There is a new Kickstarter campaign for a very intriguing component, the AnanasStepper 3.0 Servo Stepper.
3D Printer Motors
Motors are the power of any 3D printer, as they make the motion system move, they push (or pull) filament, they raise or lower platforms. Without motors, 3D printers could not exist.
The standard motor found in most 3D printers is the common stepper motor. This is a specialized motor that can turn in discrete steps. That’s how a 3D printer platform can be raised exactly 16.2mm: the controller sends pulses to the stepper motor to cause it to turn exactly the amount to raise the platform accordingly.
There’s another type of motor that is occasionally found in more expensive 3D printers: The servo motor. These devices are more expensive because they have the ability to provide real time feedback on their position, and thus could allow a controller to detect a misposition and attempt to compensate. This closed-loop approach can lead to significant quality and reliability improvements.
The new AnanasStepper 3.0 is built by a small group known as “WOW”, who have previously issued versions 2.0 and 1.0. The co-founder of WOW, Blue Zeng, says:
“Most desktop 3D printers and robotic arms use stepper motors that lack power and precision and have limitations when it comes to delivering high-quality results, especially for 3D print models. Our years of experience with stepper motor systems have resulted in the most cost-effective way to achieve the high performance of industrial-grade servo systems at an affordable price. Our AnanasStepper 3.0 makes 3D printing more accurate, improves robotic arm precision and is perfect for DIY makers.”
AnanasStepper 3.0 Features
What is it that makes the AnanasStepper 3.0 different?
For one thing, the accuracy is tremendously improved. It can be requested to turn very slightly: down to only 0.01 degrees. This is apparently twice the resolution of its nearest competitor, the Mechaduino, according to WOW. The uStepperS, however, can go as low as 0.005 degrees, but it costs 2.5X as much as the AnanasStepper 3.0.
The other major feature of the AnanasStepper 3.0 is that is includes closed-loop position controls. This means it could act much like a servo motor does in more expensive 3D printer implementations, but at a far lower price.
Implications of the AnanasStepper 3.0
It is now entirely possible for more advanced closed loop 3D printer designs to become far more affordable, as 3D printer manufacturers could choose the inexpensive AnanasStepper 3.0 instead of more expensive servo options.
This could lead to a new wave of highly accurate and reliable equipment, and that’s a good thing because many of the most common problems on today’s inexpensive 3D printers are due to positioning issues.
If you’re building or designing a 3D printer, you might want to check out the AnanasStepper 3.0. It’s available now on Kickstarter from WOW at an opening price of only US$139 for FOUR motors and cables.