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I am planning to get a few TMC step sticks for my 3D printer.

I wanted to know what does 256 interpolation with 16 micro stepping mean, in simple terms?

Does it help? If so, how?

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Higher microstepping numbers result in smoother movement. However, printer control boards are limited in how many steps the can generate per second - as low as 10'000 steps/s on an 8-bit AVR board running Marlin.

To get the benefits of smoother microstepping, without adding load to your control board, TMC stepper drivers support interpolation between each step impulse coming from your control board, up to 256 different positions with which the stepper motor is driven.

You will still have to set up your firmware for the 16 "real" microsteps, the interpolation is only done on the stepper driver itself.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for your answer Could you tell me if this is useful , does it improve quality and make the finish of the better ? $\endgroup$ – Hussain Bhavnagarwala Sep 27 '19 at 8:21
  • $\begingroup$ @HussainBhavnagarwala Yes, of course. It results in smoother motion. $\endgroup$ – towe Sep 27 '19 at 9:05
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    $\begingroup$ @user_fs10 Exactly. For a full step of a normal stepper, you might send 16 impulses to your TMC driver, and the TMC then interpolates these steps to 256 distinct current values it sends through the stepper coils. $\endgroup$ – towe Dec 9 '19 at 13:12
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    $\begingroup$ @user_fs10 The MEGA can produce approximately 10'000 steps/s running Marlin. About 80% of that will be used on X and Y, 19% on the extruder and 1% on Z. 1/16th mode would offer you better positional accuracy (about 0.0125mm rather than 0.05mm for a 20 tooth GT2 belt) at a maximum speed of roughly 100 mm/s. Do you plan on printing (much) faster than that? Perhaps this would be best suited for a new question though. $\endgroup$ – towe Dec 9 '19 at 13:38
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    $\begingroup$ @user_fs10 In that case it's even less clear - and depends on what speeds and resolutions you're after. $\endgroup$ – towe Dec 9 '19 at 13:45

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