Ask and you shall receive.
I’m documenting this to be as reproducible as I can so that anyone who has ideas/critique can suggest improvements.
If you’re just interested in videos/pictures, skip to the bottom.
- Nomad, with the back removed for easy access to the control box
- Note: this means the Nomad was louder than it would be in normal operation, do not take the noise readings to be a good indication of the sound you’ll hear in normal operation
- Another note: My Nomad has sound-insulating rubber on the bottom to stop vibrations into the surface it rests on, this may reduce noise relative to a stock Nomad
- Arduino Uno, hooked up to Watterott’s TMC2209 SilentStepStick with a simple breadboard and some hookup wire.
- For the stock Nomad controller, the original power supply provided by Carbide 3D
- For the Arduino + TMC2209s, a MeanWell RSP-320-24 power supply.
- Note: the RSP-320-24 has a fan built in, so you’ll hear wooshing in the background of the TMC2209 videos, resulting in a higher baseline noise level.
- Pixel 4 XL for recording video
- iPhone 11 with the Decibel X app for measuring noise levels
I set up the Nomad with:
- Stock drivers
- TMC2209 drivers in “StealthChop” mode (the one that’s meant to be silent)
- TMC2209 drivers in “SpreadCycle” mode (the “normal” mode)
- I first homed the machine with the stock controller, then powered it down
- For each run:
The stock drivers are noisy as heck. If you look at the report, you’ll see that it peaks at 78dB (as loud as a truck) and if you look at the graph, the average noise level is around 70dB (as loud as a car) at all speeds.
At the lower feed rates, StealthChop and SpreadCycle are both essentially silent. StealthChop doesn’t even register above the ~44dB background noise until ~400 mm/min and it does so just barely. For the most part, StealthChop is around 60dB (conversation) but it does peak at around 70dB (car) when moving at 2600 mm/min.
SpreadCycle though does very well at higher speeds, peaking at a mere 60dB (conversation), a full 18dB quieter than the stock drivers.
If you combine StealthChop and SpreadCycle (which Trinamic recommends, automatically switching is built into most of their drivers), your steppers should be essentially silent below 400 mm/min and peak at 60dB when running at higher speeds.
Finally, it should be repeated that I’m running my machine with the back removed, so all the sounds go straight into the air. When running this normally, it’ll be even quieter.
TL;DR: The Trinamic drivers turn a machine that makes as much noise as a truck into a machine that makes as much noise as a conversation.