Voice Coil Actuators
- Linear Voice Coil Actuators
- Maximum Travel Ranges from 6.3 mm to 62.5 mm
- High Purity of Motion
Voice Coil Actuator,
25 mm Travel
Zero Travel Position
Voice Coil Actuator,
6.3 mm Travel
Voice Coil Actuator,
62.5 mm Travel
Click to Enlarge
The top of each coil assembly includes SM threads and threaded holes for mounting to other components. See the table below for details.
- Linear Voice Coil Motors
- Direct Force Drive for High Purity of Motion
- Up to 62.5 mm Maximum Travel
- Current-Driven Operation
- High-Speed, Precise Translation
- Highly Responsive Acceleration and Deceleration
- SM-Threaded Coil Assembly
Thorlabs' voice coil actuators are designed for use in applications requiring positioning with high speed or acceleration. These linear actuators use a bobbin and magnet assembly to provide linear force without contact between the moving and fixed world. The voice coil converts electrical signals directly into linear magnetic force, providing much higher purity of motion compared to DC motors requiring separate drivetrains such as belts or gears. When combined with a position sensor, our voice coils provide quick, accurate movement with excellent repeatability. The polarity of the voltage determines the translation direction of the motor. When using the red wire for positive voltage, the magnet assembly will extend when current is applied. The force can be approximated by multiplying the current by the force constant, although the position of the actuator will also affect the force provided by the actuator (see the graphs in the table below for details).
Both ends of the voice coil actuator should be firmly mounted so that the magnet assembly is suspended around the voice coil without contact. The VC063/M and VC125/M magnet assemblies have a center blind-tapped M3 mounting hole, while their coil assemblies have a center M3 mounting hole. The VC250/M, VC500/M, and VC600/M magnet assemblies have a center blind-tapped M6 mounting hole, while their coil assemblies have two M4 mounting holes on opposite sides of a center Ø6.35 mm through hole. The mounting holes could be used with our right-angle brackets to fix either end of the voice coil to an optical table or moving world of a stage. All voice coil assemblies have external SM threading for easier mounting to our fixed optic mounts or lens tubes.
If the voice coil actuator is translated beyond its maximum recommended travel range, the magnet assembly may be displaced too far from the coil assembly to maintain proper magnetic interaction. In this case, the actuator may no longer respond as expected and the voice coil must be manually contracted.
user  (posted 2023-05-20 13:07:57.87)
Hello, I wanted to know what is the positioning resolution of the device? and what type of controller do you use?
cdolbashian  (posted 2023-05-26 12:05:13.0)
Thank you for reaching out to us Benjamin. This device is nominally analog, and the position of the actuator moves as a function of applied current. Depending on the quality of your current control, you will have varying quality of positional resolution.
Lee Kyesung  (posted 2023-05-15 16:41:24.14)
Is it possible to reciprocate in an axis perpendicular to the direction of gravity without contact between the moving and fixed world? Thanks
ksosnowski  (posted 2023-05-15 04:17:57.0)
Hello Lee, thanks for reaching out to Thorlabs. We have used the voice coils in this orientation before, although it does require a mount that will maintain the coil separation. Currently we have one product series VCFL35(/M) which incorporates the VC063/M voice coil into a flexure mount for scanning applications.
Alex Barker  (posted 2023-04-04 13:14:35.53)
Hi there, I can't open the solidworks files for the voice coils as the version is newer than my version of solidworks. Do you have solidworks part files (*.sldprt) for VC250 and VC500 for solidworks version 2019 SP5.0 or earlier? Thanks very much -Alex
cdolbashian  (posted 2023-04-13 10:57:32.0)
Thank you for reaching out to us Alex! While we do not have an older version of this Solidworks file, we do also have .STEP files in the same location, which should be insensitive to the version of Solidworks used.
Klaus Becker  (posted 2023-03-14 12:04:23.243)
Hello, could you perhaps recommend a priceworthy frequency generator / amplifier which works with the VC063/M voice coil actuator? best regards, Klaus
jdelia  (posted 2023-03-14 09:20:34.0)
Thank you for contacting Thorlabs. I have reached out to you directly regarding function generator and unity amp recommendations.
