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16 mm Cage System Construction Rods


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16 mm Cage System Construction Rods

16 mm Cage System Components:

  • Ø4.0 mm Cage Rods for 16 mm Cage System
  • Cage Couplers and Adapters

The Cage Assembly System provides a convenient way to construct large optomechanical systems with an established line of precision-machined building blocks designed for high flexibility and accurate alignment. Please see the Cage Overview tab for more details on this widely adopted construction standard.

Standard Assembly Rods

Our precision-ground cage assembly rods are basic building blocks used to construct optical systems. These rods are most commonly used as precision guides for our cage assembly plates and have a 4 mm diameter for 16 mm cage systems. Each rod has a removable 4-40 stud in each end, and all rods are designed to be stackable. An infinite array of systems can be assembled when used in conjunction with our cage plates and lens tubes. Please see the Construction tab for more information on building cage systems.

Cage Couplers and Adapters

The 16 mm cage rod adapters offered here enable the easy addition or removal of components from cage assemblies. The SRSCA cage adapter can be used to connect Ø4 mm SR rods to 4-40 internally threaded components.The S1A cage rod coupler provides a method of connecting rods at 90° angles.

Swivel Connector

The S3A swivel connector can be used to connect cage assemblies at arbitrary angles. These parts are made from stainless steel and provide an extremely rigid structure.

SRSCA 1D Construction

SRSCA 1D Construction
Click to Zoom

1D Construction

The SRSCA SR rod adapter allows for the end-to-end joining of two SR rods. It has an internal bore on one end that accepts Ø4 mm SR series rods. To join two rods, position the end of one rod inside the SRSCA, and lock it into place using the locking setscrew. Thread the other end of the SRSCA into the other rod (see photo at right).

3D Construction

These assembly rods are essential components when configuring cage systems in complex, multi-dimensional structures.

ER90 3D Construction
ER90C Right Angle Rod with
ER90L Spacer Rod
C3A 3D Construction
S3A Swivel Connectors
Click to Zoom

The S3A swivel connectors can be configured to any arbitrary angle before being locked into place (see photo at right).

The ER90C right angle rods offer a fixed 90° connection to a cage system (see photo to left). Using the ER90A spacer rod for 30 mm cage systems and the ER90L spacer rod for 60 mm cage systems will ensure center-to-center spacing. Alternatively, a cage cube can be used to create a rigid 90° connection.

When constructing complex optomechanical cage assemblies, it is sometimes necessary to couple one cage subsystem to another. Between the S1A cross coupler for 16 mm cages, the C1A cross coupler for 30 and 60 mm cage systems, and the C2A swivel coupler with 180° swing, virtually any configuration can be achieved.

ERSCA 3D Construction
ERSCA Adapters with ST1XY-S Mount and C4W Cage Cube
Click to Zoom


The ERSCA ER rod adapter is also useful for 3D construction. As shown in the image to the right, the ERSCA can be used to connect two internally-threaded cage components with ER rods. In the application shown to the left, cage rods are used to connect a 30 mm cage cube to an ST1XY-S micrometer-driven, XY translation mount. The four cage rods are directly threaded into four holes in the cage cube. Since the other end of each cage rod is internally threaded, they cannot be directly threaded into the translation mount.

As shown to the left, the threaded side of the ERSCA adapter is connected to the ST1XY-S translation mount. The cage rod slides into the other side of the adapter and is secured in place with the setscrew. Using the ERSCA adapters, components can easily be added to or removed from setups without causing misalignment.

Application Idea

The cage assembly components offered here can be used to couple 16 mm, 30 mm, and 60 mm cage systems. The parts used in the following setup are listed below:

Cage Application
Item #QuantityImageDescription
SRM051SRM05
Click to Zoom
16 mm Cage
Rotation Mount
one
SR4
SR1
4 (each)SR1
Click to Zoom
Cage Assembly
Rod, Ø4 mm
two
S1A4S1A
Click to Zoom
Cage Rod
Cross Coupler
three
SP031SP03
Click to Zoom
16 mm Clear Aperture
Cage Plate
four
SP051SP05
Click to Zoom
30 mm to 16 mm Cage
Adapter Plate
five
ER44ERSCA 1D Construction
Click to Zoom
Cage Assembly
Rod, Ø4 mm
six
Basic Square Cage Plate
An example of the standard cage
plate measurements determining
cage system compatibility.

