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100 mm Linear Translation Stage, Stepper Motor

  • Stackable in XY, XZ, and XYZ Configurations
  • Typical Calibrated On-Axis Accuracy of 2.0 µm
  • Horizontal Load Capacity of 20 kg (44 lbs)


Right-Angle Bracket


Application Idea

Two NRT100 Stages
in XZ Configuration,
Using an NRT150P1
Right-Angle Bracket

Related Items

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Key Specificationsa
Travel Range 100 mm (3.9")
Velocity (Max)b 30 mm/s
Min Achievable Incremental Movement 0.1 µm
On-Axis Accuracyc 2.0 µm (Typical)
5.0 µm (Max)
Bidirectional Repeatabilityd 1 µm
Backlashe <3 µm
Horizontal Load Capacity (Max) 20 kg (44 lbs)
Vertical Load Capacity (Max) 5 kg (11 lbs)
Actuator Type Stepper Motor
Cable Length 3.0 m (9.8 ft)
Required Controller APT™ Benchtop Stepper
Motor Controllers
  • Please see the Specs tab for a complete specifications list.
  • Measured Using Thorlabs Benchtop Stepper Motor Controllers
  • Using Included Calibration Files
  • The average of the repeatability when a set position is approached from both directions.
  • When a stage is moved to a position and then returned to its original position, some motion is lost due to the lead screw mechanism. This loss is known as backlash.


  • 100 mm Travel Range
  • Load Capacity
    • Horizontal: 20 kg (44 lbs)
    • Vertical: 5 kg (11 lbs)
  • Maximum Velocity of 30 mm/s
  • Bidirectional Repeatability of 1 µm
  • XY, XZ, and XYZ Configurable
  • 1/4"-20 (M6) Tapped Holes for Mounting Standard Optomechanics

Thorlabs' NRT100(/M) Linear Positioning Stage is optimized for applications requiring high load capacity and high resolution, such as measurement and inspection. It provides 100 mm of linear travel for loads as great as 20 kg (44 lbs) when mounted horizontally and 5 kg (11 lbs) when mounted vertically. Each stage features a typical on-axis accuracy of 2.0 µm (5.0 µm Max) when the included calibration files are used with the APT™ software. The lead screw, directly driven by a two-phase stepper motor with 409,600 microsteps per revolution, provides smooth translation with a theoretical positional resolution of less than 100 nm. Due to the stepper motor design, the platform position remains fixed when no power is supplied to the stage, unlike with DC servo motor translation stages.

The main platform is supported by four recirculating ball carrier bearings mounted to precisely aligned linear guide rails. The stepper motor, specifically designed for microstepping applications, allows smaller and smoother low-speed motion with significantly reduced vibrational noise than DC servo motors. The choice of a trapezoidal lead screw provides a number of benefits over the more common Acme-style thread, including improved durability, lower friction due to improved surface quality, and very little backdrive, eliminating the need for the braking mechanism required with ball screws.

Calibration Files
Each NRT100(/M) Linear Translation Stage is calibrated during manufacturing. Calibration enables the controller to correct for any mechanical errors present in the system. Mechanical components, such as the lead screw and linkages, can be machined only within a certain tolerance. These mechanical errors result in deviations of the actual position from the commanded position. However, the deviations are repeatable and can be compensated for using the APT™ software and included calibration files. These files are used by the APT software to convert the position entered by the user into the required mechanical motion. The calibration files can be downloaded by clicking on the red Docs icon () next to the item # below and entering your device's serial number under "Download Calibration Data."

The use of calibration files is optional. Without installing a calibration file, the on-axis accuracy of a stage will fall from 2.0 µm (typical) to 15.29 µm (typical). Calibration files do not affect the repeatability and resolution of the stages.

