Linear Stages – Motorized Precision Positioning Stages

A linear stage is a positioning device providing high precision linear motion with minimized runout. Motorized linear stages with high resolution and motion fidelity are critical to the success of industrial and scientific applications from beamline systems to semiconductor manufacturing and photonics instrumentation.

From Cost-Effective to Ultra High Performance Linear Stages
Linear stage designs vary from low cost, open-loop stepper-motor-driven positioners to closed-loop stages with linear encoders for direct position feedback. The highest velocity can be achieved with electromagnetic linear motors. The direct-drive principle eliminates friction and conversion losses from rotation to linear motion.

When the highest positioning performance over long travel ranges is required, linear stages with air bearings are recommended.

Choose from a Product Group below

Motor/Screw Driven Stages (Traditional Positioning Stages)

3-Phase Linear Motor Driven Stages & Piezo Linear Motor Stages

Air Bearing Linear Stages for the Highest Performance Requirements
When the highest precision is required, Air Bearing Linear Stages are recommended. PI USA provides air bearing linear and rotary stages based on over 200 man-years of in-house air bearing experience.
More information on Linear Air Bearings

Vertical and Multi-Axis Motion
In addition to the linear translation stages shown on this page, vertical (lift) positioners as well as XY-systems and multi-axis stages, for high-precision motion applications are also available.

Vacuum, too
As a specialist for vacuum motion systems, PI miCos also offers HV and UHV vacuum compatible linear positioning stages.

Low Cost Precision Leadscrew / Ball Screw Stages with Stepper & Servo Motors

<0.2 to 0.5µm Resolution, Travel to 300mm, 10mm/sec to 100mm/sec

Classical motorized linear stages, with ball bearings or crossed roller bearings and leadscrew drives. 

Lead-screws provide high forces and self locking capabilities while ball screws are used for higher speed applications with longer service life. Position feedback is available with motor shaft mounted rotary encoders.

Direct-drive stepper motors or servo-motor wit gearbox are mostly used to drive the stages. 

L-406 Low Cost Compact Stages
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L-406 Low Cost Compact Stages

Leadscrew Servo & Stepper Motors

  • 26/52/102mm travel
  • 0.2-0.5µm min. incremental motion
  • 10-250nm sensor resolution
  • 3-20mm/sec max. velocity
  • 15-100N push/pull force
  • DC & stepper motors
M-403 Low-Cost Linear Stages
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M-403 Low-Cost Linear Stages

Leadscrew, Servo Motors

  • 25/50/100/150/200mm travel

  • 0.25µm min. incremental motion
  • 20-250nm sensor resolution
  • 2-10mm/sec max. velocity
  • 50N push/pull force
  • Direct-drive & gearbox motors
M-414 Linear Stages
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M-414 Linear Stages

Ballscrew, Servo Motors, High Load

  • 100/200/300mm travel
  • 0.1-0.5µm min. incremental motion
  • 100-500nm sensor resolution
  • 3-100mm/sec max. velocity
  • 100N push/pull force
  • Direct-drive & gearbox motors
VT80 Low-Cost Linear Stages
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VT80 Low-Cost Linear Stages

Leadscrew, Servo & Stepper Motors

  • 25/50/75/100/150/200/300mm travel
  • 0.2-0.5µm min. incremental motion
  • 500nm sensor resolution
  • 20mm/sec max. velocity
  • 40N push/pull force

Compact Positioning Stages with Servo & Stepper Motors

to 25mm Travel, 1µm to 0.05µm Resolution, to 5mm/sec

Lowest cost is provided by the L-402 stage available with a direct drive open loop stepper and a direct drive servo motor with shaft mounted encoder.

The M-110/M-111/M-112 family provides a space-saving design with a folded drive train featuring the motor side-by-side with the moving platform.  Leadscrew and ball screw versions with both servo an stepper motors are available.

The M-505 and M-122 stages provide the highest precision by means of an integrated linear encoder.

The L-402 is a cost-effective motorized miniature stage equipped with crossed roller bearings for smooth and precise motion. The mini stage is equipped with a direct drive stepper motor or a DC-servo / gearhead and rotary encoder for closed-loop operation with design resolution < 0.2µm and repeatability of 0.5µm, which makes it ideal for micro-manipulation and alignment applications. Optical limit and home switches are also integrated. Backlash-compensated lead screws are standard, ball screws and vacuum versions to 10-6 hPa are available on request. Compact XY and XYZ combinations of the L-402 can be assembled quickly without additional adapter plates.
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L-402 Low-Cost Miniature Stage

