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Quick-Release Cage Plates for 60 mm Cage System
The LCP90F cage plate consists of magnetically coupled front and back plates that allow optics to be easily removed and reinserted.
The LCP90F has a removable mounting carriage that magnetically couples to the back plate of the mount, which is not removable from the cage structure. The advantage to this mount is that the mounting carriage with the component mounted in it can be removed and reinserted into the cage system with a high degree of repeatability.
The QRC2A uses a spring-loaded dovetail clamping mechanism that allows the cage plate to be easily inserted or removed from a closed cage system. The primary advantage of this mount is that it can be removed from the cage system and reinserted into the cage system on the other side of a component that is fixed in the cage structure.
The LCP360R offers a snap-in design with a pivoting optic holder, which together permit the entire mount to be secured and removed without disassembling the cage system. Since the optic holder can pivot, it is possible to orient optics at any angle with respect to the cage axis.
Cage System Compatibility: Thorlabs offers 16 mm, 30 mm, and 60 mm cage systems designed for Ø1/2", Ø1", and Ø2" optical components, respectively. The parts on this page are compatible with our 60 mm cage system and utilize Ø6 mm ER cage rods.
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 below). 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.
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.
An example of the standard cage plate measurements determining cage system compatibility.
Click to Enlarge
LCP90F Quick Release Magnetic Plate Shown in 60 mm Cage System
The LCP90F consists of a back plate compatible with the 60 mm cage system and a mounting carriage (front plate) that is magnetically coupled with pairs of rare earth magnets to the back plate. For stability, precision, and repeatability, the mounting carriage contacts the back plate at three points. Each point of contact is a ball bearing on the mounting carriage resting in the groove formed by two parallel steel pins. Since the axes defined by the three sets of pins share a common point of intersection, the system is properly constrained (kinematic). The mounting carriage can be easily inserted or removed from the fully assembled cage system by separating it from the back plate, rotating it sideways, and then extracting it from the cage.
The internal SM2 threading allows components up to 0.345" (8.7 mm) thick to be secured in the mounting carriage with the included SM2RR retaining ring. Components with external SM2 threading (OD = 2.2" (55.9 mm)) cannot extend more than 1" (25.4 mm) beyond the face of the mounting carriage without sacrificing the ability to remove the mounting carriage and component from a closed cage system. The lateral repeatability specification (10 µm) indicates that the X, Y, and Z position of the mount will not vary by more than 10 µm after being removed and replaced, while the 1 µrad angular repeatability refers to the rotation of the optic not changing by more than 1 µrad.
The QRC2A cage mount is equipped with a spring-loaded dovetail clamp that secures or releases the cage mount to two of the four ER rods in the cage structure. The cage plate has internal SM2 threading that allows for components up to 0.15" (3.8 mm) thick to be secured with the included SM2RR retaining ring. In addition, components up to 1" (25.4 mm) thick [not including length of threaded stub, OD = 2.2" (55.9 mm)] with external SM1 threading can be attached without sacrificing the ability to remove the cage plate from a closed cage system.
The LCP360R is easily snapped into and removed from preassembled cage sections, as shown in the animation above. It can be used to mount optics at variable angles of incidence (AOI).
The LCP360R cage mount allows for 360° of manual rotation of an optic within a 60 mm cage system. Optics up to 8 mm thick can be mounted against a lip at the end of the 11.3 mm (0.45") long SM2-threaded (2.035"-40) optic cell using an included SM2RR retaining ring. The LCP360R mount uses a flexure-style clamp with two 3-48 cap screws (5/64" [2.0 mm] hex) to quickly connect the mount without disassembling the cage. Simply turn the optic perpendicular to the cage system's optical axis and loosen the setscrews enough to allow the flexure mechanism to snap onto the cage rods, as shown in the animation to the right. The LCP360R mount can be attached at any two of the four cage rods for either X- or Y-axis pivoting adjustment. The cage mount can be slid along the cage rods by loosening the setscrews in the flexure clamps.