Stage Combinations
If an XY configuration is desired, any combination of NRT100 and NRT150 Linear Positioning Stages (the latter features a 150 mm travel range) can be mounted directly atop one another by using 1/4"-20 (M6) cap screws together with the provided counterbored holes and slots. These counterbores are accessed through the Ø0.59" (Ø15.0 mm) clearance hole in the moving carriage. XZ and XYZ configurations are possible using our NRT150P1(/M) Vertical Mounting Bracket, which orients either an NRT100 or NRT150 in the vertical plane.

Controller Options
A Thorlab' benchtop stepper motor controller, available in one-, two-, or three-channel versions, is required to drive this 100 mm translation stage. These controllers are bundled with Thorlabs' APT™ software, which supplies out-of-the-box stage control from a PC and enables support for common programming interfaces like LabVIEW, LabWindows™, and ActiveX. This stage is also compatible with third-party controllers.

Item #NRT100(/M)
Travel Range 100 mm (3.9")
Bidirectional Repeatabilitya 1 µm
Backlashb <3 µm
Maximum Velocityc 30 mm/s
Velocity Stability ±0.1 mm/s
Maximum Accelerationc 30 mm/s2
Minimum Achievable Incremental Movementd 0.10 µm
Minimum Repeatable Incremental Movemente 2 µm
Calibrated Absolute On-Axis Accuracy 2.0 µm (Typical)
5.0 µm (Max)
Absolute On-Axis Accuracyf 15.29 µm
Maximum Percentage Accuracyg 0.09%
Home Location Accuracy ±0.6 µm
Pitch <0.008° (140 µrad)
Yaw <0.05° (873 µrad)
Load Capacity
Horizontal Load Capacity <12 kg (26 lbs) (Recommended)
20 kg (44 lbs) (Max)
Vertical Load Capacity <4 kg (9 lbs) (Recommended)
5 kg (11 lbs) (Max)
Weight 2.2 kg (4.9 lbs)
Dimensions 362.7 mm x 100.0 mm x 43.5 mm
(14.28" x 3.94" x 1.71")
  • The average of the repeatability when a set position is approached from both directions.
  • When a stage is moved to a position and then returned to its original position, some motion is lost due to the lead screw mechanism. This loss is known as backlash.
  • Measured Using Thorlabs Benchtop Stepper Motor Controllers.
  • The measured minimum incremental motion that the stage can achieve, also referred to as the minimum step size.
  • The minimum incremental motion that the stage can repeatedly achieve within its standard error.
  • Accuracy when calibration files are not used. Calibration files are measured at the factory and come with each stage.
  • This is the maximum discrepancy between commanded position and absolute position expressed as a percentage of the commanded position.

PAA612 and PAA613 Stepper Motor Cables

DA15-Pin Male D-Type to DE15-Pin Female D-Type


DA15 Male Pin DE15 Female Pin Description
11 and 12 1 Limit Switch Ground
10 2 Forward Limit Switch
9 3 Reverse Limit Switch
7 4 Motor Phase B -ve
14 5 Motor Phase B +ve
8 6 Motor Phase A -ve
15 7 Motor Phase A +ve
6 9 Not Connected
5 13 Limit Switch +5 V

Motor Pin Out
D-Type Male


Pin Designation Pin Designation
1 Limit Switch Ground 9 Not Connected
2 Forward Limit Switch 10 Not Connected
3 Reverse Limit Switch 11 Not Connected
4 Motor Phase B -ve 12 Not Connected
5 Motor Phase B +ve 13 Limit Switch +5 V
6 Motor Phase A -ve 14 Not Connected
7 Motor Phase A +ve 15 Ground/Earth
8 Not Connected

The APT™ (Advanced Positioning Technology) family covers a wide range of motion controllers ranging from small, low-powered, single-channel drivers (such as the T-Cubes) to high-power, multi-channel, modular 19" rack nanopositioning systems (the APT Rack System).

All controllers in the APT family share a common software platform, the 'APT System Software', which is available on our APT software download page. A support package, containing a wealth of information on using and programming these Thorlabs products is also available.