Cage System Overview

The Cage Assembly System provides a convenient way to construct large optomechanical systems with an established line of precision-machined building blocks designed for high flexibility and accurate alignment.

16 mm, 30 mm, and 60 mm Cage System Standards

Thorlabs offers three standards defined by the center-to-center spacing of the cage assembly rods (see image to right). The 16 mm cage, 30 mm cage, and 60 mm cage standards are designed to accomodate Ø1/2", Ø1", and Ø2" optics, respectively. Specialized cage plates that allow smaller optics to be directly inserted into our larger cage systems are also available. All locking setscrews used in these cage plates are standard 4-40 setscrews, which use a 0.05" hex key.

Standard Threads

The flexibility of our Cage Assembly System stems from well-defined mounting and thread standards designed to directly interface with a wide range of specialized products. The three most prevalent thread standards are our SM05 Series (0.535"-40 thread), SM1 Series (1.035"-40 thread), and SM2 Series (2.035"-40 thread), all of which were defined to house the industry's most common optic sizes. Essential building blocks, such as our popular lens tubes, directly interface to these standards.

Standard Cage System Measurements
Cage System16 mm30 mm60 mm
Thread SeriesSM05SM1SM2
Rod to Rod Spacing16 mm (0.63")30 mm (1.18")60 mm (2.36")
Total Length25 mm (0.98")41 mm (1.60")71.1 mm (2.8")
Cage Components
Cage Rods16 mmThese rods are used to connect cage plates, optic mounts, and other components in the cage system. The SR Series Cage Rods are compatible with our 16 mm cage systems, while the 30 mm and 60 mm cage systems use ER Series Cage Rods.
30 mm
60 mm
Cage Plates16 mmThese serve as the basic building blocks for a cage system. They may have SM-threaded central bores, smooth bores sized for industry standard optics or to accommodate the outer profile of our SM Series Lens Tubes, or specialized bores for other components such as our FiberPorts.
30 mm
60 mm
Optic Mounts16 mmThorlabs offers fixed, kinematic, rotation, and translation mounts specifically designed for our Cage Systems.
30 mm
60 mm
Cage Cubes16 mmThese cubes are useful for housing larger optical components, such as prisms or mirrors, or optics that need to sit at an angle to the beam path, such as beamsplitters. Our cage cubes are available empty or with pre-mounted optics.
30 mm
60 mm
Post and Breadboard Mounts and AdaptersMounting options for cage systems can be found on our Cage System Construction pages. Cage Systems can be mounted either parallel or perpendicular to the table surface.
Size AdaptersCage System Size Adapters can be used to integrate components from different cage system and threading standards.
Specialized ComponentsThorlabs also produces specialized cage components, such as Filter Wheels, a HeNe Laser Mount, and a FiberPort Cage Plate Adapter, allowing a wide range of our products to be integrated into cage-mounted optical systems. Explore our Cage Systems Visual Navigation Guide to see the full range of Thorlabs' cage components.
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SR Assembly Rods for 16 mm Cage Systems
  For use with 16 mm Compact (Mini Series) Cage Systems
  Available in Lengths Ranging from 1/4" to 8"
  Ø4 mm Precision-Ground Stainless Steel Rods
  4-40 Removable Setscrew at Both Ends
  ±0.005" Rod Length Tolerance (Threaded Ends Not Included)

These 16 mm cage rods are made from stainless steel and are designed for use with our Mini Series Components. The 4-40 threaded stud at each end of the cage rod can be removed, leaving a 4-40 tapped hole. This allows multiple cage rods to be connected end-to-end.

