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Translating Mounting Platforms


  • Translating Breadboard with 1/4"-20 (M6) Mounting Taps
  • 2" (50 mm) Manual or Motorized Travel in X and Y
  • Translate Entire Workspace Around a Microscope's Optical Path

Application Idea

Micromanipulators and Sample Holders Mounted on a Motorized 2D Platform

PMP1000

Manual Platform with
1/4"-20 Tapped Holes

Related Items


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Drawing of Metric XY Platform
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Drawing of the Metric Breadboard Platforms
Drawing of Imperial XY Platform
Click for Details

Drawing of the Imperial Breadboard Platforms
Unleashed

Share Your Work With Us!

Have you built a unique setup using DIY Cerna components? Send a picture to ImagingTechSupport@thorlabs.com! Our customers often inform our engineering efforts and inspire us to make new products and improvements for the entire community. We'd love to hear from you.

Features

  • 24.00" x 18.00" (600 mm x 450 mm) Translating Breadboard
  • 8.00" x 10.00" (200 mm x 250 mm) Cutout for Placement Around a Microscope's Optical Path
  • 352 1/4"-20 (M6) Taps for Mounting Multi-Component Setups
  • 2" (50 mm) Travel via Manual Micrometer or Motorized Stepper Motor Actuator
  • Contact Tech Support for Custom Breadboard Options

Thorlabs' Manual and Motorized Translating Breadboards are designed to fit around a microscope's optical path while supporting sample holders, micromanipulators, or multi-component experimental setups. The large 24.00" x 18.00" (600 mm x 450 mm) breadboard allows for multiple components to be mounted and translated at one time while staying fixed in space relative to each another. Each movable baseplate has a 8.00" x 10.00" (200 mm x 250 mm) cutout on one side that provides ample space for modules mounted to the microscope body, such as condenser holders, brightfield illumination modules, and body attachments.

The breadboard is mounted on two XY stage assemblies with micrometers for manual adjustments or stepper motor actuators for motorized adjustments. Each manual or motorized stage assembly can translate the mounted breadboard up to 2" (50 mm) in X and Y. Each breadboard contains an array of 352 1/4"-20 (M6 x 1.0) tapped holes on 1" (25 mm) centers that can be used to secure rigid stands and other experimental equipment, allowing several separate pieces of a large setup to be translated in unison.

Cerna Brochure PDF

Thorlabs can design breadboards for specific needs. Our capabilities include custom sizes up to 24" x 18" (600 mm x 450 mm), custom cutout, and the use of other materials, such as steel. Please contact Tech Support for more information.

Thorlabs also manufactures a Microscope Translator for DIY Cerna® systems, which provides 2" of microscope body travel in X and Y.

Building a Cerna® Microscope

The Cerna microscopy platform's large working volume and system of dovetails make it straightforward to connect and position the components of the microscope. This flexibility enables simple and stable set up of a preconfigured microscope, and provides easy paths for later upgrades and modification. See below for a couple examples of the assembly of preconfigured and DIY Cerna microscopes.

Preconfigured Microscope Kit Design and Assembly


Walkthrough of Cerna® Microscope Kit 3
This Cerna microscope configuration is equipped with both epi- and trans-illumination modules. All Cerna preconfigured microscope kits enable individual components to be removed or substituted for complete customization.


Microscope Kit 3 Assembly
The D1N and D2N circular dovetails align the sample viewing and epi-illumination apparatus along the optical path. The microscope body's 95 mm linear dovetail is used to secure the objective and condenser mounts, as well as the transmitted light illumination module. The dovetail allows components to slide along the vertical rail prior to lockdown.

DIY Cerna Design and Assembly


Walkthrough of a DIY Microscope Configuration
This DIY microscope uses a CSA3000 Breadboard Top, a CSA2001 Dovetail Adapter, our CSA1001 and CSA1002 Fixed Arms, and other body attachments and extensions. These components provide interfaces to our lens tube and cage construction systems, allowing the rig to incorporate two independent trans-illumination modules, a home-built epi-illumination path, and a custom sample viewing optical path.

DIY Microscope Configuration Assembly
The simplicity of Thorlabs optomechanical interfaces allows a custom DIY microscope to be quickly assembled and reconfigured for custom imaging applications.

