Arduino Stepper Motor Control

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Hardware Preparation

If you have purchased the Arduino Board from ZTW, we have already uploaded the g-code library for you. If you are using your own Arduino Board, you can doawnload grbl Arduino library online and load it to your board using xloader.

The power supply is used to give the power to stepper motor driver board.

  • USB Cable (A Male - B Male/Printer USB Cable)

A USB cable is need to connect the Arduino board to your computer. An A Male to B Male USB cable will be used, the one usually used for printer USB connection. If you really cannot find one, here is the link you can purchase.

Wiring Instruction


This is the diagram we will be following in order to use the Arduino to control our stepper drivers. You will use an Arduino Board(UNO) as a controoler, 3 stepper motors and drivers, a DC power supply and a laptop computer.

Arduino Wire 001.JPG

First, attach a power cord to your power supply. Please check your outlet voltage, change the 110 - 220V setting on your PSU if necessary according to PSU you are using.

Arduino Wire 002.JPG

Now we need to connect the PSU's DC output (12V) to stepper motor driver. To illustrate this better, we are using red wire for positive and black for negative connections.

Arduino Wire 003.JPG

We are going to wire positive terminals on all three stepper motor drivers together, and same for negative terminals. Here you can see the positive(red) wire from the PSU as well as another red wire(jumper) to our first stepper driver.

Arduino Wire 004.JPG

Here is how the power wires will be connected from PSU to all three stepper drivers when it is done.

Arduino Wire 005.JPG

Now we will start connecting the stepper singal lines to the Arduino. First we need to connect all "-Dir" and "-Pul" terminals together, these will be connected to the ground pin on the Arduino board.

Arduino Wire 006.JPG

Now we will connect the signal ground to the Arduino Board ground.

Arduino Wire 007.JPG

Here is a closer look at the Arduino board ground pin connection.

Arduino Wire 008.JPG

Now the "+Pul" for X axis will be connected to Arduino board pin 2.

Arduino Wire 009.JPG

And the "+Dir" for X axis will be connected to Arduino board pin 5.

Arduino Wire 010.JPG

Arduino Wire 011.JPG

Now let's connect Y axis, "+Pul" will be connected to Arduino Pin3, and "+Dir" need to be connected to Pin6.

Arduino Wire 012.JPG

For Z Axis, connect "+Pul" to Pin4, and "+Dir" to Pin7.

Arduino Wire 013.JPG

All stepper sigal wires have been connected between the stepper drivers and Arduino Board.

Arduino Wire 014.JPG

Now we need to connect the stepper motors to the driver boards. Detailed information on our Shinano Stepper Motors can be found here:

Arduino Wire 015.JPG

First, we need to identify the two wires that belong to the same loop. A multimeter can be used here. If you have our Unipolar stepper motor(Shinano NEMA17), two center wires will not be used.(black & white)

Arduino Wire 016.JPG

The motors wires have been connected to stepper driver's "A+", "A-" and "B+" "B-"

Arduino Wire 017.JPG

Stepper Motors for all three axis have been connected to their driver boards.

Arduino Wire 018.JPG

If you already have installed the software (below), then you are ready to connect the Arduino board to the computer through USB cable.

Software Installation

ArduinoControl 001.jpg

ArduinoControl 001:
In This tutorial, we will be walking you through one way to control your CNC machine with an Arduino.
The first thing you will want to do is to navigate to in your web browser.

ArduinoControl 002.jpg

ArduinoControl 002:
Navigate or click on the download tab.

ArduinoControl 003.jpg

ArduinoControl 003:
Choose the proper download for your machine. Note- the software we will be using to send
G-Code to the arduino is currently only available in Windows.

ArduinoControl 004.jpg

ArduinoControl 004:
Click open.

ArduinoControl 005.jpg

ArduinoControl 005:
Choose where you would like to download the file.

ArduinoControl 006.jpg

ArduinoControl 006:
Wait for the download to complete.

