What to do with linear stages?

frugalguido

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While cleaning up the man cave, I found these which I got in 2005. Really high end linear stages that came out of Silicon Valley. They have glass scales, DC servo motors and they are a matched set in the XY direction. Back when I received them I called the manufacture to get more info, the rep said they cost over $10k at the time. Got any ideas what to do with them, a mill, 3d printer, router? A083B484-6A8F-4300-A0BD-CA2298E65074.jpeg 5CB4229B-63BE-4F68-A86C-60588F24BC76.jpeg BD0210A3-A16E-49C6-BC07-22D062E514FD.jpeg
 

Dave Smith

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While cleaning up the man cave, I found these which I got in 2005. Really high end linear stages that came out of Silicon Valley. They have glass scales, DC servo motors and they are a matched set in the XY direction. Back when I received them I called the manufacture to get more info, the rep said they cost over $10k at the time. Got any ideas what to do with them, a mill, 3d printer, router? View attachment 394205 View attachment 394206 View attachment 394207
I'm interested in the replies you get for uses also, cause I have many similar units to find good projects that will appeal to me. hope you get good ideas. what are the dimentions of yours?
Dave
 

frugalguido

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12" travel on both. I kinda remember that they sent me some info on them, I'll see if I can find it. At the time they weren't a current model.
 

whitmore

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Add a vision system overhead, and they're the basis of a good X-Y scanner, digitizing
any two-dimensional item; gears, aerial photographs, printed wiring, etc. Old-school measuring microscopes
rarely have so much range.

I've seen astronomical plate-measure gizmos with trackball controls, that might be a useful interface for
control. Reticle-eyepiece microscopes are the old technology, it's not unheard of nowadays to use
a cell phone in a frame as camera/display.
cameraphone for microscope
 

frugalguido

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Ok found the paper work, they are AeroTech ATS-412 stages with 1135DC servo motors, class 5 ball screws. Weight of each is 40lbs without motor. Get this, basic stage was $4290 each, no motor. 1135DC motor each $431, 500 lines/inch linear encoder $1500 each, precision pin and dowel within 10 arc sec $420 or within 5 arc sec $630, not sure which one I have. Would make one hell of a 3d printer or !
 

MikeInOr

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The travel is perfect for a 3D printer but the resolution seems like way over kill for a 3D printer to me. A mini CNC mill seems like it would be more able to benifit from the resolution and heft of the slides? I always wondered why you could not add a 3D printer head to a CNC mill and have both in one machine?

The high resolution scanner is and intriguing idea.
 

frugalguido

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I totally agree on the 3d printer thing, just wish I had another stage for the "Z" axis. AeroTech does show an Z axis mounting plate that was available. The mini CNC would be cool though.
 

rabler

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Simple controller set up to give X/Y (DRO style coordinates) and a microscope with cross hairs, you'd have a nice optical comparitor and inspection/measuring equipment. Just need to work out a way to get angles in the scope eyepiece.
 
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