By providing this common software platform, Thorlabs has ensured that users can easily mix and match any of the APT controllers in a single application, while only having to learn a single set of software tools. In this way, it is perfectly feasible to combine any of the controllers from the low-powered, single-axis to the high-powered, multi-axis systems and control all from a single, PC-based unified software interface.

The APT System Software allows two methods of usage: graphical user interface (GUI) utilities for direct interaction and control of the controllers 'out of the box', and a set of programming interfaces that allow custom-integrated positioning and alignment solutions to be easily programmed in the development language of choice.

A range of video tutorials are available to help explain our APT system software. These tutorials provide an overview of the software and the APT Config utility. Additionally, a tutorial video is available to explain how to select simulator mode within the software, which allows the user to experiment with the software without a controller connected. Please select the APT Tutorials tab above to view these videos, which are also available on the software cd included with the controllers.


APT Version 3.21.4

Includes a GUI for control of Thorlabs' APT™ system controllers, as well as a wealth of support information in the form of handbooks, help files, tutorial videos, and FAQs.

Also Available:

  • Communications Protocol
Software Download
APT GUI Screen

Posted Comments:
akuznetsov  (posted 2018-07-03 20:13:29.4)
The entire Thorlabs selection of motion controllers using APT and Kinesis software does not fit the constraints of a lab where automation equipment must be OS agnostic. For specific stations, and as a general practice, we obtain equipment such that we could automate it with Windows and macOS, RS-232 interface has been very helpful with this task. When testing DUT which are OS specific, the automated equipment must be controlled under the same OS as the DUT, otherwise it's not automated anymore. I've brought up this issue with Thorlabs for almost a year now and there's still no progress.
rmiron  (posted 2018-07-11 06:20:04.0)
Response from Radu at Thorlabs: Thank you for your feedback. It might not look like it, but the fact that customers such as yourself raise this issue repeatedly helps with pushing our development process in the right direction. This year we have in fact commenced work on translating our current .NET API into cross-platform .NET Core libraries. Unfortunately, because our resources are quite limited, progress is slow. Consequently, I don't expect the new API to be released until 2019.
mohatiti341  (posted 2018-02-22 08:35:43.14)
Is there any guide showing the control of benchtop stepper motor with LabVIEW ?
rmiron  (posted 2018-02-26 11:57:29.0)
Response from Radu at Thorlabs: There are two possible routes to controlling our stepper motor-driven devices via LabVIEW. One would be via the ActiveX controls supplied with our APT software. You can find a guide, along with plenty of examples, on this website under "Services"->"Downloads"->"Motion Controllers"->"APT with LabVIEW". In the installation path of APT you will also find a file named "APT Server Help" which is the documentation of the ActiveX-based API. Alternatively, you can use the .NET controls supplied with our Kinesis software. Analogously to APT, under "Services"->"Downloads"->"Motion Controllers"->"Kinesis" you can find a guide for how to use those controls in LabVIEW. The documentation of this API can be found in the installation path of Kinesis under the name "Thorlabs.MotionControl.DotNet_API". Unfortunately, we lack example VIs for the .NET controls, but we are planning to add some in the coming year.
user  (posted 2015-12-10 17:18:14.94)
Is there a specification for the maximum torque which can be applied to the stage (for off-center loads which are not applied during motion)?
bhallewell  (posted 2015-12-14 03:22:33.0)
Response from Ben at Thorlabs: Thank you for your question here. We currently don't list a specification for off-axis torque loads for our motion control devices. I will contact you directly to discuss the performance of this stage within your application.
jonathan  (posted 2013-03-20 15:24:29.213)
The documentation under pin diagram uses a reverse numbering scheme than connectors have printed on them. Thorlabs defines the top RIGHT pin of a DB-15 HD cable to be pin 1. Even though the actual connector on the stage has a little "1" printed next to the pin that Thorlabs says in their documentation is pin "5". Be VERY careful if you try to interface this with a third party motion controller, as you will end up connecting everything incorrectly.
lmorgus  (posted 2013-03-21 08:30:46.77)
A response from Laurie at Thorlabs to jonathan: Thank you for taking the time to point out an error on our website. You are correct that the pin diagram on our website was in error. We apologize for the frustration this likely caused. We have updated our documentation, both on the web under the "Pin Diagram" tab as well as the manual attached to our website to correct the error and prevent future confusion.
jjurado  (posted 2011-08-29 11:02:00.0)
Response from Javier at Thorlabs to sameera.atragji: Thank you for contacting us. We developed an interface, called the APT software, which is built on an ActiveX plaftorm, allowing for easy integration into the LabVIEW environment. We provide documentation in the form of video tutorials, a help file, sample vi's and an extensive pdf document to guide you in the process of controlling the stages through LabVIEW. The recommended controller for the NRT stepper motor stages is the BSC10x controller. Please visit the link below for links to the documentation mentioned above: (See Software and APT Tutorials tabs)
sameera.atraqji  (posted 2011-08-29 05:38:08.0)
Hello, How can I use travel stage with labview. Best regards, Sameera

