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25 mm (0.98") Motorized Translation Stage
Thorlabs' Motorized Translation Stages provide electronically controlled linear motion along a well-defined axis. The PT1-Z8 (PT1/M-Z8) Single-Axis Stage provides 25 mm (0.98") of travel along one axis, while the PT3-Z8 (PT3/M-Z8) Three-Axis Stage provides travel in three dimensions. Each stage is equipped with a 3.00" x 2.00" (75.0 mm x 50.0 mm) tapped hole matrix that includes sixteen 1/4"-20 (M6) taps for compatibility with standard optomechanics.
The moving platform contains holes for alignment pins that ensure orthogonality when the stage is stacked with other stages or connected to our accessories. Horizontal loads of 20 lbs (9 kg) and vertical loads of 10 lbs (4.5 kg) are supported by the actuator's inline 67:1 planetary gear head. The stages feature hardened steel linear bearings for precision motion and long life.
Mounting Adapters and Stage Combinations
Included and Compatible Actuators
Thorlabs also manufactures the MTS25-Z8 Motorized Translation Stage, which features a built-in actuator and reduced overall package size.
For the Z825B motorized actuator, there are 512 encoder counts per revolution of the motor. The output shaft of the motor goes into a 67:1 planetary gear head. This requires the motor to rotate 67 times to rotate the 1.0 mm pitch lead screw one revolution. The end result is the lead screw advances by 1.0 mm.
The linear displacement of the actuator per encoder count is given by
512 x 67 = 34,304 encoder counts per revolution of the lead screw,
whereas the linear displacement of the lead screw per encoder count is given by
1.0 mm / 34,304 counts = 2.9 x 10-5 mm (29 nm).
Z825B Motorized Actuator Pin Connections
The modular design of the PT series motorized translation stages allows the assembly of 2- or 3-axis stages within minutes. Each stage comes with two precision dowel pins that allow for right- or left-handed XY configurations with excellent orthogonality. Follow the steps below to build a 3-axis XYZ translator (PT3-Z8) from individual components.
Insert the two 1/8" alignment pins into the PT101(/M) Base and then screw it onto the PT1-Z8 (PT1/M-Z8) Translation Stage using the two included 1/4"-20 (M6) cap screws. Then insert the two 1/8" alignment pins into the provided holes to ensure orthogonality of the second stage.
Attach the second, orthogonal PT1-Z8 (PT1/M-Z8) Translation Stage, as shown above, using two 1/4"-20 (M6) cap screws. Then insert the two 1/8" alignment pins into the provided holes for aligning the angle bracket.
Screw the PT102(/M) Angle Bracket to the PT1-Z8 (PT1/M-Z8) Translation Stage, as shown above, using two 1/4"-20 (M6) cap screws. Then insert the two 1/8" alignment pins into the provided holes on the front face of the angle brakcet for aligning the third and final stage.
Screw the third PT1-Z8 (PT1/M-Z8) Translation Stage to front of the PT102(/M) Angle Bracket, using two 1/4"-20 (M6) cap screws.
Thorlabs offers two platforms to drive our wide range of motion controllers: our Kinesis® software package or the legacy APT™ (Advanced Positioning Technology) software package. Either package can be used to control devices in the Kinesis family, which covers a wide range of motion controllers ranging from small, low-powered, single-channel drivers (such as the K-Cubes™ and T-Cubes™) to high-power, multi-channel, modular 19" rack nanopositioning systems (the APT Rack System).
The Kinesis Software features .NET controls which can be used by 3rd party developers working in the latest C#, Visual Basic, LabVIEW™, or any .NET compatible languages to create custom applications. Low-level DLL libraries are included for applications not expected to use the .NET framework. A Central Sequence Manager supports integration and synchronization of all Thorlabs motion control hardware.
Kinesis GUI Screen
APT GUI Screen
Our legacy APT System Software platform offers ActiveX-based controls which can be used by 3rd party developers working on C#, Visual Basic, LabVIEW™, or any Active-X compatible languages to create custom applications and includes a simulator mode to assist in developing custom applications without requiring hardware.
