Rotary Motorized Stages
Frequently Asked Questions
A Rotary Motorized Stage, also commonly called a "motorized rotation stage", is a device that constricts motion to a selected axis of rotation. These machines can control and maintain very exact angular positions about the selected axis. A Rotary Stage, another motion instrument that is instead controlled manually, does not have motorized power running the stage.
Rotary motorized stages are often used for automated control applications. These are projects where precise control over the rotational degrees of freedom is required, e.g. positioning and rotating optical elements of laser systems, spectrometers, microscopes, etc. Some Rotary Motorized Stages are also specifically designed for use in vacuum laboratory environments, making them useful for delicate projects.
All Rotary Motorized Stages consist of the same components as their manual counterpart: a platform and base connected with a guide/bearing. There are various types of guides (plain, rolling-element, etc.), but each ensures that the platform is restricted to a single axis of rotation. The drive mechanism on the motorized rotary stages also includes a motor and encoder for accurate position tracking and control.
Rotary Motorized Stages can cost anywhere from $500 to upwards of $10,000. The main specs determining the prices of these machines are their size, material, quality of technology and features such as vacuum or low temperature compatibility. Notable attributes you should consider based on your needs are the provided levels of accuracy and precision of different stages.
It depends on your personal need for the stage. Aluminum stages are very sturdy and light, making them a great choice when looking for a low-cost option. Stainless Steel Stages are much heavier and even more stable, which makes them a better choice when extremely high levels of precision are required. The latter is typically much more expensive due to the size of the machine and the cost of the material.
Motorized rotary stages are delicate instruments that often come with lengthy lists of specification. All or part of these specifications will matter for your application. Before starting your shopping process you will want to list all the key requirements that are important for your application. This would typically include the range of motion, dimensions (including the rotating table size), step resolution, positioning and repositioning accuracies, and load capacities. Depending on your application setting, you will also want to inquire about electrical requirements, controller specs and various other features, such as vacuum compatibility, operating temperature range, communication interface, etc. As you can see the list goes on and you will not want to take a shortcut in your research as this is an expensive piece of equipment. If in doubt about a particular spec, consider contacting the supplier.
Did You know?
1 - What is a rotary stage?
2 - Looking for Manual Rotary Stages?
3 - See also Linear Motorized Stages.