Microstepping Tutorial

Learn about Full stepping, half stepping, and wave stepping

A bipolar stepper motor has two windings. The current through each winding is varied in order to rotate the stepper motor. When considering stepper motor drive techniques, a “phase diagram” is a useful visualization tool. The current through one winding Ia is plotted against the current through the other winding Ib. Modes of operation such as full stepping, half stepping, microstepping, and operation at different current limits can be easily visualized on such a diagram. In addition, it is possible to visualize changes in both power consumption and torque as a function of angular position. Simple stepper motor controllers are only capable of driving a winding with full positive current, no current, or full negative current. Given these available outputs it is only possible to implement full stepping, half stepping, or wave stepping.

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