The Cerna Mind Map is a visual tool that contains the complete selection of DIY Cerna components and several closely related accessories. Created as a supplement to our website, we have designed it to be printed on a single 11" x 17" sheet.

Click here or on the image below to download a printable PDF. The components shown on this webpage are in Steps 9 and 10 of the mind map.

Cerna Mind Map


Posted Comments:
jiaruili  (posted 2016-11-22 17:21:51.82)
We are looking for the translation stage for our cryostat (~35 pound) with sub micron accuracy. The Motorized Translating Breadboard looks good for us. So what is the height of the motorized stage? And can you make it's size smaller (~30*20cm)? Thanks,
tfrisch  (posted 2016-11-30 09:35:58.0)
Hello, thank you for contacting Thorlabs. I see that you are already in contact with Ben about our custom capabilities. The height of the motorized breadboard is 116.7mm.
user  (posted 2015-08-19 10:42:17.6)
For the PLS stage, we would like to control with Labview. Is a driver included? We really need one axis controller.
besembeson  (posted 2015-09-29 11:27:07.0)
Response from Bweh at Thorlabs USA: We have a Labview SDK for the MCM3000. Please contact me at techsupport@thorlabs.com and I will provide this to you.

Click on the different parts of the microscope to explore their functions.

Explore the Cerna MicroscopeSample Viewing/RecordingSample MountingIllumination SourcesIllumination SourcesObjectives and MountingEpi-IlluminationEpi-IlluminationTrans-IlluminationMicroscope BodyMicroscope BodyMicroscope BodyMicroscope Body

Elements of a Microscope

This overview was developed to provide a general understanding of a Cerna® microscope. Click on the different portions of the microscope graphic to the right or use the links below to learn how a Cerna microscope visualizes a sample.

 

Terminology

Arm: Holds components in the optical path of the microscope.

Bayonet Mount: A form of mechanical attachment with tabs on the male end that fit into L-shaped slots on the female end.

Bellows: A tube with accordion-shaped rubber sides for a flexible, light-tight extension between the microscope body and the objective.

Breadboard: A flat structure with regularly spaced tapped holes for DIY construction.

Dovetail: A form of mechanical attachment for many microscopy components. A linear dovetail allows flexible positioning along one dimension before being locked down, while a circular dovetail secures the component in one position. See the Microscope Dovetails tab or here for details.

Epi-Illumination: Illumination on the same side of the sample as the viewing apparatus. Epi-fluorescence, reflected light, and confocal microscopy are some examples of imaging modalities that utilize epi-illumination.

Filter Cube: A cube that holds filters and other optical elements at the correct orientations for microscopy. For example, filter cubes are essential for fluorescence microscopy and reflected light microscopy.

Köhler Illumination: A method of illumination that utilizes various optical elements to defocus and flatten the intensity of light across the field of view in the sample plane. A condenser and light collimator are necessary for this technique.

Nosepiece: A type of arm used to hold the microscope objective in the optical path of the microscope.

Optical Path: The path light follows through the microscope.

Rail Height: The height of the support rail of the microscope body.

Throat Depth: The distance from the vertical portion of the optical path to the edge of the support rail of the microscope body. The size of the throat depth, along with the working height, determine the working space available for microscopy.

Trans-Illumination: Illumination on the opposite side of the sample as the viewing apparatus. Brightfield, differential interference contrast (DIC), Dodt gradient contrast, and darkfield microscopy are some examples of imaging modalities that utilize trans-illumination.

Working Height: The height of the support rail of the microscope body plus the height of the base. The size of the working height, along with the throat depth, determine the working space available for microscopy.

 

microscope bodyClick to Enlarge
Cerna Microscope Body
Body Height Comparison
Click to Enlarge

Body Details

Microscope Body

The microscope body provides the foundation of any Cerna microscope. The support rail utilizes 95 mm rails machined to a high angular tolerance to ensure an aligned optical path and perpendicularity with the optical table. The support rail height chosen (350 - 600 mm) determines the vertical range available for experiments and microscopy components. The 7.74" throat depth, or distance from the optical path to the support rail, provides a large working space for experiments. Components attach to the body by way of either a linear dovetail on the support rail, or a circular dovetail on the epi-illumination arm (on certain models). Please see the Microscope Dovetails tab or here for further details.

 

microscope bodyClick to Enlarge
Illumination with a Cerna microscope can come from above (yellow) or below (orange). Illumination sources (green) attach to either.