Leadscrew, Servo & Stepper Motors

  • 0.5” travel
  • 0.5µm min. incremental motion
  • 100nm sensor resolution
  • 5mm/sec max. velocity
  • 10N push/pull force
  • Direct-drive stepper & DC gearbox motor
M-110/1/2 Miniature Stages
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M-110/1/2 Miniature Stages

Lead/Ballscrew, Servo & Stepper

  • 5/15/25mm travel
  • 0.05µm min. incremental motion
  • 7nm sensor resolution
  • 1-2mm/sec max. velocity
  • 10N push/pull force
  • DC & stepper gearbox motors
M-122 Miniature Stages
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M-122 Miniature Stages

Linear Encoder, Ballscrew

  • 25mm travel
  • 0.1µm linear encoder
  • 20mm/sec max. velocity
  • 20N push/pull force
  • DC motor
L-505 Miniature Stages
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L-505 Miniature Stages

Linear Encoder to 5nm

  • 13/26mm travel
  • 0.05-1µm min. incremental motion
  • 5nm & 50nm linear encoder resolution
  • 1-15mm/sec max. velocity
  • 20-60N push/pull force
  • DC & stepper motors
L-406 Low Cost Compact Stages
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L-406 Low Cost Compact Stages

Leadscrew Servo & Stepper Motors

  • 26/52/102mm travel
  • 0.2-0.5µm min. incremental motion
  • 10-250nm sensor resolution
  • 3-20mm/sec max. velocity
  • 15-100N push/pull force
  • DC & stepper motors
L-408 Compact Stages
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L-408 Compact Stages

Leadscrew Servo & Stepper

  • 25mm travel
  • 0.1-0.5µm min. incremental motion
  • 10-120nm sensor resolution
  • 1-10mm/sec max. velocity
  • 40-50N push/pull force
  • DC & stepper motors

Ultra-Compact Piezo Motor Driven Stages

to 52mm Travel, to 0.5nm Resolution, to 10mm/sec

Piezo motors allow for smaller stage designs. They create no magnetic fields and are not influenced by magnetic fields. On power off, these motors are self-clamping, holding a position without drift, and energy consumption. Two types of motors are shown below:

Inertia Linear Motors
Inertia motors are extremely compact and offer the best ratio of size, precision and cost, with relatively simple controller design.

PiezoWalk® Linear Motors - higher force & precision, for high-end applications
PiezoWalk® technology, combines piezo class resolution with long travel ranges, sub-nanometer resolution, high forces and stiffness, these piezo stepping drives are not subject to sliding friction or wear as motion is achieved when the “legs” lift off for each step. Designed for high-end applications in bio-nanotechnology, fiber-optics, microscopy, semiconductor testing, and metrology and scientific research in beamlines and laser labs. 

Q-521 Piezo Inertia Motor Stage
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Q-521 Piezo Inertia Motor Stage

Ultra-Compact, X, XY, XYZ

  • 12/22/32mm travel
  • 8nm min. incremental motion
  • 4nm sensor resolution
  • 10mm/sec max. velocity
  • 1N push/pull force
  • Low cost, piezo inertia motor
This compact closed-loop, linear stage is driven by a stick-slip piezo motor. A linear encoder is integrated for nanometer-scale precision. Vacuum versions, and non-magnetic versions are also offered. The piezo inertia drive runs at inaudible frequencies and is self-clamping at rest with position holding forces around 2 lbs.
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Q-545 Piezo Inertia Motor Stage

Compact, X, XY, XYZ

  • 13/26mm travel
  • 6nm min. incremental motion
  • 1nm sensor resolution
  • 10mm/sec max. velocity
  • 8N push/pull force
  • Low cost, piezo inertia motor
Driven by PiezoWalk® technology, which combines piezo class resolution with long travel ranges, subnanometer resolution, high forces and stiffness, these stepping drives are not subject to sliding friction or wear as motion is achieved when the “legs” lift off for each step. Designed for high-end applications in bio-nanotechnology, fiber-optics, microscopy, semiconductor testing, and metrology and scientific research in beamlines and laser labs.
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N-565 PiezoWalk® Motor Stage

Ultra-High Precision

  • 13/26/52mm travel
  • 0.5nm linear encoder
  • 10mm/sec max. velocity
  • 10N push/pull force
  • For high end applications

Precision Ball Screw Stages with Stepper & Servo Motors

<0.2 to 0.5µm Resolution, Travel to 300mm, 10mm/sec to 100mm/sec

These precision linear stages are equipped with crossed roller bearings for excellent straightness and flatness with minimized runout. They are driven by ballscrews, with stepper and servo motors, and come with optional linear encoders for better precision. Multi-axis systems are easily assembled, and PI also offers custom brackets was well as enhanced orthogonality.

