Arduino Stepper Motor and Servos Shield - AW GCSE Board




This instructable will show you show to build an Arduino shield which can be used to control 3 servos and 1 stepper motor using 4 potentiometers. You will need:

access to a laser printer/cnc router/etching chemicals
7 x 3 pin 3.5mm terminal blocks
2 x 2 pin 3.5mm terminal blocks
2 x 8 pin stackable headers
2 x 6 pin stackable headers
1 x 8 pin chip socket
1 x L293D motor driver chip
optional: access to a laser cutter
soldering iron
something to shape the board, eg disc sander

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: Etch the Board

Attached are the Eagle files for the schematic and PCB layout of the board. It is single sided, and should be etched or milled. 

Step 2: Drill the Board

The next step is to carefully drill the holes for the components. Below is a picture of the drilled board. Drilling before shaping means we can align the board for laser engraving. 

Step 3: Laser Etch the Board

This step is optional, but provides the shape of the board and some useful text on the top of the board. Below is the 2D design file, and also a DXF. The hardest part of all of this project is lining up the laser. I drew a line along the line of the holes that you should have drilled, and used the laser cutter to follow the path without cutting, so I could see if it was in the right place. When you are happy, engrave the writing onto the surface of the board (I could recommend testing the settings on an old PCB). 

Step 4: Shape the Board

You should now have an outline engraved onto the top of the board. As the picture in the previous step shows, either disk-sand the edges, or use some other method, but shape the board to the outline. I used a small drill bit cutting disk for the finer details. 

Step 5: Populate the Board

The next step is easy, solder on the components. It's fairly obvious where they go, but if not, refer to the schematic/pcb in an earlier step, or the photo below. 

Step 6: Code

I will post the code, when i've tested it, however, for the moment I will just give you the vital info. I would recommend modifying the Servo Pot example code. A0, A1, A2 and A3 are the potentiometer inputs. D7, D6 and D12 are the servo connections. On the L293D, pin 2 is D10, pin 7 is D9, pin 15 is D11 and pin 10 is D8. If you need any help, just comment below. 

Step 7: Response!

I am looking for some opinions, as this is my GCSE Technology PCB, as well as being useful otherwise. I would like some opinions about some or all of the following things if you are able: 

if you've made it, does it work/problems/general feedback/pics
refinements that could be made
aesthetics/ergonomics - does it look good/is it easy to use
is there any better way of actually manufacturing it?
any other comments

Thank you very much for your time. 

Hack It! Challenge

Participated in the
Hack It! Challenge

Be the First to Share


    • CNC Contest

      CNC Contest
    • Make it Move

      Make it Move
    • Teacher Contest

      Teacher Contest

    18 Discussions


    3 years ago

    please I want the code of arduino for stepper motor on this shield


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Can I use that to control 4 stepper motors whitout the servos?


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Hi I'm a beginner. Looking for help to create servo shield. Could you please give more details about controlling servos with L293D & Shift Registers? How many servos at max arduino "nano" can be control using L293D & Shift Registers?


    5 years ago on Introduction

    What would it take to control 3 steppers instead of just the one stepper motor?

    Also what level of power can the board drive?

    Would love to use this to control a DIY CNC


    5 years ago on Step 6

    AWESOME-Ness!!! Much Thanks for this. I dont know if ya answered this already but, can this do without the potentiometers?...I dont really get what theyre for and would rather get another servo line in there in place of...?


    5 years ago on Introduction

    How much current are you planning on pushing through those traces?


    Reply 6 years ago on Step 7

    Can't remember XD I think there was an import option, or a ULP? (forgotten the acronym - the library code thing).


    7 years ago on Step 7


    You could have finished your board by cutting to shape with a junior hacksaw (this is how I do it even with GRP boards) and filing with emery cloth held on a flat file. It is not much slower than using a disk sander and is more controllable. Also rounded corners, while not important, would make it look a little better and show that you took a little bit of pride in your work.

    Instead of using a laser to mark the component side a nice professional finish can be achieved with the 'toner transfer' method followed by a spray varnish - not cellulose base as the acetone thinner dissolves the toner - use an acrylic based one or a clear, water based brush-able one.

    I like the etched logo, looks professional, pity the AW didn't turn out well. You could have filled the spaces with resist as that would use less etchant and allow notes to be etched on the copper side of the board.

    Hope this is of use, best of luck with your project.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Interesting, but it is more a 'how do I make a PCB' than how to make a stepper motor shield. Even a picture of the circuit wld have been a plus

    2 replies

    7 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for the replies guys, but try not to get dragged into arguing! I didn't see any real reason to get it sent off; it's a single sided board that is a one off production, and it's far more accurate than using the CNC milling machine. It would be really great if I could have some more general feedback, but thanks!


    7 years ago on Step 7

    A better way of manufacturing it would be to send the files and have someone make them. Seeedstudio is by far the cheapest and easiest(that i've found).

    2 replies

    True, but where's the fun in that? Etching is pretty cheap and simple and this board would be a perfect first project to hone your skills.


    Reply 7 years ago on Step 7

    I know but he asked a question so i gave him an answer. And a first etching project i think should be something someone would want todo not just something easy