Illumination

Using the Cerna microscope body, a sample can be illuminated in two directions: from above (epi-illumination, see yellow components to the right) or from below (trans-illumination, see orange components to the right).

Epi-illumination illuminates on the same side of the sample as the viewing apparatus; therefore, the light from the illumination source (green) and the light from the sample plane share a portion of the optical path. It is used in fluorescence, confocal, and reflected light microscopy. Epi-illumination modules, which direct and condition light along the optical path, are attached to the epi-illumination arm of the microscope body via a circular D1N dovetail (see the Microscope Dovetails tab or here for details). Multiple epi-illumination modules are available, as well as breadboard tops, which have regularly spaced tapped holes for custom designs.

Trans-illumination illuminates from the opposite side of the sample as the viewing apparatus. Example imaging modalities include brightfield, differential interference contrast (DIC), Dodt gradient contrast, oblique, and darkfield microscopy. Trans-illumination modules, which condition light (on certain models) and direct it along the optical path, are attached to the support rail of the microscope body via a linear dovetail (see Microscope Dovetails tab or here). Please note that certain imaging modalities will require additional optics to alter the properties of the beam; these optics may be easily incorporated in the optical path via lens tubes and cage systems. In addition, Thorlabs offers condensers, which reshape input collimated light to help create optimal Köhler illumination. These attach to a mounting arm, which holds the condenser at the throat depth, or the distance from the optical path to the support rail. The arm attaches to a focusing module, used for aligning the condenser with respect to the sample and trans-illumination module.

 

microscope bodyClick to Enlarge
Light from the sample plane is collected through an objective (blue) and viewed using trinocs or other optical ports (pink).

Sample Viewing/Recording

Once illuminated, examining a sample with a microscope requires both focusing on the sample plane (see blue components to the right) and visualizing the resulting image (see pink components).

A microscope objective collects and magnifies light from the sample plane for imaging. On the Cerna microscope, the objective is threaded onto a nosepiece, which holds the objective at the throat depth, or the distance from the optical path to the support rail of the microscope body. This nosepiece is secured to a motorized focusing module, used for focusing the objective as well as for moving it out of the way for sample handling. To ensure a light-tight path from the objective, the microscope body comes with a bellows (not pictured).

Various modules are available for sample viewing and data collection. Trinoculars have three points of vision to view the sample directly as well as with a camera. Double camera ports redirect or split the optical path among two viewing channels. Camera tubes increase or decrease the image magnification. For data collection, Thorlabs offers both cameras and photomultiplier tubes (PMTs), the latter being necessary to detect fluorescence signals for confocal microscopy. Breadboard tops provide functionality for custom-designed data collection setups. Modules are attached to the microscope body via a circular dovetail (see the Microscope Dovetails tab or here for details).

 

microscope bodyClick to Enlarge
The rigid stand (purple) pictured is one of various sample mounting options available.

Sample/Experiment Mounting

Various sample and equipment mounting options are available to take advantage of the large working space of this microscope system. Large samples and ancillary equipment can be mounted via mounting platforms, which fit around the microscope body and utilize a breadboard design with regularly spaced tapped through holes. Small samples can be mounted on rigid stands (for example, see the purple component to the right), which have holders for different methods of sample preparation and data collection, such as slides, well plates, and petri dishes. For more traditional sample mounting, slides can also be mounted directly onto the microscope body via a manual XY stage. The rigid stands can translate by way of motorized stages (sold separately), while the mounting platforms contain built-in mechanics for motorized or manual translation. Rigid stands can also be mounted on top of the mounting platforms for independent and synchronized movement of multiple instruments, if you are interested in performing experiments simultaneously during microscopy.

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For sample viewing, Thorlabs offers trinoculars, double camera ports, and camera tubes. Light from the sample plane can be collected via cameras, photomultiplier tubes (PMTs), or custom setups using breadboard tops. Click here for additional information about viewing samples with a Cerna microscope.

Product Families & Web Presentations
Sample Viewing Breadboards
& Body Attachments
Cameras PMTs

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Microscope objectives are held in the optical path of the microscope via a nosepiece. Click here for additional information about viewing a sample with a Cerna microscope.

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Large and small experiment mounting options are available to take advantage of the large working space of this microscope. Click here for additional information about mounting a sample for microscopy.

