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Quick-Release Cage Mounts for the 30 mm Cage System
Flexure Retention, 360° Rotation,
Cage Plate with
The DCP1 cage mount
Thorlabs offers a range of mounts designed for quick and easy insertion of Ø1" optics into an existing 30 mm cage system. These mounts allow optics to be inserted or removed from an assembled cage system without affecting the alignment or assembly of the rest of the system. We offer three drop-in style mounts with different retention methods for application flexibility. We also offer one standard cage plate with a removable magnetic optic cell that allows optics to be removed or swapped into a cage system without changing the position of the cage plate.
Cage System Overview
The Cage Assembly System provides a convenient way to construct large optomechanical systems with an established line of precision-machined building blocks designed for high flexibility and accurate alignment.
16 mm, 30 mm, and 60 mm Cage System Standards
Thorlabs offers three standards defined by the center-to-center spacing of the cage assembly rods (see image below). The 16 mm cage, 30 mm cage, and 60 mm cage standards are designed to accomodate Ø1/2", Ø1", and Ø2" optics, respectively. Specialized cage plates that allow smaller optics to be directly inserted into our larger cage systems are also available.
The flexibility of our Cage Assembly System stems from well-defined mounting and thread standards designed to directly interface with a wide range of specialized products. The three most prevalent thread standards are our SM05 Series (0.535"-40 thread), SM1 Series (1.035"-40 thread), and SM2 Series (2.035"-40 thread), all of which were defined to house the industry's most common optic sizes. Essential building blocks, such as our popular lens tubes, directly interface to these standards.
An example of the standard cage plate measurements determining cage system compatibility.
These Drop-In Cage Mounts allow Ø1" optics to be easily inserted into or removed from an assembled 30 mm cage structure. The cage mounts clamp to 30 mm cage rods across a diagonal, rather than to adjacent cage rods. To insert one of these mounts into a cage system, hold the mount diagonally and slide it between two cage rods, as illustrated in the photo to the right. Then twist the mount and snap it onto the cage rods before tightening the cap screw in each flexure clamp using a 5/64" (2.0 mm) hex key (not included).
The DCP1 features an SM1-threaded (1.035"-40) bore that can hold Ø1" optics up to 0.24" (6.1 mm) thick using the two included SM1RR retaining rings. Unlike our other quick-release cage mounts, the DCP1 can also be used with optics mounted inside SM1L03 lens tubes. For example, all of our SM1-threaded ND filters can be used with this cage mount. Longer lens tubes will block the cage mount from fitting into the cage system. The DCP1A features a Ø1" double bore with a nylon-tipped 5/64" (2.0 mm) setscrew for securing optics at least 0.22" (5.6 mm) thick. The setscrew retention design allows optics to be easily removed from the cage mount for quick optic changes.
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QRC1A Quick-Release Clamp Mounted Within a 30 mm Cage System
The QRC1A cage mount is equipped with a spring-loaded dovetail clamp that secures or releases the cage mount to two of the four ER rods in the cage structure. The cage mount has internal SM1 threading that allows for optics up to 0.14" (3.6 mm) thick to be secured with the two included SM1RR retaining rings.
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STK01 Removable 30 mm Cage Mount Being Mounted Within a 30 mm Cage System
The STK01 cage mount allows Ø1" optics to be inserted or removed from a closed 30 mm cage structure. The cage mount uses two swinging latches that are locked in place with four 5/64" (2 mm) hex locking screws. Optics 1" in diameter and up to 0.19" (4.9 mm) thick can be secured in the cage plate using the included two SM1RR retaining rings.
The CP360R snaps into pre-assembled cage systems, and can be used to mount optics both off-axis (such as a mirror mounted at 45°, shown on the right above) or on-axis.
The CP360R(/M) drop-in cage mount allows for 360° rotation of a Ø1" optic within a 30 mm cage system. To insert one of these mounts into a cage system, turn the optic perpendicular to the optical axis, and snap the mount onto adjacent cage rods before tightening the setscrew in each flexure clamp using a 0.05" (1.3 mm) hex key (not included).
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The front plate of the CP44F assembly is held in place using magnets.
The CP44F consists of a back plate compatible with the 30 mm cage system and a mounting carriage (front plate) that is magnetically coupled with pairs of rare earth magnets to the back plate. For stability, precision, and repeatability, the mounting carriage contacts the back plate at three points. Each point of contact is a ball bearing on the mounting carriage resting in the groove formed by two parallel steel pins. Since the axes defined by the three sets of pins share a common point of intersection, the system is properly constrained (kinematic). The mounting carriage can be easily inserted or removed from the fully assembled cage system by separating it from the back plate, rotating it sideways, and then extracting it from the cage.
The internal SM1 threading allows components up to 0.20" (5.1 mm) thick to be secured in the mounting carriage with the included SM1RR retaining ring. Components with external SM1 threading, like the SM1A7 alignment guide, can be threaded onto the mounting carriage. However, components mounted in this way [OD = 1.2" (30 mm)] cannot extend more than 3/16" (4.7 mm) beyond the face of the mounting carriage without sacrificing the ability to remove the mounting carriage and component from a closed cage system.
Both the CP44F and CP44F-B cage rod through holes have side-located M4 locking setscrews, which can be secured using a 5/64" (2 mm) balldriver or hex key.