Taeguk Um  (posted 2023-02-18 23:45:20.573)
Hi, I'm taeguk Um in KAIST, KOREA. I want to more about this product. In this product, how fast can it move? Also, if i input sinusoidal voltage, can i get reciprocating linear motion? Sincerely Taeguk Um
jdelia  (posted 2023-02-23 01:27:47.0)
Thank you for contacting Thorlabs. While we do not have any speed data for these actuators, you can use the force vs travel plot we show on the website to extrapolate the acceleration and speed of the actuator using the kinematic equations. The speed will depend on the mass attached to the actuator. To answer your second question, yes, applying a sinusoidal voltage wave will result in linear motion.
Rahul Yadav  (posted 2022-12-14 21:02:16.67)
I purchased Voice coil actuator(VC125/M) to control the movement in z- direction. So, I have few questions regarding that 1) How to operate it as if I'm directly giving signal from signal generator it stays upto some voltage and then suddenly shoots up. So, please tell me how to operate it precisely as I need precision of 20 um. 2) And if there is any components or driver to run these actuators please mention them as I'm getting difficulty in running these actuators. Regards, Rahul
cdolbashian  (posted 2022-12-28 09:59:24.0)
Thank you for reaching out to us Rahul! It is important to ensure that there is current flowing to your device. Since this device works via current-generated magnetic fields, simply providing a voltage supply will not necessarily ensure full functionality. I have contacted you directly to troubleshoot this issue and attempt to figure out exactly how to make this work for your application.
user  (posted 2022-12-11 14:24:19.69)
Hi, we are interested in your voice coil actuators and want to know if any controller, driver or amplifier are required for operation. If so, do you recommend any instruments (and their brand names) for the actuator control and operation? Thank you.
jdelia  (posted 2022-12-12 08:15:43.0)
Thank you for contacting Thorlabs. Yes, you would need a controller in order to driver our voice coils. While we do not currently offer a driver, we suggest using a unity amp in conjunction with a signal generator. I have contacted you directly regarding amp recommendation.
Srinivasan Manivannan  (posted 2022-12-05 14:31:26.917)
Is this product Ultra high vacuum compactable? And do we need any controller for this?
jdelia  (posted 2022-12-05 02:24:32.0)
Thank you for contacting Thorlabs. Unfortunately, our voice coil actuators are not considered vacuum compatible. You would need a controller in order to drive them. While we do not currently offer a driver, we suggest using a unity amp in conjunction with a signal generator. I have contacted you directly regarding amp recommendation.
Santosh C R  (posted 2022-10-28 15:07:19.98)
Hi i am a doctoral research scholar at SSSIHL, India working on ultrafast fiber lasers. i am interested in using yourr VC500/M to set up an interferrometer experiment. i would like to know how do you mount the voice coil actuator on a regular optomechanical mount? most importantly, how do you drive the voice coil actuator to perform a simple micelson interfermeter experiment?
ksosnowski  (posted 2022-10-28 03:42:09.0)
Hello Santosh, thanks for reaching out to Thorlabs. We have not designed mounts for all of the voice coil sizes, however VCFL35 is an example of a flexure-mounted unit we've designed. The webpage for VCFL35 has a brief video and Application Guide covering Michelson Interferometry as an example. Generally a triangle function is used to drive the coil, we do not have a driver for these however we have used the OPA548 amplifier from Texas Instruments with function generators as a driver in our development. I have reached out directly to discuss this further.
Nick Mascolo  (posted 2022-10-11 11:15:54.2)
Good Morning, is there information available for what frequency range these products are optimized for? Or is there information about the acceleration of these products?
cdolbashian  (posted 2022-10-14 03:48:38.0)
Thank you for reaching out to us with this inquiry Nick! As the motion of these devices are driven by currents converted to forces due to the winding the coils of wire, we do provide the force which each of these devices can deliver as a function of displacement (see graph in tables above). This determines the maximum acceleration (when adding mass to the component in motion) as well as frequency, as the turning points of the device will require large accelerations to complete the motion. Depending on the Mass and driving waveform it is certainly possible to estimate a max driving frequency though we have not explicitly tested it.