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Thorlabs offers various light sources for epi- and trans-illumination. Please see the full web presentation of each to determine its functionality within the Cerna microscopy platform.

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Epi-illumination illuminates the sample on the same side as the viewing apparatus. Example imaging modalities include fluorescence, confocal, and reflected light microscopy. Click here for additional information on epi-illumination with Cerna.

Product Families & Web Presentations
Epi-Illumination Web Presentation Body Attachments Light Sources
Epi-Illumination Body Attachments Light Sources

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Trans-illumination illuminates from the opposite side of the sample as the viewing apparatus. Example imaging modalities include brightfield, differential interference contrast (DIC), Dodt gradient contrast, oblique, and darkfield microscopy. Click here for additional information on trans-illumination with Cerna.

Product Families & Web Presentations
Brightfield Web Presentation DIC Web Presentation Dodt Web Presentation Condensers Web Presentation Condenser Mounting Web Presentation Illumination Kits Web Presentation Other Light Sources
Brightfield DIC Dodt Condensers Condenser Mounting Illumination Kits Other Light Sources

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The microscope body provides the foundation of any Cerna microscope. The 7.74" throat depth provides a large working space for experiments. Click here for additional information about the Cerna microscope body.

Product Families & Web Presentations
Microscope Body Web Presentation Microscope Body Translator
Microscope Bodies Microscope Translator

Manual Translating Breadboard

Specifications
Micrometer Travel Range 50 mm
Micrometer Graduations 10 µm per Division
Travel per Revolution 0.5 mm
Runout Over
Full Range
±0.0004"
(±10 µm)
Maximum Load Capacity Mounted
Horizontallya
20.7 kg
(45.71 lbs)
  • The load capacity takes into account the weight of the top two stages and the breadboard.
XY Platform
Click to Enlarge

Closeup of One Manual
XY Stage Assembly
  • 50 mm Manual Travel in Both X and Y
  • 24" x 18" (600 mm x 450 mm) Platform
  • 352 1/4"-20 (M6 x 1.0) Tapped Holes for Securing Equipment
  • 4.59" (116.7 mm) Breadboard Surface Height
  • Supports Setups that Access the Optical Path from the Front and the Sides

Thorlabs' PMP1000(/M) Manual Platform is designed to support multi-component experimental setups that need to be placed around the vertical optical path of a microscope system. The platform is mounted on two XY stage assemblies with manual micrometers that provide up to 50 mm of travel.

The aluminum breadboard contains an array of 352 1/4"-20 (M6 x 1.0) tapped holes on 1" (25 mm) centers that can be used to secure rigid stands and other experimental equipment. This allows for several separate pieces of a large setup to be translated in unison.

As shown by the drawings above, the surface area of the breadboard measures 24" x 18" (600 mm x 450 mm). The majority of the footprint is contained within this surface area, except for the adjusters that protrude slightly past the right and front edges. When installed on a workstation, the top of the breadboard will sit 4.58" (116.4 mm) above the workstation's surface. It is supported by two base plates underneath the breadboard, which contain counterbores that are spaced to mate with typical 1/4"-20 and M6 x 1.0 tapped hole patterns.

Thorlabs can design the breadboard to your specific needs. This includes custom sizes up to 24" x 18" (600 mm x 450 mm), cutouts, or materials, such as steel. Please contact Tech Support for more information. Please see the PMP-2XY below for a motorized platform.

Based on your currency / country selection, your order will ship from Newton, New Jersey  
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Imperial Price Available
PMP1000 Support Documentation
PMP1000Manual Translating XY Platform, 1/4"-20 Taps
$7,678.95
Today
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Metric Price Available
PMP1000/M Support Documentation
PMP1000/MManual Translating XY Platform, M6 x 1.0 Taps
$7,678.95
Today

Motorized Translating Breadboard

Specifications
Travel Range 2" (50.8 mm)
Velocity (Max) 3.66 mm/s
Encoder Resolution 0.5 µm
Steps per Revolution of Leadscrew 200
Step Angle 1.8°
Manual Travel per
Revolution of Leadscrewa
1 mm/rev
Maximum Load Capacity
Mounted Horizontallyb
 34.0 kg (74.96 lbs)
Cable Length 500 mm (1.64 ft)
Required Controller MCM3002
  • When powered off, each motor can be manually adjusted using a rear-located knob. 
  • The load capacity takes into account the weight of the top two stages and the breadboard.
XY Platform
Click for Details