Controllers
A variety of controllers are available, from simple, very compact and economical single axis designs to automation grade multi-axis units based on ACS hardware with Ethercat® interface.

L-509 Precision Linear Stage Family
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L-509 Precision Linear Stage Family

Ballscrew, Linear Encoder Option

  • 1/2/4” travel
  • 0.01 to 0.2µm min. inc. motion
  • 1 to 50nm sensor resolution
  • 3-50mm/sec max. velocity
  • 60N push/pull force, 100N load
  • Linear encoder option
L-511 Precision Linear Stage Family
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L-511 Precision Linear Stage Family

Ballscrew, Linear Encoder Option

  • 2/4/6” travel
  • 0.02 to 0.2µm min. inc. motion
  • 1 to 60nm sensor resolution
  • 6-90mm/sec max. velocity
  • 100N push/pull force
  • Linear encoder option
HPS-170 Linear Stage Family
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HPS-170 Linear Stage Family

Dust Protection, Linear Encoder

  • 2/4/6/8” travel
  • 0.05µm min. incremental motion
  • 5 to 50nm sensor resolution
  • 35-100mm/sec max. velocity
  • 100-150N push/pull force
  • Linear encoder option

Multi-Axis Combination Examples

High Load, Long Travel, Ball Screw Stages

1 to 600nm Resolution, up to 1000mm Travel

L-412 High Load Linear Stage
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L-412 High Load Linear Stage

Ball Screw Drive 400N Load

  • 102 - 610mm (4”-24”) travel
  • 0.05µm to 1µm min. inc. motion
  • 1nm to 600nm encoder res.
  • 350mm/sec max. velocity
  • 700N push/pull force
  • Linear encoder option
L-417 High Load Linear Stage
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L-417 High Load Linear Stage

Ball Screw Drive, 450N Load

  • 102 - 813mm (4”-32”) travel
  • 0.05µm to 1µm min. inc. motion
  • 1nm to 600nm encoder res.
  • 350mm/sec max. velocity
  • 700N push/pull force
  • Linear encoder option
LS-180 Linear Stage
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LS-180 Linear Stage

Long Travel to 508mm

  • 155/205/305/508mm travel
  • 0.1 to 0.5µm min. inc. motion
  • 5 to 50nm encoder res.
  • 75 to 150mm/sec max. velocity
  • 800N push/pull force
  • Linear encoder option
LS-270 Linear Stage
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LS-270 Linear Stage

Long Travel to 1m

  • 305/508/815/1016mm travel
  • 0.05 to 0.5µm min. inc. motion
  • 50 to 250nm encoder res.
  • 50 to 150mm/sec max. velocity
  • 260N push/pull force
  • Linear encoder option

Compact Linear Motor Stages and Voice Coil Driven Stages

<1 to 20nm Resolution, up to 1.5m/sec

These linear motor stages provide very high speed and very long lifetime. They are ideal for precision automation applications. Frictionless 3-phase motors and voice coil motors provide the driving force. Crossed roller bearings provide excellent straightness and flatness with minimized runout. Position feedback is provided by linear encoders with sine/cosine output or optional absolute encoders (no need for homing).

The V-408 stage is small, precise, and affordable as it's equipped with an incremental linear encoder for direct position measurement and a high-force 3-phase linear motor drive. It's well-suited for industrial automation applications with high demands on dynamics, duty cycles, and nanopositioning precision.
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V-408 Low Cost Linear Motor Stage

Compact, High Force

  • 25 and 50mm travel
  • 20nm min. incremental motion
  • 10nm linear encoder resolution
  • 0.7m/sec max. velocity
  • 14N push/pull force
These compact, voice-coil linear motor-driven positioning stages were designed for high-dynamics precision motion applications, like those in biotechnology; laser beam control; optics scanning; lens testing; and fiber optics. V-522 translation stages / scanning systems achieve significantly higher dynamics than stepper or servo motor-driven positioners; scanning frequencies of several 10Hz can be achieved, depending on load and scanning range. The drive system is also not subject to wear and tear or particle generation.
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V-522/4/8 Voice Coil Stage

Ideal for Scanning

  • 5/10/25mm travel
  • 20nm min. incremental motion
  • 10nm linear encoder resolution
  • 10’s of Hz scanning frequency
  • 4N push/pull force
	V-508 stages are compact linear positioning stages configured with high force 3-phase linear motors and crossed roller guides. Options include travel ranges, motor types, and encoders choices that result in 18 ultra-precise stages well-suited for industry and research applications.
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V-508 Linear Motor Stage

Compact, High End Sensor Option

  • 80/170/250mm travel
  • 1 to 20nm min. inc. motion
  • 0.2-10nm linear encoder resolution
  • 0.7m/sec max. velocity
  • 14N push/pull force