Oscar Martinez  (posted 2021-11-17 10:57:03.793)
Do you provide a controller for the voice coil?
jgreschler  (posted 2021-11-18 11:04:13.0)
Thank you for reaching out to Thorlabs. Unfortunately, we don't offer a controller for our voice coil actuators at the moment. That being said, we currently have a controller in development scheduled for release in Q2 2022.
user  (posted 2021-09-09 21:37:52.913)
We wish to buy one of these products to perform experiments and we have some queries regarding some of the possible applications First which part of the coil moves, is it the coil assembly or the magnet assembly? Can I attach a 30g mirror on the magnet assembly and expect it to oscillate about a mean position of frequency 1kHz. Will the coil be able load this mirror in the horizontal position? What resolution of movement can we expect (we require a max displacement of 60micrometers). At what voltage can we operate this coil.
azandani  (posted 2021-09-23 03:54:57.0)
Hello, thank you for contacting Thorlabs. Allow me to address each of your questions individually. Depending on how the voice coil is mounted, either the magnet or the coil can be the moving component. In most cases, the magnet will be the moving body so the wires do not get fatigued from constant movement. Your second question is more application dependent, but if you are looking to use it as a scanning device, a standalone voice coil will not yield ideal results. It is essentially just a motor and would need to be integrated and designed into a scanning device. The motion of a mirror mounted to the end of the voice coil would not provide constant motion on the surface of the mirror. That being said, these unfortunately do not have an encoder, so the movement resolution would be dependent on the resolution of the voltage and current applied.
Guoxing Gu  (posted 2021-03-14 01:25:55.75)
I would like to attach a 10 g part on the voice coil motor and use it as a vertical stage to move the part down, what acceleration can be achieved? what is the response time?
asundararaj  (posted 2021-04-01 01:49:53.0)
Thank you for contacting Thorlabs. The voice coil actuators have not been formally tested for the achievable acceleration and response time. We are looking to conduct more tests on these in the coming months and will publish any repeatable specs.
Chan Leh Mun  (posted 2021-01-18 02:28:36.843)
Hi What is the max current can be use? I thinking of using 3A for maybe 5 seconds to press a part down during UV curing. Then the coil should be at 1A current for another 5 seconds. This coil use to drive a Z axis for pick & place application. I wish to have up to 11.5N of force available during pressing down for 5 seconds.
YLohia  (posted 2021-02-16 02:07:39.0)
Hello, thank you for contacting Thorlabs. The voice coils have not been tested up to 3 A and the data we have is at 100% duty cycle. The voice coil got up to a temp of 24.5°C in the first 15 seconds of operation at 1 A and then rose to 33 °C over the following 15 seconds (Total 30 seconds of operation at 1 A). The maximum current we specify is 1.9 A. Based on the data we have at the moment and the time that you're looking to run the coil, we believe it can withstand your operating conditions but we cannot guarantee this due to the lack of formal testing with these parameters, but we cannot provide any guarantees at the moment.
|Item #||Force Constanta
(Click for Graph)
|Maximum Currentb,c||Mounting Features
(Click for Diagram)
Click Here for Data
|6.3 mm||7 g||7 g||1.9 Ω||167 µH||0.85 A @ 60 °C
1.76 A @ 200 °C
Click Here for Data
|12.5 mm||9 g||10 g||3.5 Ω||316 µH||0.67 A @ 60 °C
1.45 A @ 200 °C
Click Here for Data
|25.0 mm||38 g||97 g||5.1 Ω||1675 µH||0.89 A @ 60 °C
1.90 A @ 200 °C
Click Here for Data
|50.0 mm||51 g||153 g||8.5 Ω||3274 µH||0.68 A @ 60 °C
1.45 A @ 200 °C
Click Here for Data
|62.5 mm||58.5 g||369 g||9.8 Ω||4328 µH||0.89 A @ 60 °C
1.85 A @ 200 °C