Silent Stepper 3D Printer Upgrade (and other noise mitigations)
Silent Stepper 3D Printer Upgrade (and other noise mitigations)

My printer sits in a closet that shares a wall with our bedroom. Normally it's fine, but when things are quiet I can hear the motors making slight buzzing and ringing noises with the normal A4988 Stepper Motor Drivers. In an attempt to make the printer entirely silent, I got four TMC2100 stepper motor drivers. At $10 each, they're expensive, but wow, they are awesome.

For the GT2560 on my i3 Clone I have been running the TMC2100s in the default Stealth Chop mode for quite a while now and they are AWESOME! The loudest thing on my printer is now the power supply fan (which seems to be dying) and I can no longer hear any noises when printing, even in the middle of the night.

Any boards with the TMC2100 drivers should work, I ordered these from banggood.com, but have seen this less expensive version recommended on the reprap forums: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4pcs-3D-Printer-Accessories-Silent-MKS-LV8729-stepper-motor-driver-ultra-quiet-for-MKS-ROBIN-MKS/32797730654.html

The one thing to watch out for when using these drivers is that they do run much hotter than the A4988. If you're losing steps. I would ensure there is enough airflow over the heatsinks before switching the mode from stealth chop.

I was getting lots of missed steps (due to the drivers overheating and shutting off temporarily) with the same fan configuration as my A4988 drivers, but adding a fan like so fixed the issue. I probably should have mounted the heat sinks 90 degrees the other way so the air flows better:

Easy Installation (steathChop)

The default mode is stealth chop, which some people claim does not provide as much torque as spreadCycle, but in theory it should. Things to watch out for when using this is simply heat. Make sure you have lots of air moving over the heat sink.

To install, simply:

  • Note the location of the GND pin and orientation of the existing drivers.
  • Remove all the old drivers and the jumpers below them.

  • Install the new drivers, placing the GND pin on the new driver in the same location as the old driver.

Modes

Here are the table of modes

CFG1 CFG2 Schrittteilung Interpolation Mode
GND GND 1 (full step) none spreadCycle
VCC GND 2 (half-step) none spreadCycle
open GND 2 (half-step) 256 µ-Schritte spreadCycle
GND VCC 4 (quarter-step) none spreadCycle
VCC VCC 16 µ-steps none spreadCycle
open VCC 4 (quarter-step) 256 µ-steps spreadCycle
GND open 16 µ-steps 256 µ-steps spreadCycle
VCC open 4 (quarter-step) 256 µ-steps stealthChop
open open 16 µ-steps 256 µ-steps stealthChop

According to the reprap documentation page, you want either of these configs:

CFG1 CFG2 Schrittteilung Interpolation Mode
GND open 16 µ-steps 256 µ-steps spreadCycle
open open 16 µ-steps 256 µ-steps stealthChop

To test, plug in the driver, with jumpers underneath removed and use the continuity feature to see if the CFG1 and CFG2 pins match the ground or VCC connections in the table above.

Further Reading

Documentation page (Google translated) from: http://www.fysetc.com/store/goods-84.html

 Product Description: The use of the chip stepping value in accordance with the 16 subdivision calculation, the chip internal use of the differential algorithm will be extended to 16 subdivision 256 subdivision

Product weight: 4g

Delivery list: TMC2100 driver module * 1, dedicated heat sink * 1

Advantages: quiet, super quiet, super super quiet

Product defects:

1: inherit the consistent characteristics of German products, workmanship, the use of imported chips from Germany, super super expensive, high-end series, the sound requirements of mute, perfect customer is a good choice.

2: the working temperature is higher, without fan case, the working temperature of about 0.5A 70 degrees, 1A operating temperature exceeds

     150 degrees, there may be lost, strong demand for good heat dissipation, the best working current 0.5A best.


Algorithm and Adjustment of TMC 2100 Module Driving Current

1, the drive current algorithm: i = vref * 1.9 / 2.5, the default Verf about 0.65V,

So the default current of 0.5A, the maximum current of 1A.

2, Verf measure Gnd and potentiometer intermediate end voltage.

3, be sure to not connect the motor voltage measurement, or easy to burn drive.

4. Measuring voltage should be connected to the power, do not just connect the USB power supply.

Please pay special attention to the direction, do not insert anti! ! !

TMC 2100 drive module

1, Ramps1.4 or MKS Gen, or plot plot touch screen motherboard, please remove the three jumper cap below

2, pay attention to the direction

3, heat sink attached directly to the PCB above

4. Motor direction and A4988 and DRV8825 on the contrary, if you want to directly replace the 4988, adjust

Firmware or adjust the motor line sequence, such as the use of music plot motherboard, please set the motor direction directly above the touch screen.

Set the direction inside.

Reprap documentation page: http://reprap.org/wiki/TMC2100

Reprap page on installation: http://forums.reprap.org/read.php?1,742618

Other noise mitigations

After installing the TMC2100s, the loudest noise was the fan and creaking from the i3's belts. To further mitigate noise, I put the whole printer on one of those gel mats, usually used in the kitchen

Hope this was helpful. If so, feel free to checkout my YouTube channel, get updates when a new article is posted by following on Feedly and read the the other guides at nathan.vertile.com/blog
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