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Elliptec™ Piezoelectric Motor Technology for Your OEM Application

Elliptec Linear Stage Handset Connections Labeled A4 780

  • Ideal for OEMs and Applications Requiring Rapid and Precise Positioning
  • Picoflex® Connector for Control Signals
  • Linear Stage with One 8-32 and Four 4-40 Tapped Holes
  • Magnetic Incremental Linear Encoder Used to Position Stage and Find Absolute Home Position

Driven by Thorlabs' Elliptec™ piezoelectric resonant motor technology, this linear stage is designed to meet the needs of applications whose designs require multiple networked Elliptec resonant motor products. With a mass of 0.104 kg and maximum dimensions of 102.3 mm x 67.0 mm x 18.4 mm (with the mounting bracket), the stage is lightweight and compact. It is also designed for closed-loop operation, which allows the translating platform be positioned with an accuracy of 50 µm and a repeatability of ±20 µm. When power is not applied to the motors, the stage is held in place by an approximately 1 N combined force exerted by the stationary arms of the motors. The motor is highly dynamic and has no gearing. As the motor includes no magnets, it is compatible with EM-sensitive environments. 

The open frame format, simplicity, and adaptability of this linear stage makes it attractive for OEM applications, as it can be customized according to customer requirements and produced in high-volume quantities.

Introduction to the Elliptec Motor

At the core of the Elliptec piezoelectric resonant motor is the piezo element, which is press-fit into an aluminum motor frame. The frame is more than just a physical housing; it is also a resonator and a transducer, and it has been designed specifically to interface with the piezoelectric element (see The Elliptec™ Motor tab for additional details). The image at lower-right shows the step in the automated machining process that mills the tip of the frame. During operation of the motor, the oscillations of the driven piezoelectric element are amplified by the frame and converted to an elliptical motion at the frame's tip. An attached spring presses the machined tip of the frame into firm contact with the driven element, which may be a rotor or other component. Power is supplied to the piezoelectric element through wires soldered to its upper and lower surfaces. The motor's direction of motion is changed and its speed is tuned by adjusting the ultrasonic frequency of the applied signal. The orientations of the spring and wire leads are chosen to suit the application, as are the lengths of the wire leads and whether or not they are terminated.

Highlighted Features

The Elliptec piezoelectric motors are designed to perform with precision, be highly responsive, and possess the flexibility to allow them to be customized for a range of applications. Features of the motors include:

  • Light Weight: 1.2 g
  • Non-Magnetic Components
  • Quiet Operation
  • Option for Battery-Powered Operation for Portable and/or In-Field Use

The performance of the Elliptec resonant motor when it is integrated into an application is highly dependent on the design characteristics of the total system. Integrated electromechanical assembly designs that load the motor and incorporate closed-loop operation have been demonstrated to achieve or implement:

  • High Resolution: 0.5 µm
  • Excellent Positional Repeatability: 3 µm
  • High Speed: 300 mm/s (Equivalent to Speed During No-Load Operation)
  • Power-Aware Bus Arbitration
  • Self-Testing Electronics
  • Upgradable Firmware
  • USB Connection to Deliver the Control Signal and Supply Power
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