By providing these common software platforms, Thorlabs has ensured that users can easily mix and match any of the Kinesis and APT controllers in a single application, while only having to learn a single set of software tools. In this way, it is perfectly feasible to combine any of the controllers from single-axis to multi-axis systems and control all from a single, PC-based unified software interface.
The software packages allow two methods of usage: graphical user interface (GUI) utilities for direct interaction with and control of the controllers 'out of the box', and a set of programming interfaces that allow custom-integrated positioning and alignment solutions to be easily programmed in the development language of choice.
A range of video tutorials is available to help explain our APT system software. These tutorials provide an overview of the software and the APT Config utility. Additionally, a tutorial video is available to explain how to select simulator mode within the software, which allows the user to experiment with the software without a controller connected. Please select the APT Tutorials tab above to view these videos.
This guide illustrates some of the basics of using the APT System Software in LabVIEW from a programming point of view that allow immediate command of the APT controllers out of the box.
Motorized Linear Translation Stages
Thorlabs' motorized linear translation stages are offered in a range of maximum travel distances, from a stage with 20 µm of piezo translation to our 600 mm direct drive stage. Many of these stages can be assembled in multi-axis configurations, providing XY or XYZ translation. For fiber coupling applications, please see our multi-axis stages, which offer finer adjustment than our standard motorized translation stages. In addition to motorized linear translation stages, we offer motorized rotation stages, pitch and yaw platforms, and goniometers. We also offer manual translation stages.
These stages incorporate piezoelectric elements in a variety of drive mechanisms. Our Nanoflex™ translation stages use standard piezo chips along with manual actuators. Our LPS710E z-axis stage features a mechanically amplified piezo design and includes a matched controller. The PD1 stage incorporates a piezo inertia drive that uses "stick-slip" friction properties to obtain an extended travel range. The Elliptec™ stages use resonant piezo motors to push and pull the moving platform through resonant elliptical motion.
Stepper Motor Stages
These translation stages feature removable or integrated stepper motors and long travel ranges up to 300 mm. The MLJ150 stage also offers high load capacity vertical translation. The other stages can be assembled into multi-axis configurations.
DC Servo Motor Stages
Thorlabs offers linear translation stages with removable or integrated DC servo motors. These stages feature low profiles and can be assembled in multi-axis configurations.
Direct Drive Stages
These low-profile stages feature integrated brushless DC servo motors for high speed translation with zero backlash. When no power is applied, the platforms of these stages have very little inertia and are virtually free running. Hence these stages may not be suitable for applications where the stage's platform needs to remain in a set position when the power is off. We do not recommend mounting these stages vertically.
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Schematic of Metric Single-Axis Stage
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Schematic of Imperial Single-Axis Stage
Thorlabs' PT1-Z8 (PT1/M-Z8) Single-Axis and PT3-Z8 (PT3/M-Z8) Three-Axis Motorized Translation Stages provide linear, orthogonal motion in one or three dimensions. Sixteen 1/4"-20 (M6) tapped holes allow easy integration with a wide variety of common optomechanical setups. The stages feature hardened steel linear bearings for precision motion and long life.
The PT1-Z8 stage is designed for single-axis translation. For applications requiring XY motion, simply purchase two PT1-Z8 stages and stack them using the provided alignment pins to ensure orthogonality. If XYZ motion is desired, then we recommend the PT3-Z8 stage. In addition to alignment pins for all three axes, the PT3-Z8 includes a PT101(/M) Base Plate and a PT102(/M) Right-Angle Bracket. For more details on these accessories, please read below. Two oversized 1/4"-20 (M6) counterbores in each single-axis stage allow the stage to be directly attached to a mounting adapter (sold below) or a metric or imperial breadboard with user-supplied cap screws.
Each axis requires a standalone controller unit and power supply to operate. For this purpose, we recommend our KDC101 K-Cube™ Motor Controller, which is described in more detail below.