Empty Translating Platform Around a Home-Built DIY Cerna® Microscope
  • 2" Motorized Travel in Both X and Y
  • 24" x 18" (600 mm x 450 mm) Platform
  • 352 1/4"-20 (M6 x 1.0) Tapped Holes for Securing Equipment
  • 4.59" (116.7 mm) Breadboard Surface Height
  • Supports Setups that Access the Optical Path from the Front and the Sides
  • Requires Our Standard 3-Axis Controller (Item # MCM3002, Sold Separately Below)

Thorlabs' PMP-2XY(/M) Motorized Platform is designed to support multi-component experimental setups that need to be placed around the vertical optical path of a microscope system. The motorized design minimizes the amount of interaction needed with the system compared to the manual version above. One MCM3002 controller, sold separately below, is required for operation. 

The platform is mounted on two XY stage assemblies that utilize stepper motor actuators to provide up to 2" of motorized travel. When powered off, the motors can be manually adjusted using a rear-located knob.

The aluminum breadboard contains an array of 352 1/4"-20 (M6 x 1.0) tapped holes on 1" (25 mm) centers that can be used to secure rigid stands and other experimental equipment. This allows for several separate pieces of a large setup to be translated in unison.

As shown by the drawings above, the surface area of the breadboard measures 24" x 18" (600 mm x 450 mm). The majority of the footprint is contained within this surface area, except for an actuator that protrudes slightly past the right edge. When installed on the workstation, the top of the breadboard will sit 4.58" (116.4 mm) above the workstation's surface. It is supported by two base plates underneath the breadboard, which contain counterbores that are spaced to mate with typical 1/4"-20 and M6 x 1.0 tapped hole patterns.

Thorlabs can design the breadboard to your specific needs. This includes custom sizes up to 24" x 18" (600 mm x 450 mm), cutouts, or materials, such as steel. Please contact Tech Support for more information

Based on your currency / country selection, your order will ship from Newton, New Jersey  
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Imperial Price Available
PMP-2XY Support Documentation
PMP-2XYMotorized Translating XY Platform, 1/4"-20 Taps
$13,132.50
Today
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Metric Price Available
PMP-2XY/M Support Documentation
PMP-2XY/MMotorized Translating XY Platform, M6 x 1.0 Taps
$13,132.50
Today

Motion Controller for Cerna® Components with 2" Travel Range

MCM3002 with Translating Breadboard
Click to Enlarge

MCM3002 Being Used to Control the PMP-2XY Translating Breadboard

Controller Specifications
Compatible Motor Specifications
  • Designed for Cerna Components with 2" Motorized Travel
  • Knobs Provide Hand-Operated Control for up to Three Axes
  • Each Axis can be Individually Disabled to Prevent Unintended Movements or to Retain a Position
  • Adjust Translation Speed via Top-Located Knob

The MCM3002 3-Axis Controller consists of a hand-operated knob box and a separate controller. Each side face of the knob box includes a rotating knob and a push-button switch that are dedicated to a single axis. The push-button switch enables and disables the axis, and is lit in green when the axis is enabled. Disabling the axis lets the user preserve a position or prevent accidental movements. A smaller knob on the top face adjusts the amount of translation per rotation of the knob (see the Controller Specifications table for details).

Since each MCM3002 controller has three channels, you only need to purchase enough channels for each of the modules you intend to drive. For example, a Cerna microscope equipped with a PMP-2XY Translating Platform (which has two axes) only requires one MCM3002 controller.

The MCM3002 is compatible with motorized Cerna components that have a travel range of 2", such as our Microscope Body Translator and Translating Platforms; see the Compatible Motor Specifications table above for use with alternate motorized products. For components with a 1" travel range, such as our Translation Stages and Motorized Focusing Modules, the MCM3001 controller should be used instead. If you would like a controller configured to drive more than one type of stage, please contact Tech Support.

SDK and LabVIEW examples are available by contacting Tech Support.

Based on your currency / country selection, your order will ship from Newton, New Jersey  
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Universal Price Available
MCM3002 Support Documentation
MCM3002Three-Channel Controller and Knob Box for 2" Cerna Travel Stages
$3,780.06
Today
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