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Hello joe , awsome project !
What about upgrading to 3fase so its possible to use brushless motors like
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__16229__NTM_Prop_Drive_Series_28_30A_750kv_140w.html (check the image of torque speed curve)
How awesome would it be to get all 3d printers diy cnc rotobotics upgraded to 3fase servo and get reasonable price drivers to industry
so benefits: power and weight (a nema 17 stepper gets you some 30 watts at 250 gram a outrunner 100watts at 50 gram) lots more max speed and acceleration , no more humming stepper noise and brushless motors are ridiculous cheap.
so downside is that torque wil be lower than steppers so ther might be need for gearing also we go from 200steps per revolution to some 12 to 20 poles the drive should be smart to keep average power within limits (limit current at continius low speed like a stepper driver but increase during acceleration) RPM should work with AS5047D (Max speed 14500).Most brush less drivers sens back EMF on the unused coil to commutate which is only working when its running a minimum speed , but it should be possible to do a calibration routine drive one coil to get a known position and save to flash .
this guy has some position control on 3fase but he uses a more expensive motor with hal sensors http://vedder.se/2015/01/vesc-open-source-esc/
im not a electronics engineer so my hope is on you !
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