Arduino Stepper Motor Controller

Hi Guys

This article “Run a Stepper Motor with an Arduino” is about something every electronics enthusiast would want to learn and master. Its name might sound really simple but mind you, this thing has the power to solve many complicated problems. Yes, I’m talking about the Stepper Motor Controller – a device that is being used excessively in the world of electronics these days. From DSLR auto-focus systems & 3D printers to plotter rigs and CNCs, you will find SMCs (stepper motor controllers) in almost all types of electro-mechanical equipments & systems.

The main reason why stepper motor controllers are used so often is because they can be programmed to move precise & defined steps either in the clockwise or in the counter-clockwise direction.

In this article “Run a Stepper Motor with an Arduino”, through a basic prototype, I am going to teach you that how you can drive a stepper motor. I will also explain that how you can connect a stepper motor to a microcontroller to programme it.

So here’s the stuff I am going to be using for prototyping:

  1. Arduino UNO
  2. Bipolor stepper motor
  3. Jumper wire
  4. Breadboard
  5. Breadboard jumper
  6. L293D IC

First you can make the same prototype to start learning & tinkering. I have also added the Arduino code below for testing purposes. You can watch the below video for a descriptive step-by-step guide to create the stepper motor controller.
And here is the circuit diagram for further reference. Before you connect your microcontroller and circuit to the power source, just make sure all connections are according to the circuit diagram.

Arduino Stepper Motor controller

Step by step video guide

Ok, now it’s time to upload the programme into Arduino and test the project. Here is the code.

Arduino Code to run stepper motor


#include <Stepper.h>

int in1Pin = 12;
int in2Pin = 11;
int in3Pin = 10;
int in4Pin = 9;

// change this to the number of steps on your motor
#define STEPS 512

Stepper motor(STEPS, in1Pin, in2Pin, in3Pin, in4Pin);

void setup()
pinMode(in1Pin, OUTPUT);
pinMode(in2Pin, OUTPUT);
pinMode(in3Pin, OUTPUT);
pinMode(in4Pin, OUTPUT);

// this line is for Leonardo's, it delays the serial interface
// until the terminal window is opened
while (!Serial);


void loop()
if (Serial.available())
int steps = Serial.parseInt();


Found it useful? Anything you like & dislike? I’ll be happy to reply to your comments!

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  1. bilel 9 years ago

    thx for your tuto but i ask if can i use a stepper little more big with L293D

  2. henrique 9 years ago

    the power input for motor is shorting out in the diagram

  3. sabbir 9 years ago

    can i used arduino mega for this project???

  4. Navjot 9 years ago

    Could we use a transistor to power motors with a higher voltages? say 12v / 24v motors, like NEMA17.

  5. vamsi 9 years ago

    from where you are connect the external 5V….

  6. vamsi 9 years ago

    with L293D can i controll the bigger stepper motors…?is it possible or not???

  7. hiba 9 years ago

    can I control the direction of the stepper motor to stop at specific position??

  8. Philippe 8 years ago

    I have a stepper motor with 5 wires – blue, pink yellow orange and red.
    what should be the connections?

  9. Daniel Fernandes 8 years ago

    Great tutorial!
    I would like you to do a circuit for Stepper Motor + L293D + Limit Switch Keys, please!
    Thank you very much

  10. Shubham Dey 8 years ago

    If we are using an Arduino Mega 2560 board, what are the possible changes to be done in the above code and connections?

  11. Ahmed Nixam 8 years ago

    It is very use full to the way i want control it with switches or a pot to the both direction and stop function can pls help me to do like that. Iam very new to this arduino .can u pls show me a diaram and a code like abowe. THANK YOU.

  12. Viraj 8 years ago

    Which model of stepper motor is used here? Plz reply fast. It’s urgent. I want to do it for my project

  13. jigar-buddhadeo 7 years ago

    Can you help in writing the same program for matlab. I have interface my arduino mega2560 with matlab using matlab support package. Can you write the code to run the same.

  14. Anijith 7 years ago

    This is very helpful..Thanks

  15. Avadhut Kulkarni 7 years ago

    what are the changes in program if I want to rotate a stepper motor first 120 degree anticlockwise then 120 anticlockwise and the 240 degree clockwise?

  16. Akhil Rastogi 7 years ago

    Can I have your email I’d

  17. Frantisek 7 years ago

    Power input motor 🙂 short circuit man!

  18. Utsav 6 years ago

    The stepper motor as well as the motor driver is getting quite heated up, what should i do to prevent this? The connections and power supply is fine but the motor and driver IC is still heating up.

  19. Adil Farooq 6 years ago

    I ran a stepper motor of 3.3V with L293D. Worked fine as well. Thanks for sharing

  20. ivan 6 years ago

    thank you for a great tutorial

  21. Armins Senkans 5 years ago

    I was copy-paste Your programm, but it not working, because I got the answer:
    “#include expects “FILENAME” or
    What is this? Which row I can include filename?

  22. HAROLD ANDRES 5 years ago

    power motor is CRASH

  23. madumal 5 years ago

    how can i find #include <Stepper.h> library file
    plz send the answer to my e mail…..

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