This article was originally posted by Reiner Schmidt on March 11, 2017 in our Tech Forum
We are proud to announce that the SlushEngine Model D is now available for purchase from Roboteurs! The Model D is an overkill stepper motor driver for the Raspberry Pi that should fit just about every stepper application. The idea for this version has been hanging around for a while. When we first developed the SlushEngine we did a kickstarter for the Model X. This was a pretty beefy driver that we had originally developed to control a Delta Robot. However we found that it was not capable of driving motors larger than Nema 23 unless there was a lot of cooling. So we set about exploring other ways to get more power out of the SlushEngine.
Then something kind of unexpected happened. We built a Remix of a 3D printed robot and we realized there was a need for a high axis count driver board. We quickly started to develop and prototype to build a board that could handle a large number of axis and also a lot of power. Our first prototype can be seen below.
When building this SlushEngine I wanted to cover as many possible applications as possible. At Roboteurs we do a lot of work building and prototyping motion systems often we use a SlushEngine with a few other boards to do IO and other things. I wanted this board to have it all so that on our next big build the only board we need is the Model D. This first came to light with our development of an electronics pick and place machine. This board had everything needed to drive the 5 steppers, 4 solenoids and 2 sensors that make the machine tick.
If 7 Drivers & 12 I/Os arnt enough for you there is also an MSP430 micro-controller on the board. This microcontroller is connected to the Raspberry Pi I2C bus and the IO's on the Model D board. The programming pins for this are available so you can program the MSP430 for your own needs.