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12 mm (0.47") Motorized Translation Stages
Breadboard Mounting Adapter
Side-Mounted Actuator Adapter
Thorlabs' Motorized Translation Stages provide electronically controlled linear motion along a well-defined axis. The MT1-Z8 (MT1/M-Z8) Single-Axis Stage provides 12 mm (0.47") of travel along one axis, while the MT3-Z8 (MT3/M-Z8) Three-Axis Stage provides travel in three dimensions. Each stage is equipped with a 1.00" x 1.00" (25.0 mm x 25.0 mm) tapped hole matrix that includes seven 1/4"-20 (M6) taps for compatibility with standard optomechanics.
The moving platform contains holes for alignment pins that ensure orthogonality when the stage is stacked with other stages or connected to our accessories. Horizontal loads of 20 lbs (9 kg) and vertical loads of 10 lbs (4.5 kg) are supported by the actuator's inline 67:1 planetary gear head. The stages feature hardened steel linear bearings for precision motion and long life.
Mounting Adapters and Stage Combinations
Included and Compatible Actuators
For the Z812B, there are 512 encoder counts per revolution of the motor. The output shaft of the motor goes into a 67:1 planetary gear head. This requires the motor to rotate 67 times to rotate the 1.0 mm pitch lead screw one revolution. The end result is the lead screw advances by 1.0 mm.
The linear displacement of the actuator per encoder count is given by
512 x 67 = 34,304 encoder counts per revolution of the lead screw,
whereas the linear displacement of the lead screw per encoder count is given by
1.0 mm / 34,304 counts = 2.9 x 10-5 mm (29 nm).
Z812B Connector Pin Out
Thorlabs offers two platforms to drive our wide range of motion controllers: our Kinesis® software package or the legacy APT™ (Advanced Positioning Technology) software package. Either package can be used to control devices in the Kinesis family, which covers a wide range of motion controllers ranging from small, low-powered, single-channel drivers (such as the K-Cubes™ and T-Cubes™) to high-power, multi-channel, modular 19" rack nanopositioning systems (the APT Rack System).
The Kinesis Software features .NET controls which can be used by 3rd party developers working in the latest C#, Visual Basic, LabVIEW™, or any .NET compatible languages to create custom applications. Low-level DLL libraries are included for applications not expected to use the .NET framework. A Central Sequence Manager supports integration and synchronization of all Thorlabs motion control hardware.
Kinesis GUI Screen
APT GUI Screen
Our legacy APT System Software platform offers ActiveX-based controls which can be used by 3rd party developers working on C#, Visual Basic, LabVIEW™, or any Active-X compatible languages to create custom applications and includes a simulator mode to assist in developing custom applications without requiring hardware.
By providing these common software platforms, Thorlabs has ensured that users can easily mix and match any of the Kinesis and 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 single-axis to multi-axis systems and control all from a single, PC-based unified software interface.
The software packages allow two methods of usage: graphical user interface (GUI) utilities for direct interaction with 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 is 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.
These videos illustrate some of the basics of using the APT System Software from both a non-programming and a programming point of view. There are videos that illustrate usage of the supplied APT utilities that allow immediate control of the APT controllers out of the box. There are also a number of videos that explain the basics of programming custom software applications using Visual Basic, LabView and Visual C++. Watch the videos now to see what we mean.
To further assist programmers, a guide to programming the APT software in LabView is also available.
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Schematic of Metric Single-Axis Stage
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Schematic of Imperial Single-Axis Stage
Thorlabs' MT1-Z8 (MT1/M-Z8) Single-Axis and MT3-Z8 (MT3/M-Z8) Three-Axis Motorized Translation Stages provide linear, orthogonal motion in one or three dimensions. Seven 1/4"-20 (M6) tapped holes allow easy integration with a wide variety of common optomechanical setups. The stages feature hardened steel linear bearings for precision motion and long life.
The MT1-Z8 stage is designed for single-axis translation. For applications requiring XY motion, simply purchase two MT1-Z8 stages and stack them using the provided alignment pins to ensure orthogonality. If XYZ motion is desired, then we recommend the MT3-Z8 stage. In addition to alignment pins for all three axes, the MT3-Z8 includes an MT401 Base Plate and an MT402 Right-Angle Bracket. For more details on these accessories, please read below.
Each axis requires a standalone controller unit and power supply to operate. For this purpose, we recommend our KDC101 K-Cube Motor Controller, which is described in more detail below.
The motor cable that is built into the Z812B actuator is 0.5 m (1.64 ft) long. If more length is required for your application, we recommend our PAA632 Extension Cable, which provides an additional 2.5 m (8.20 ft). It is sold at the bottom of this page.
