An example of the standard cage
plate measurements determining
cage system compatibility.
Cage System Overview
The Cage Assembly System provides a convenient way to construct large optomechanical systems with an established line of precision-machined building blocks designed for high flexibility and accurate alignment.
16 mm, 30 mm, and 60 mm Cage System Standards
Thorlabs offers three standards defined by the center-to-center spacing of the cage assembly rods (see image to right). The 16 mm cage, 30 mm cage, and 60 mm cage standards are designed to accomodate Ø1/2", Ø1", and Ø2" optics, respectively. Specialized cage plates that allow smaller optics to be directly inserted into our larger cage systems are also available. All locking setscrews used in these cage plates are standard 4-40 setscrews, which use a 0.05" hex key.
The flexibility of our Cage Assembly System stems from well-defined mounting and thread standards designed to directly interface with a wide range of specialized products. The three most prevalent thread standards are our SM05 Series (0.535"-40 thread), SM1 Series (1.035"-40 thread), and SM2 Series (2.035"-40 thread), all of which were defined to house the industry's most common optic sizes. Essential building blocks, such as our popular lens tubes, directly interface to these standards.
|Standard Cage System Measurements|
|Cage System||16 mm||30 mm||60 mm|
|Rod to Rod Spacing||16 mm (0.63")||30 mm (1.18")||60 mm (2.36")|
|Total Length||25 mm (0.98")||41 mm (1.60")||71.1 mm (2.8")|
|Cage Rods||16 mm||These rods are used to connect cage plates, optic mounts, and other components in the cage system. The SR Series Cage Rods are compatible with our 16 mm cage systems, while the 30 mm and 60 mm cage systems use ER Series Cage Rods.|
|Cage Plates||16 mm||These serve as the basic building blocks for a cage system. They may have SM-threaded central bores, smooth bores sized for industry standard optics or to accommodate the outer profile of our SM Series Lens Tubes, or specialized bores for other components such as our FiberPorts.|
|Optic Mounts||16 mm||Thorlabs offers fixed, kinematic, rotation, and translation mounts specifically designed for our Cage Systems.|
|Cage Cubes||16 mm||These cubes are useful for housing larger optical components, such as prisms or mirrors, or optics that need to sit at an angle to the beam path, such as beamsplitters. Our cage cubes are available empty or with pre-mounted optics.|
|Post and Breadboard Mounts and Adapters||Mounting options for cage systems can be found on our Cage System Construction pages. Cage Systems can be mounted either parallel or perpendicular to the table surface.|
|Size Adapters||Cage System Size Adapters can be used to integrate components from different cage system and threading standards.|
|Specialized Components||Thorlabs also produces specialized cage components, such as Filter Wheels, a HeNe Laser Mount, and a FiberPort Cage Plate Adapter, allowing a wide range of our products to be integrated into cage-mounted optical systems. Explore our Cage Systems Visual Navigation Guide to see the full range of Thorlabs' cage components.|