High Load, Long Travel Linear Motor Stages

0.2 to 40nm Resolution, up to 1000mm Travel

V-551 Linear Motor Stage
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V-551 Linear Motor Stage

Absolute Encoder Option

  • 60/130/230mm travel
  • 0.5 to 2nm min. incremental motion
  • 0.2 to 1nm linear encoder res.
  • 0.5m/sec max. velocity
  • 180N push/pull force
V-412 High Speed Linear Stage
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V-412 High Speed Linear Stage

Linear Motor 400N Load

  • 102 - 610mm (4”-24”) travel
  • 5nm to 10nm min. inc. motion
  • 1nm encoder res.
  • 2m/sec max. velocity
  • 151N peak force
  • Absolute encoder option
V-417 High Speed Linear Stage
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V-417 High Speed Linear Stage

Linear Motor, 450N Load

  • 102 - 813mm (4”-32”) travel
  • 5nm to 10nm min. inc. motion
  • 1nm encoder res.
  • 2m/sec max. velocity
  • 300N peak force
  • Absolute encoder option
LMS-180 Linear Motor Stage
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LMS-180 Linear Motor Stage

Long Travel to 508mm

  • 155/205/305/408/508mm travel
  • 40nm min. incremental motion
  • 15nm linear encoder res.
  • 0.5m/sec max. velocity
  • 150N push/pull force
LMS-270 Linear Motor Stage
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LMS-270 Linear Motor Stage

Long Travel to 1m

  • 300/500/800/1000mm travel
  • 50nm min. incremental motion
  • 15nm linear encoder res.
  • 0.8m/sec max. velocity
  • 480N push/pull force

Ultra-High Precision Air Bearing Stages

The PIglide MB air bearing stage is linear servo motor driven with fully preloaded air bearings and an integral optical linear encoder. This stage offers ultra-precision in a miniature package. The combination of non-contact components results in a frictionless motion platform that offers the highest performance, quality, and life. This stage is ideally suited for many high precision applications, such as metrology, photonics alignment, optics positioning, and scanning. The non-contact design also makes these stages ideal for cleanroom applications. There are no moving electrical cables to manage. The air bearing offers a locking design for the ultimate in position stability.
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A-141 Miniature Air Bearing Stage

Ultra-Compact Air Bearing Stage

  • 40mm travel
  • 3.5kg load
  • 20nm resolution
  • 57x83mm table; 38mm height
  • 0.25m/sec max. velocity
  • 0.35g max. acceleration
	PIglide LC air bearing positioning stages are linear servo motor driven with fully preloaded air bearings and optical linear encoders. The combination of these non-contact components results in a frictionless motion platform that offers the highest performance, quality and life. These stages are ideally suited for many high precision applications, such as metrology, photonics alignment, semiconductor, flat panel display and precision scanning applications. The non-contact design also makes these stages ideal for cleanroom applications.
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A-110 PIglide Air Bearing Stage

Affordable Design, Travel to 16”

  • 2/4/8/12/16” travel
  • 10kg load
  • 1nm resolution, abs/enc option
  • 160x200mm table; 60mm height
  • 1m/sec max. velocity
  • 3g max. acceleration
The PIglide AT3 series of stages are linear servo motor driven with fully preloaded air bearings and an integral optical linear encoder. The combination of these non-contact components results in a frictionless motion platform that offers the highest performance, quality, and life. These stages are ideally suited for many high precision applications, such as metrology, photonics alignment, semiconductor inspection, flat panel display, laser machining, and precision scanning applications. The non-contact design also makes these stages ideal for cleanroom applications. A high-force linear motor can drive the stage to top speed within a few milliseconds, and the large capacity bearings can support payloads up to 35 kg. The laterally opposed, actively preloaded air bearing design in this model will support normal, vertical, and side-mounted orientations.
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A-123 PIglide Air Bearing Stage

Large, Travel to 30”

  • 2/4/6/10/14/20/30” travel
  • 10kg load
  • 1nm resolution, abs/enc option
  • 210x210mm table; 85mm height
  • 1m/sec max. velocity
  • 3g max. acceleration

Hybrid Ultra-Precision Drive Technology

Hybrid positioners and actuators, based on the combination of piezo actuator and brushless motor, can be used when high loads are combined with extreme precision requirements. One of the applications will be found on the ELT, the world’s largest telescope, where more than 2000 actuators will align 798 individual mirror segments. PI developed an ultra-precision actuator to meet requirements such as: tracing performance better than 2nm RMS, force variation 0N to 900N, 15mm travel, minimized heat dissipation. More information is found here.