Do translation stages isolate mounted components from vibrations transmitted through the adjuster?
Translation stages can be designed to couple vibrations from the adjuster to the fixed world of the bottom (base) plate, away from the moving world of the top plate. Attaching the barrel clamp, which secures the adjuster, to the base plate minimizes the vibrations experienced by the mounted optomechanical components when the operator manipulates the adjuster.
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Figure 2: The independence of the top plate from the barrel clamp is better illustrated with the adjuster screw removed, as shown above. The top plate is retracted and is higher than the base of the barrel clamp, which is attached to the base plate.
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Figure 1: The barrel clamp on the MT1B linear translation stage is indicated. Since the clamp is attached to the base plate, the top plate is isolated from vibrations arising from touching the adjuster screw.
Contact between Stage and Adjuster
Barrel clamps integrate manual adjusters or motorized actuators with translation stages (Figure 1). The barrel of the adjuster is gripped solidly and securely by the clamp, which creates a rigid mechanical contact that will efficiently couple vibrations from the adjuster to the clamp. Since the clamp is bolted directly to the base plate (Figure 2), vibrations from touching the adjuster will be routed to the fixed world of the stage. Those vibrations will be damped by the optical table or other mounting surface to which the stage is secured.
The only direct contact between the actuator and the stage's top plate, on which optomechanical components are mounted, occurs at a single point on the actuator's tip. Since this is not a rigid connection, it provides poor vibrational coupling between the actuator and the top plate. Similarly, contact points between the top and bottom plates are not rigid and do not efficiently transmit vibrations.
Want additional Insights on translation stages?
Watch a video that discusses mounting techniques and the procedure for replacing a stage's manual adjuster with a motorized actuator.