Based on your currency / country selection, your order will ship from Newton, New Jersey  
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Universal/Imperial Price Available / Ships
SR025 Support Documentation
SR025 Customer Inspired! Mini Series Cage Assembly Rod, 1/4" Long, Ø4 mm, Qty. 1
$6.00
Today
SR05 Support Documentation
SR05 Mini Series Cage Assembly Rod, 1/2" Long, Ø4 mm, Qty. 1
$5.50
Today
SR1 Support Documentation
SR1 Mini Series Cage Assembly Rod, 1" Long, Ø4 mm, Qty. 1
$6.00
Today
SR1.5 Support Documentation
SR1.5 Mini Series Cage Assembly Rod, 1.5" Long, Ø4 mm, Qty. 1
$6.50
Today
SR2 Support Documentation
SR2 Mini Series Cage Assembly Rod, 2" Long, Ø4 mm, Qty. 1
$7.00
Today
SR3 Support Documentation
SR3 Mini Series Cage Assembly Rod, 3" Long, Ø4 mm, Qty. 1
$7.50
Today
SR4 Support Documentation
SR4 Mini Series Cage Assembly Rod, 4" Long,Ø4 mm, Qty. 1
$8.00
Today
SR6 Support Documentation
SR6 Mini Series Cage Assembly Rod, 6" Long, Ø4 mm, Qty. 1
$9.00
Today
SR8 Support Documentation
SR8 Mini Series Cage Assembly Rod, 8" Long, Ø4 mm, Qty. 1
$12.00
Today
SR Rod Adapter for 16 mm Cage Systems
  • Internally Accepts Ø4 mm SR Series Rods
  • 4-40 Threaded Stud and 2-56 Locking Setscrew
  • Easily Add or Remove Components from Cage Assemblies

The SRSCA is a stud adapter that will allow any cage assembly to be easily separated when adding or removing components. This adapter has an internal bore on one end that accepts an internally threaded Ø4 mm SR series rod. Once the rod is positioned inside of the adapter, a mounting stud collar with a 2-56 locking setscrew is used to hold the rod in place. On the other side of the adapter, there is an externally 4-40 threaded stud that can be threaded into the end of another SR series rod or 4-40 internally threaded cage component.

As seen in the images below, the SRSCA is particularly useful for connecting two internally 4-40 threaded cage system components with Ø4 mm SR series cage rods.

SRSCA Assembly

Thread the SR series cage rods directly into the KCB05 16 mm Right-Angle Kinematic Cage Mount as shown above. Then thread four SRSCA adapters into the SC6W Compact 6-Way Cage Cube. Finally, insert the Ø4 mm SR series rods into the internal bores on the SRSCA adapters and secure using the 2-56 locking setscrews.

Based on your currency / country selection, your order will ship from Newton, New Jersey  
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Universal/Imperial Price Available / Ships
SRSCA Support Documentation
SRSCA Rod Adapter for Ø4 mm SR Rods, Qty. 1
$14.00
Today
SR Rod End Swivel Connector for 16 mm Cage Systems
  • 180° of Total Swing
  • Ideal for Near-Normal Angles
  • Lockable Design for Greater Rigidity
  • Ø4 mm Precision-Ground Stainless Steel
  • 2-56 Hex Locking Screw

The S3A swivel connector allows 16 mm SR cage assembles to be connected at a range of angles up to ±90° from the system normal. Made from stainless steel, these lockable couplers result in very rigid structures.

Based on your currency / country selection, your order will ship from Newton, New Jersey  
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Universal/Imperial Price Available / Ships
S3A Support Documentation
S3A SR Rod End Swivel Connector, Set of 4
$54.00
Today
SR Rod Cross Coupler for 16 mm Cage Systems
  • Connect Ø4 mm SR Rods at 90°
  • Two 5/64" (2 mm) Hex Screws Provide Clamping Force
  • Flexure Clamping Design

The S1A cross coupler is designed for Thorlabs' Ø4 mm, SR series of cage rods. This coupler provides a method to attach a terminating SR rod at 90° to an SR rod that is passed through the clamp. Using two cap screws, the flexure design clamps onto both cage rods. The S1A is ideal for constructing 3D cage structures based on Thorlabs' 16 mm cage system, as shown in the example at right (for details,see Construction tab).

Based on your currency / country selection, your order will ship from Newton, New Jersey  
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Universal/Imperial Price Available / Ships
S1A Support Documentation
S1A 16 mm Cage Rod Cross Coupler
$12.00
Today
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