Linear Stages

Dover Motion offers a wide range of linear stages also called linear motion stages. Whether your motion system requires high precision, high speed, or compact size, we have your linear stage needs covered. We specialize in working with our clients to optimize motion systems and control for their unique applications, and all of our products can be configured to suit your project’s specific needs.

View By: Linear Stage Type

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About Linear Stages

Need to know a little bit more before you can make your linear stages decision? Below is additional information about these types of stages and how they work. Contact us to speak with our staff who can answer any of your technical questions.

What are Linear Stages?

Linear motion stages provide precise automated positioning and are typically available as either single axis, an XY stage, or XYZ stages. XY stages are also commonly referred to as XY Tables, Linear ActuatorsMotorized Linear Stages, or Translation Stages. Each axis of a linear stage must constrain the six degrees of freedom (X, Y, Z, roll, pitch, and yaw) of the payload to only one, producing motion along a straight line. This is accomplished with a set of linear bearing guideways which are attached to a base structural member that provides a stiff support.  Our stages designed specifically for vertical motion can be viewed on our Z Stages page.

The linear bearing guideways can be implemented in a number of ways, including:

  • Ball and crossed roller bearings
  • Recirculating bearings
  • Cam followers or vee wheels
  • Air bearings
Motorized linear stage with shuttle

Types of Linear Motion Stages

How do linear stages work?

Once the payload has been constrained to a single degree of freedom, the system’s next mission is to actuate the payload and provide precise incremental linear motion along the guideway.

Linear actuator methods include:

  • Friction screws with anti-backlash nuts
  • Ball screws
  • Belt and pulley
  • Rack and pinion
  • Piezo actuators
  • Linear motors

Using a linear motor is generally considered to be optimal for high speed motion systems and is the most precise and repeatable linear motion actuation technology.

A linear stage with a linear motor requires a linear feedback device as well as a servo drive and control to close a position feedback loop. With a high-resolution linear encoder, linear actuators can provide position control down to the nanometer level. A typical application for high precision linear actuators is to control the focus of a microscope objective in a digital imaging system.