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Two Stacked MT1-Z8 Single-Axis Stages Mounted to a Breadboard via an MT401 Base Plate
The MT401(/M) Base Plate is ideal for securing the stages sold above to an optical table or breadboard when counterbores in the middle of the stages are obstructed. This base plate provides mounting flanges with 1" (25 mm) centers. For a single-axis stage, the base plate allows an attached stage to be mounted on a breadboard without having to disassemble a setup that already exists on the moving platform in order to access the mounting holes.
Two 1/4"-20 cap screws (3/16” hex) or two M6 cap screws (5 mm hex) are included with the MT401 imperial or MT401/M metric base plate, respectively, for mounting an MT stage. The two alignment pins included with the MT1(/M)-Z8 stage fit into the stage and base plate, ensuring that the translation axis is parallel to the plate.
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Three MT1-Z8 Single-Axis Stages Mounted into an XYZ Configuration via an MT402 Right-Angle Bracket
The MT402 Right-Angle Bracket orients an MT1-Z8 (MT1/M-Z8) Single-Axis Stage in the vertical plane and allows for the construction of XY, XZ, or XYZ arrangements. This angle bracket is pre-drilled and includes four 1/4"-20 screws (3/16" hex) and four M6 screws (5 mm hex) for compatibility with both imperial and metric setups. Balldrivers and hex keys are sold separately here. This bracket is included with the purchase of an MT3-Z8 (MT3/M-Z8) Three-Axis Stage.
To begin the assembly process, insert the two alignment pins provided with the MT1-Z8 stage into the stage's alignment holes. Then position the bracket's alignment holes above the pins. The bracket can be fastened down using two 1/4"-20 (M6) cap screws. At this point, the bracket's vertical mounting surface will accommodate a stage that is attached horizontally (for XY configurations) or vertically (for XZ or XYZ configurations). For details, please see the XYZ Assembly tab on the MT1 Manual Translation Stages page; this page shows different actuators, but the assembly process is otherwise identical.
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Side-Mounted Z812B Actuator via an MT405 Adapter
The MT405 Side-Mounted Actuator Adapter allows the actuator to be repositioned from the rear of the stage to the side, as shown in the image on the right. The adapter attaches to the side of the stage that does not contain the locking screw and plate. This reduces the overall length of the stage assembly by 1.2" (30 mm), while increasing the width by 0.71" (18 mm).
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Vertically Mounted MT406 Flexure Stage Accessories Plate
The MT406(/M) Flexure Stage Accessories Adapter Plate is compatible with our full range of flexure stage accessories and is ideal for creating basic fiber coupling solutions. It fastens directly to the top of the MT1-Z8 (MT1/M-Z8) stage with two 1/4"-20 (M6) cap screws and contains twenty-eight 6-32 (M3) taps.
Click to Enlarge KAP101 Adapter)
Thorlabs' KDC101 K-Cube Brushed DC Motor Controller provides local and computerized control of a single motor axis. It features a top-mounted control panel with a velocity wheel that supports four-speed bidirectional control with forward and reverse jogging as well as position presets. A backlit digital display is also included that can have the backlit dimmed or turned off using the top-panel menu options. The front of the unit contains two bidirectional trigger ports that can be used to read a 5 V external logic signal or output a 5 V logic signal to control external equipment. Each port can be independently configured.
Please note that this controller does not ship with a power supply. Compatible power supplies are listed below. Additional information can be found on the main KDC101 DC Servo Motor Controller page.
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A location-specific adapter is shipped with the power supply unit based on your location. The adapters for the KPS101 are shown here.
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The KPS101 Power Supply Unit
The KPS101 power supply outputs +15 VDC at up to 2.4 A and can power a single K-Cube or T-Cube with a 3.5 mm jack. It plugs into a standard wall outlet.
The KCH301 and KCH601 USB Controller Hubs each consist of two parts: the hub, which can support up to three (KCH301) or six (KCH601) K-Cubes or T-Cubes, and a power supply that plugs into a standard wall outlet. The hub draws a maximum current of 10 A; please verify that the cubes being used do not require a total current of more than 10 A. In addition, the hub provides USB connectivity to any docked K-Cube or T-Cube through a single USB connection.
For more information on the USB Controller Hubs, see the full web presentation.
The PAA632 Extension Cable provides an additional 2.5 m (8.20 ft) of cable length for the 15-pin D-type connectors used throughout our motorized actuator selection. The male end connects to the controller, while the female end connects to the motor.