The motor cable that is built in to the Z825B actuator is 0.5 m (1.64 ft) long. If more length is required for your application, we recommend our PAA632 Extension Cable, which provides an additional 2.5 m (8.20 ft). It is sold at the bottom of this page.
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XY-Configured PT1-Z8 Stages on PT101 Base Plate
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PT101 Base Plate Provides Easily Accessed Counterbored Slots
The PT101(/M) Base Plate is ideal for XY configurations or already assembled XYZ multi-axis configurations where the standard counterbores in the middle of the stages are obstructed. Although the PT1-Z8 (PT1/M-Z8) Single-Axis Stage sold above can be directly mounted to a breadboard or optical table, mounting requires unobstructed access to the two bores in the middle of the moving platform. This base plate allows an attached stage to be positioned on a breadboard without having to disassemble a setup that already exists on the moving platform. This plate is included with the purchase of a PT3-Z8 (PT3/M-Z8) Three-Axis Stage.
The bottom of the translation stage is connected to the base plate using two 1/4"-20 (M6) cap screws. The base plate includes two alignment holes for the alignment pins included with the PT1-Z8 stage, which together ensure that the translation axis is parallel to the plate.
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XY-Configured PT1-Z8 Stages with Vertical Mounting Surface
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XZ-Configured PT1-Z8 Stages
The PT102(/M) Right-Angle Bracket orients a PT1-Z8 (PT1/M-Z8) Single-Axis Stage in the vertical plane, allowing the construction of XY, XZ, or XYZ arrangements of PT1-Z8 stages. Two examples are shown to the right. This bracket is included with the purchase of a PT3-Z8 Three-Axis Stage. This angle bracket is also compatible with our manual and motorized MT series translation stages that offer 1/2" (25 mm) of travel. This allows stages with different travel ranges to easily connected within the same mechanical system.
To begin the assembly process, insert the two alignment pins provided with the PT1-Z8 stage into the stage's alignment holes. Then position the bracket's alignment holes above the pins. The bracket can be fastened down using two 1/4"-20 (M6) cap screws. At this point, the bracket's vertical mounting surface will accommodate a stage that is attached horizontally (for XY configurations) or vertically (for XZ or XYZ configurations). For details, please see the XYZ Assembly tab.
Click to Enlarge KAP101 Adapter)
Thorlabs' KDC101 K-Cube Brushed DC Motor Controller provides local and computerized control of a single motor axis. It features a top-mounted control panel with a velocity wheel that supports four-speed bidirectional control with forward and reverse jogging as well as position presets. A backlit digital display is also included that can have the backlit dimmed or turned off using the top-panel menu options. The front of the unit contains two bidirectional trigger ports that can be used to read a 5 V external logic signal or output a 5 V logic signal to control external equipment. Each port can be independently configured.
Please note that this controller does not ship with a power supply. Compatible power supplies are listed below. Additional information can be found on the main KDC101 DC Servo Motor Controller page.
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A location-specific adapter is shipped with the power supply unit based on your location. The adapters for the KPS101 are shown here.
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The KPS101 Power Supply Unit
The KPS101 power supply outputs +15 VDC at up to 2.4 A and can power a single K-Cube or T-Cube with a 3.5 mm jack. It plugs into a standard wall outlet.
The KCH301 and KCH601 USB Controller Hubs each consist of two parts: the hub, which can support up to three (KCH301) or six (KCH601) K-Cubes or T-Cubes, and a power supply that plugs into a standard wall outlet. The hub draws a maximum current of 10 A; please verify that the cubes being used do not require a total current of more than 10 A. In addition, the hub provides USB connectivity to any docked K-Cube or T-Cube through a single USB connection.
For more information on the USB Controller Hubs, see the full web presentation.
The PAA632 Extension Cable provides an additional 2.5 m (8.20 ft) of cable length for the 15-pin D-type connectors used throughout our motorized actuator selection. The male end connects to the controller, while the female end connects to the motor.