100 mm Linear Translation Stage, Stepper Motor

Thorlabs' NRT100(/M) stage provides 100 mm of travel with an integrated stepper motor. Optomechanics can be directly mounted to the moving platform using eight 1/4"-20 (M6) tapped holes, which are spaced 1.0" (25.0 mm) apart.

Based on your currency / country selection, your order will ship from Newton, New Jersey  
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Imperial Price Available
NRT100 Support Documentation
NRT100100 mm Motorized Linear Translation Stage, Stepper Motor, 1/4"-20 Taps
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Metric Price Available
NRT100/M Support Documentation
NRT100/M100 mm Motorized Linear Translation Stage, Stepper Motor, M6 Taps

Right-Angle Bracket for NRT Translation Stages

Click to Enlarge

XZ Assembly Constructed Using the NRT150P1 Right-Angle Bracket and Two NRT100 Translation Stages

Click to Enlarge

NRT100 Stage Mounted Vertically Directly to Breadboard
  • For Constructing XZ and XYZ Stage Assemblies
  • Attaches Directly to an Optical Table for Applications Requiring One Axis of Vertical Translation

The NRT150P1(/M) is an anodized aluminum right-angle bracket that orients an NRT100(/M) or NRT150(/M) translation stage in the vertical axis. This allows for the construction of XZ and XYZ translation stage arrangements (XZ option shown to the right). Alternatively, the NRT150P1 can be directly attached to an optical table for applications that require one axis of vertical translation (shown to the right).

The base of the NRT150P1(/M) contains six counterbored holes for 1/4"-20 (M6) cap screws, while its side has two 1/4"-20 (M6) tapped holes. The two side taps are designed to accept the vertically mounted stage.

Based on your currency / country selection, your order will ship from Newton, New Jersey  
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Imperial Price Available
NRT150P1 Support Documentation
NRT150P1Right-Angle Bracket for NRT Translation Stages, 1/4"-20 Taps
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Metric Price Available
NRT150P1/M Support Documentation
NRT150P1/MRight-Angle Bracket for NRT Translation Stages, M6 Taps

Replacement Cables

  • Replacement Motor Drive Cables
  • Available Lengths: 1 m (3.3') and 3 m (9.9')

These motor cables are sold as replacements in case of loss or damage to the PAA613 Motor Drive Cable that is included with our NRT Series Translation Stages. They are also compatible with our stepper motor actuators. The male end connects to the controller and the female end connects to the motor.

Based on your currency / country selection, your order will ship from Newton, New Jersey  
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Universal Price Available
PAA612 Support Documentation
PAA612APT Stepper Motor Cable, DA15 Male to DE15 Female, 1 m
PAA613 Support Documentation
PAA613APT Stepper Motor Cable, DA15 Male to DE15 Female, 3 m
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