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Single-Axis Flexure Translation Stages: 1.5 mm Travel
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NF15AP25 with KPZ101 Controller
Thorlabs' NanoFlex™ flexure stages are compact stages that offer translation without friction or sticking. The flexure mechanism used in these translation stages is a frictionless mechanism that has improved positioning and resolution when compared to similar stages made using bearings. The translation of the stage is accomplished by the elastic deformation (flexing) of a linkage attached to the mounting platform. The translation stage has a manual translation range of 1.5 mm with an independent piezoelectric translation range of 25 μm (see the Selection Guide tab for stages with 5 mm manual translation). Piezo connection is made by a standard SMC terminal. See the Selection Guide tab for our 1.5 mm manual translation stage.
The NanoFlex™ flexure stages are rated for a maximum load of 0.5 kg (1.1 lbs), which makes them an ideal choice for many laboratory and OEM applications. The modular design allows for multiple stages to be stacked in multi-axis configurations. An XYZ configuration can be constructed using three NF15AP25(/M) stages and an NF15P2(/M) angle bracket. Thorlabs offers an imperial (KPZNF15) and metric (KPZNF15/M) bundle that includes a NanoFlex™ flexure stage, a KPZ101 piezo controller, and an NF15P1 base plate. Please see the Bundle tab for more information.
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These specifications are for the stage used in a single-axis configuration. When translation stages are stacked to make multi-axis configurations the resolution of the positioning system is deteriorated by cosine and Abbe errors (crosstalk). The positioning error cause by the stacked stages not being orthogonal to each other is referred to as the cosine error while the Abbe error is due to the non-zero height of the stacked stage. This height leads to an amplification of any angular roll, pitch, or yaw errors in the base stage. These errors can be avoided by using a multi-axis translation stage where the degrees of freedom are controlled by parallel linkages. A variety of 3, 4, 5, and 6 axis stages can be purchased from Thorlabs in a wide variety of manual and automated configurations. For a 3-axis solution, consider our 3-axis flexure stages.
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Stage and Controller Bundle
The KPZNF15(/M) bundle includes the NF15AP25(/M) stage, KPZ101 K-Cube piezo controller, USB cable, piezo drive cable, and
K-Cube Piezo Controller
The KPZ101 can be controlled by its top panel for standalone operation or through its PC interface. The KPZ101 connects to a PC via a mini USB port (USB cable included) and utilizes Thorlabs' Kinesis® software or former generation APT™ software. The Kinesis software features an intuitive graphical user interface (GUI) that allows the unit to be controlled completely via a PC. For more demanding applications, customers can utilize ActiveX® or .NET programming to create their own software for Thorlabs' line of K-Cubes. See the Motion Control Software tab for more information.
The KPZ101 controller does not include a power supply as our customers have varying needs. Please see the compatible power supplies below.
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.
Manual Linear Translation Stages
Thorlabs' manual translation stages are offered in a range of maximum travel distances, from less than 1/4" (6 mm) to 2" (50 mm) and longer for our long travel, large area platforms. Many of these stages can be ordered in multi-axis configurations, providing XY or XYZ translation. For fiber coupling applications, please see our Multi-Axis Stages, which offer finer adjustment than our standard manual translation stages. In addition to linear translation stages, we offer rotation stages, pitch and yaw platforms, and goniometers. We also offer motorized translation stages that are powered by DC Servo motors, stepper motors, or direct drive technology.
Crossed-Roller Bearing Stages
These linear translation stages feature crossed roller bearings travel mechanisms for precision motion, high load capacity, and low angular deviation. The LNR Series stages feature all-steel body construction, while the LX, XRN, and XR Series stage bodies are constructed of aluminum.
Ball Bearing Stages
These translation stages feature hardened steel linear bearings for precise motion and long life. They are available with a variety of actuators and in single-axis or preassembled multi-axis configurations.
These compact stages incorporate dovetails and a leadscrew for the translation mechanism. They are suitable in general purpose motion control applications.
Thorlabs' Nanoflex™ translation stages feature frictionless flexure mechanisms for improved positioning and resolution when compared to similar stages made using bearings. The translation of the stage is accomplished by the elastic deformation (flexing) of a linkage attached to the mounting platform. Most models also include piezo actuators for small position adjustments.
We offer vertical translation stages with crossed roller bearings for precise motion as well as long travel vertical stages for heavy-duty applications.
Motorized Linear Translation Stages
Thorlabs' motorized linear translation stages are offered in a range of maximum travel distances, from a stage with 20 µm of piezo translation to our 600 mm direct drive stage. Many of these stages can be assembled in multi-axis configurations, providing XY or XYZ translation. For fiber coupling applications, please see our multi-axis stages, which offer finer adjustment than our standard motorized translation stages. In addition to motorized linear translation stages, we offer motorized rotation stages, pitch and yaw platforms, and goniometers. We also offer manual translation stages.
These stages incorporate piezoelectric elements in a variety of drive mechanisms. Our Nanoflex™ translation stages use standard piezo chips along with manual actuators. Our LPS710E z-axis stage features a mechanically amplified piezo design and includes a matched controller. The PD1 stage incorporates a piezo inertia drive that uses "stick-slip" friction properties to obtain an extended travel range. The Elliptec™ stages use resonant piezo motors to push and pull the moving platform through resonant elliptical motion.
Stepper Motor Stages
These translation stages feature removable or integrated stepper motors and long travel ranges up to 300 mm. The MLJ150 stage also offers high load capacity vertical translation. The other stages can be assembled into multi-axis configurations.
DC Servo Motor Stages
Thorlabs offers linear translation stages with removable or integrated DC servo motors. These stages feature low profiles and can be assembled in multi-axis configurations.
Direct Drive Stages
These low-profile stages feature integrated brushless DC servo motors for high speed translation with zero backlash. When no power is applied, the platforms of these stages have very little inertia and are virtually free running. Hence these stages may not be suitable for applications where the stage's platform needs to remain in a set position when the power is off. We do not recommend mounting these stages vertically.
The stages are supplied with a thumbscrew adjuster which provides manual adjustment and a 25 µm piezo actuator. The NF15AP25(/M) stages are ideal for a variety of laboratory and OEM applications. The NF15AP25(/M) translation stages are shipped with three M2 cap screws, an Allen key, and a 3 m long male SMC to male SMC cable.
We offer stages bundled with controllers at a discounted price. The KPZNF15(/M) bundle includes the KPZ101 K-Cube Piezo Driver, the ideal driver for the NF15AP25(/M) stage and includes the cables necessary for an open-loop piezo positioning system. The KPZNF15(/M) also includes a NF15AP25(/M) stage and NF15P1(/M) base plate. A power supply for the controller is not included; compatible power supplies are sold separately below.
Please see the Bundle tab for more information on this bundle.
The NF15P1(/M) and NF15P2(/M) are adapter plates designed for the NF15(/M) Series of translation stages. The NF15P1(/M) is a special base plate designed to fit the NF15 Series translation stages with slots on the side that enable obstruction-free mounting onto an optical breadboard. This base is ideal for XY or XYZ multi-axis configurations where the standard counterbores in the middle of the stages are obstructed.
The TPS002 supplies power for up to two K-Cubes* or T-Cubes. The cubes still require individual computer connection via USB cable.
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 TPS002 can only support one KNA-VIS or KNA-IR controller or one KLD101 driver and should not be used to power any additional units as that may exceed current limitations.