombo

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    Hi please could you tell me how to work out the size required for the stepper motors ? which kit to get thanks

  • How can I convert from Xylotex to yours, four axis with limit switches. Have parallel PC and steppers on machine.

    Sure, the USB interface has a place for 4 axes of limit switches.

    Each axis can have two limit switches: one for the ++ (positive) end and one for the -- (negative) end. The positive end would be the limit switch at the end of the machine that, say the machine has a 4'x8' area, reaches a bit after the 8 foot mark. The negative end would be the limit switch behind the 0 foot location behind the origin. If the origin is in the middle, the negative would be at a little more than the -4 foot end and the positive would be at a bit more than the +4 foot end. Note that you can have more than one switch on each pin where the NC is connected in serial fashion and the NO is connected in parallel fashion (this can be seen on the diagram in the multiple limits switch section). The software configurations for the limits switches are under File -> Settings -> Limit.

    A typical limit switch has three connections on it. These connections consist of COM (common), NC (normally closed) and NO (normally open). The COM would generally go to GND and the NC or the NO would go to the pin. If the NC is used, then the the switch is constantly connected until the switch is pushed (engaged) then the connection from the pin to gnd is broken (open). Use the settings in software to set whether in NC or NO configuration.

    Let me know if this information was helpful (or not) by adding information to this question. Thanks.

    User response:
    Thank you very much for this helpful information. I'm still a little fuzzy on how the 6 limit switches physically connect to each other and to the USB breakout board. You've stated one switch (home) goes to positive and another switch (limit) goes to negative. Are all the GND prongs from all 6 switches connected to each other and going to GND on the breakout board, or no? And the NC prongs, how exactly are they connected to each other? And to the board? There has to be a diagram somewhere shows this visually, no? I don't know how to wire the switches in series or in parallel. I have already physically installed all the switches on the machine and ran the wires to where the board is. Now I just need to know where to plug these wires into the board. Also, taking into consideration that I'm using the Planet CNC software, the only settings I have pertaining to limit switches is "Enable/Disable" for each axis, and the actual limit for each axis. Nothing about NC or NO. Is that only in Mach3?
    Thank you.

    buildyourcnc response:
    On the USB interface, the COM on the switch connects to GND and the NC or NO connects to the input pin (i.e. x++, y--, etc.)

    Limit switch configuration is rather difficult to understand, especially with series and parallel. You can think of series as a single wire going from GND to the axis letter input terminal (i.e. X++ or X--). If the wire is broken, then the circuit is open (or the switch is engaged in a normally closed scenario). Normally closed is like an actual wire, and when engaged, the switch "opens" (breaks the wire). This is why we recommend in some systems that you can put many switches in series on a single pin. When one of the switches is engaged (breaking the connection) then the entire circuit of switches is broken and the machine stops.

    In a parallel scenario, the state of the circuit is always broken until the one of the switches is engaged and the circuit is then closed or connected. The topology looks like a ladder. All the switches connect to both sides of the ladder and the switches are like the runs of the ladder (the horizontal bars that the feet are placed while climbing). Imagine all of the switches broken in this scenario (normally open). It would be like the ladder could be split in two, but if one of the ladder runs (switches) is closed by engaging it, then that run would connect both sides of the ladder and the two sides of the ladder would have a connection.

    There is a diagram on the USB page of the various limit switch configurations. If you need more information (visual and/or otherwise), please let us know and we will immediately add that information to benefit everyone.

    Click the link to respond:
    How can I convert from Xylotex to yours, four axis with limit switches. Have parallel PC and steppers on machine.

  • Where are the datasheets for the stepper motors?

    You can find the datasheets to our motors be going to the the stepping motor category page https://www.buildyourcnc.com/category/nema and selecting the motor. This will bring you to the product page for the motor and all of the motor information will be found there.

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    Where are the datasheets for the stepper motors?

  • What size stepper motors does the blueChick use?

    The blueChick uses NEMA 23 425 oz/in motors.

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    What size stepper motors does the blueChick use?

  • I have not used my CNC router (Mach3, USB interface board) for several months. When I tried to use it, all 3 stepper motors moved extremely slowly. Where should I start troubleshooting?

    If your motors turn very slowly using your Mach3 USB board, then either the pulse from the board is being output at a slow rate or the motor drivers are set to a higher than expected microstepping:

    The Mach3 USB board outputs the pulse rather than the computer, but Mach3 controls this pulse frequency within the motor tuning section. First, determine if the travel distance is correct with the computer and the physical travel of the machine.

    If the travel is different, then your stepper motor driver's microstepping is incorrect, or the steps per inch/mm in the motor tuning within Mach3 is incorrect.

    If the travel is correct, then simply change the velocity and acceleration parameters to your desired level. If Mach3 will not achieve the velocity you desire, then decrease your stepper motor driver's microstepping setting, readjust the step per inch/mm in mach3 and readjust the acceleration and velocity to your desired levels.

    Click the link to respond:
    I have not used my CNC router (Mach3, USB interface board) for several months. When I tried to use it, all 3 stepper motors moved extremely slowly. Where should I start troubleshooting?