Projects » 3Step

3Step stepper controller


The 3Step is a 3 axis stepper controller, which can be built on strip board (vero board). It was originally designed for a simple DIY CNC router. It isn't designed for high performance, or with an amazing feature set. It's simple, and gets you off the ground for a small outlay without using any specialist components.

I put this design online after a couple of people on CNCZone asked for some more details about a controller I used in my first CNC router project. Files posted to that forum are not available to the wider internet, and I like sharing, so knocked up this site. Please excuse any typos, although let me know if you find any really bad ones!

The design is free for personal or educational use. I just ask that if you find the design useful, or even actually build it, that you drop me an email to say how it all went.

Here you'll find all the information you need to do one of two things, depending on your level of electronics skill. You'll either get a simple, effective 3 axis stepper driver up and running, or you'll create a smoldering hole in your workbench, and burn your eyebrows off!

I cannot be the judge of your skill level, so you need to be realistic about what you can and can not do with a soldering Iron and a handful of bits. Read the information I have provided here, and place your bets.

Read on to the overview for some more detail, or check out the links page for commercial stepper drivers which might be a better option if you're the burning desk, no eyebrows kind of person!

Note: the 3Step pages for this website were actually written early in 2007, and I never got around to putting it online. The images, and this design were posted on the web as a result of a thread of messages on the forums on cnczone. The original thread is here if you read through that thread you'll find some additional information about how the 3Step came into being, and why I made some of the choices in designing it.

Disclaimer: The 3Step is a very simple design. Being simple it doesn't have any real safety features at all, and has great potential for causing the venting of magic smoke. Magic smoke is the stuff that lives inside all electronics, and is the reason why things work, for without the magic smoke inside the components they tend not to work so well.

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