A4988 vs DRV8825 Chinese Stepper Driver Boards/ru

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Комбинация из Arduino Mega 2560 + RAMPS 1.4 представлена (December 2014) широко доступна и широко используется для управления 3D принтера, either in the form of original components or more often than not, as inexpensive "Made in China" clones. Similarly, inexpensive "Pololu-style" stepper driver boards that plug directly onto RAMPS boards (usually four or five stepper driver boards are used) are available from China with two different stepper driver ICs, namely the Allegro A4988 and the Texas Instruments DRV8825.

While the "Made in China" DRV8825 stepper driver boards are mostly near or identical clones of the original Pololu DRV8825 stepper driver boards, the A4988 driver boards are mostly near or identical clones of the StepStick stepper driver boards. The StepStick driver boards are pin compatible with the Pololu A4988 Stepper Motor Driver Carrier but they have a different PCB layout which is freely available under the GPLv2 license.

Inexpensive "Made in China" RAMPS 1.4 board without stepper driver boards.

How inexpensive can these stepper driver boards get? Well, right now a set of five Made in China A4988 stepper driver boards goes for around $6.80, whereas a similar set of five Made in China DRV8825 stepper driver boards is available for around $10. Some DRV8825's can now be had for as low as $1.62 each.

A4988 and DRV8825 stepper driver boards side by side. A different A4988 based stepper driver.

This situation begs for some interesting questions: is it worth getting DRV8825 stepper driver boards instead of the more popular A4988 boards or not? Which one is the better choice for my 3D printer? Which one is more reliable / less unreliable? Can I mix A4988 boards with DRV8825 boards? Are there any caveats to using either driver board that I should be aware of?

This page is an attempt to provide sufficient information to make a rational choice and answer these and other related questions, if possible.

A4988 and DRV8825 stepper driver boards, underside. A different A4988 based stepper driver.

A4988 stepper driver board

I am pretty confident that the Allegro A4988 is an utterly tested and proven solution to drive stepper motors in RepRap 3D printers, and this fact should not be overlooked. As long as the following three conditions are met, these Made in China Allegro A4988 stepper driver boards seem to be bullet-proof workhorses:

  1. The stepper driver boards should not be inserted backwards in their respective slots on the controller board (Doh!).
  2. The stepper cables should not be disconnected from the boards while powered on.
  3. Proper airflow (i.e. active cooling or in other words, a fan) should be provided.

Incredibly enough that last condition is often not met, as many 3D printer kits seem to dispense with the use of a fan blowing some cool air over the controller and stepper driver boards and depend solely on convection / radiation. It is up to the users/builders to later add a fan on their own... or suffer the consequences!

An inexpensive "Made in China" Pololu-style stepper driver board based on the popular Allegro 4988 IC.

Не самое лучшее качество печатной платы и припоя, которое я видел в своей жизни, но ... она работает!