This board functions as a driver expansion board specifically for engraving machines, 3D printers, CNC. This latest expansion board is designed from Arduino CNC Shield Version 3.10. This board consists of a total of four slots and thus can drive four A4988 stepper motors.
The A4988 is a complete microstepping motor driver with a built-in translator for easy operation. These are designed specifically to operate bipolar stepper motors in full-, half-, quarter-, eighth-, and sixteenth-step modes, with an output drive capacity of up to 35 V and ±2 A. It operates in Slow or Mixed decay modes by the presence of a fixed off-time current regulator. Each stepper motor only needs two IO ports. In other words, six IO ports can be well managed for three stepper motors. It is capable of supporting 4-Axis X, Y, Z, A-Can duplicate X, Y, Z or does a full 4th axis with custom firmware using pins D12 and D13. Moreover, it provides internal synchronous rectification control circuitry, thereby improving the pulse width modulation (PWM) power consumption during operation.
In this board, Jumpers are provided to set the Micro-Stepping for the stepper drivers. In certain cases, some drivers like the DRV8825 can do up to 1/32 micro-stepping. It is GRBL 0.9 compatible board, which is an Open source firmware that runs on an Arduino UNO that turns G-code commands into stepper signals. GRBL controller designed as a no-compromise, high-performance, low-cost alternative to parallel-port-based motion control for CNC milling/engraving/3D printer. It operates on a vanilla Arduino (Duemillanove/Uno) as long as it sports an Atmega 328. The GRBL controller written in highly optimized C utilizes every clever feature of the AVR chips to achieve precise timing and asynchronous operation