The STEPPER-STICK is a full-featured Stepper Motor Controller + Drive
built into a USB Stick. The Stick
Measures 2 x 1 x 0.5 inch and can provide 0.25A of motor current if powered by the USB
Bus or up to 0.5A if powered by an external power source. The controller performs fully profiled moves
with control of acceleration, velocity and position. Additional rich features include quadrature
encoder feedback, 4 Analog and Digital inputs, 2 On/Off power outputs, program
storage, and a built-in logic sequencer that can loop, branch and control the
stepper/outputs based on status of inputs. The STEPPER-STICK is designed for
ultimate ease of use. Only a PC, a
stepper motor and the STEPPER-STICK are required. The user needs to wire only four contacts for
the stepper motor and plug the STEPPER-STICK into a PC. An engineer unfamiliar with Motion Control
can have a stepper motor spinning intelligently in less than half an hour. The STEPPER-STICK is an introduction to the
capability and programming language for a family of more conventional products
at AllMotion. This family of products allows an engineer to progress to an OEM
application with ease. Most designs with this functionality occupy about 10X
the volume of this drive. Products of
similar volume have only the "driver" and depend on the PC to perform the "controller"
function. The STEPPER-STICK boosts the
5V from the PC to 15V and has a Bipolar Drive - similar products are typically
Unipolar and 5V. The STEPPER-STICK has all intelligence built in, and once
programmed can operate with no computer attached. In addition to Motion Control, the STEPPER-STICK
has other capability such as Analog Inputs, Digital Inputs, and On/Off Power
Driver Outputs useful in performing real world applications.
A new service lets engineers and orthopedic surgeons design and 3D print highly accurate, patient-specific, orthopedic medical implants made of metal -- without owning a 3D printer. Using free, downloadable software, users can import ASCII and binary .STL files, design the implant, and send an encrypted design file to a third-party manufacturer.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.