ArduinoControl 007.jpg

ArduinoControl 007:
Once the download has completed, click open.

ArduinoControl 008.jpg

ArduinoControl 008:
The arduino software downloads as a zip file, so we will need to extract the files.

ArduinoControl 009.jpg

ArduinoControl 009:
Right click on the folder, and choose extract all.

ArduinoControl 010.jpg

ArduinoControl 010:
Choose the destination where you would like to extract the arduino
folder and click extract.

ArduinoControl 011.jpg

ArduinoControl 011:
Let the files extract, it will take a few moments.

ArduinoControl 012.jpg

ArduinoControl 012:
Now that the folder has been extracted, open it.

ArduinoControl 013.jpg

ArduinoControl 013:
Double click the arduino application.

ArduinoControl 014.jpg

ArduinoControl 014:
Next we will have to navigate to our device manager, where you should see your arduino.

ArduinoControl 015.jpg

ArduinoControl 015:
Right click on the arduino device, and choose "update driver software".

ArduinoControl 016.jpg

ArduinoControl 016:
Now we want to choose "Browse my computer" for driver software.

ArduinoControl 017.jpg

ArduinoControl 017:
Click browse.

ArduinoControl 018.jpg

ArduinoControl 018:
Navigate to your recently extracted Arduino folder and click OK.

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ArduinoControl 019:
Choose next.

ArduinoControl 020.jpg

ArduinoControl 020:
Your driver will now be updated.

ArduinoControl 021.jpg

ArduinoControl 021:
If windows gives you this security alert- choose "install this driver software anyway".

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ArduinoControl 022:
The driver should continue installing.

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ArduinoControl 023:
You should get a window that says the driver was updated successfully. Click close.

ArduinoControl 024.jpg

ArduinoControl 024:
The device should now be shown in your device manager with the correct COM port.

ArduinoControl 025.jpg

ArduinoControl 025:
Now navigate to
in your web browser. Then click on the GCodeSender.exe download link.

ArduinoControl 026.jpg

ArduinoControl 026:
Choose run when prompted.

ArduinoControl 027.jpg

ArduinoControl 027:
Choose your save destination.

ArduinoControl 028.jpg

ArduinoControl 028:
Once download has completed, select "open folder".

ArduinoControl 029.jpg

ArduinoControl 029:
Now double click the GCodeSender application.

ArduinoControl 030.jpg

ArduinoControl 030:
If prompted with a security warning choose "run".

ArduinoControl 031.jpg

ArduinoControl 031:
Once in GCodeSender click the "Open" button.

ArduinoControl 032.jpg

ArduinoControl 032:
Be sure the \r\n bubble is selected.

ArduinoControl 033.jpg

ArduinoControl 033:
Type a "$" without the quotes into the command bar and hit enter.

ArduinoControl 034.jpg

ArduinoControl 035:
You should get a list of settings that you can alter to fit your application. To change the "x" step/mm for example, type $0 = 400 or whatever your steps per mm needs to be, and then hit enter. The same can be done for any of the other settings.

Next you should test your settings by typing for example X10 then hit enter. Your machine should move 10mm in the positive "X" direction. You can similarly test the other axis the same way. Just replace X with the axis of choice.

Depending on the machine and configuration used, it may be necessary to set the axis motion direction opposite of its current setting. This is accomplished by setting the invert mask within the grbl controller. As of version .8c the command is $6="X", older versions used $7="X", where X is the value the direction(s) needing to be reversed from the following list ("None = 0, X=32, Y=64, X+Y=96, Z=128, X+Z=160, Y+Z=192, X+Y+Z=224") if I needed to reverse the Y axis I would enter command $6=64

Another useful tool is Grbl controller 3.5 available at
GRBL controller is useful for workpiece setup and getting a graphical view of the toolpath. However, G-code sender has superior motion control for arcs.

Once motion control is verified it is recommended to upgrade the GRBL control software on the Arduino. A tutorial is located at

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