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Linear Stages

Dover Motion offers a wide range of linear motion stages. Whether your motion system will make big moves or small ones, we have your linear stage needs covered. We specialize in working with our clients to build for their unique application, and all of our products can be configured to suit your project’s specific needs.

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About Linear Stages

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

What are linear stages?

LCL precision linear translation stageLinear motion stages provide precise automated positioning and are typically available as either single axis or as an XY stage. 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 translation 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.

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

KV compact linear stages with a stepper motorHow 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 the most precise actuation technology.

A linear translation 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 precision linear actuators is to control the focus of a microscope objective in a digital imaging system.

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