SLB and Microstepping "Best Practices"

I continue to make good progress in upgrading to the SLB from the older 8-bit OpenBuilds BlackBox on my MilkCr8 CNC.

Today’s question regarding microstepping. The SLB configuration defaults to 1/32 microsteps. My older board was set to 1/16 microsteps. The Internet Wisdom implies you’ll get smoother motion and more precisions at 1/32 vs. 1/16, but a potential loss of torque.

At the scale of these hobby CNC machines (for me - primarily cutting 6061 aluminum) is the loss of torque enough to matter? Should I try microsteps at 1/32, or revert to 1/16? I’m using NEMA 17 motors.

Thanks for any input.


Hey John!

At the end of the day you can do what you think would be best for you. In the time I spent looking into these TMC drivers it seemed to me that no matter the microstepping you set it still interpolate them after the fact to make the steps less jarring and reduce resonance. If this is untrue then I’d be happy if someone else wants to jump in but I didn’t notice a change in torque between even 1/8 and 1/32 when it came to machine capability in my own testing. I think the general rule of thumb on microstepping still generally applies across most stepper drivers or at least older ones, but it seems the newer ones might not have as much of that disadvantage anymore.

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Thanks Chris – I think you are right. The newer drivers don’t seem to have as much of a penalty in torque for increased microstepping – but I’m very glad to have your input!

Onward with 1/32!