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Quick Connect Rail Platforms for 3" Rails and Stages
Rail carriers can quickly attach post assemblies to dovetailed components.
Thorlabs XR Rail Platforms are designed to mount components to our XR Series 3" dovetail rails. Once attached, these platforms enable optomechanical components to slide to any position along the length of a rail, or to attach to any other component with an XR dovetail. The surfaces of these platforms are machined from cast tool and jig aluminum for minimal internal stress and improved stability. Their dovetail clamp screw makes them easy to place into any existing rail system without requiring access to the rail ends. These rail platforms are provided in three varieties: rail carriers, rail plates, and a rotation adapter.
Rail carriers feature a mating female dovetail on the bottom of the plate and a combination of mounting taps, counterbores, or slots on their exterior faces. The XR25-RP1(/M) rail plate provides many of the same benefits as our rail carriers–a mating female dovetail on the bottom of the plate and mounting taps on the top–with a larger mounting surface and a deck height shared with all XR linear and rotation stages. The XR25-R1(/M) rotation adapter is made up of a specialized rail carrier and a rotating platform that together share the deck height of the XR stages and rail plate. The XR25-R1(/M) provides coarse rotational adjustment of its top plate. This top plate can be removed to reveal a Ø1/2" bore and flexure clamp, which can be purchased separately as the XR25-RB(/M).
Additional functionality is provided by a complete line of accessories that include multi-axis assembly kits, rail carriers, a rotation adapter, rails, and micrometer conversion kits. An adapter plate is also available for mounting these compact 25 mm stages with an integrated 2" dovetail onto 25 mm and 50 mm stages with a 3" dovetail. For more information about a specific accessory, please click on the link in the table below.
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An XR25-RC1 being used to mount a scientific camera on a 3-axis stage.
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An XR25-RC3 carrier being used to affix and retain the position of an XR25-RC1 rail carrier mounted on an XR50P stage.
Thorlabs offers three rail carriers that are directly compatible with our XR25 and XR50 series stages, providing coarse translation in addition to the fine translation supplied by the stage's micrometer, as well as expanding the stages' threading options for optomechanical assemblies. A female dovetail allows each rail carrier to slide onto an XR25 or XR50 series stage and connect to the stage's male dovetail. The position of the carrier can then be locked into place using a clamping mechanism (3/16" [5 mm] hex) located on one end of the carrier. This simple procedure allows the user to seamlessly swap and install different carriers on a stage in a matter of seconds.
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Height and Dovetail of XR25-RP1(/M) Matches XR25 Series Stages
The XR25-RP1(/M) rail plate enables components to be mounted at the same deck height as the XR25 series, XR50 series, and XRR1 stages. The matching deck heights allow for transitioning between rail plates and stages without adjusting the Z-axis of the mounted components. The top of the XR25-RP1(/M) plate features nineteen 1/4"-20 (M6) tapped blind holes that are 0.30" (7.6 mm) deep. This rail plate's included dovetail clamp screw secures the plate to a 3" dovetail rail and has a maximum torque of 15 in•lbs. Additionally, the 1/4"-20 (M6) counterbore slots located on the sides of the plates allow direct mounting to an optical table or breadboard.
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Two XR25P Stages rotated at an arbitrary angle using the XR25-R1 Rotation Adapter.
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The XR25-RB used as a rail carrier for a PH2 Post Holder.
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Side Located Locking Screws for Clamping Adapter (left) and Locking Rotation (right)
The XR25-R1(/M) Rotation Adapter allows users to mount any two 3" dovetail components together on a rotational axis perpendicular to their mounting surfaces. This allows a full 360° range of coarse rotation. The removable top plate features thirteen 1/4"-20 (M6 x 1.0) and twelve 8-32 (M4 x 0.7) tapped holes in addition to the 3" male dovetails on all edges. Rotation is achieved by loosening the right-most locking screw on the base plate (also sold separately as the
If the XR25-R1 is used to mount a stage vertically, that stage should not be rotated where the spring tension is working against gravity. Rotation in this configuration should be limited to 180°. In addition, note that the XR25-R1 is a two-piece solution where the top plate is not permanently retained in the base, and therefore care should be taken when loosening the rotation locking screw in a vertical orientation.
The XR25-RB(/M) Adapter Base Plate can be purchased separately. Utilizing its flexure clamp for 1" (25.0 mm) outer diameter components, like our Ø1" Optical Posts or our Ø1/2" Post Holders, allows the rotation adapter base plate to double as a rail carrier, as seen in the image to above. Here, the coarse height of the KS1 mirror mount can be adjusted with the PH2 post holder, while the coarse rotation can be independently adjusted in the rail carrier. This base plate also includes three 8-32 mounting holes on the face opposite the adjustment screws and integrated steel pads on its sides for use with the XR25-RC3 hard stop.
These adapters provide additional mounting options for our quick-connect, crossed-roller bearing stages, as illustrated in the photos below. The XRN-A1 adapter enables perpendicular mounting of components with a female 2" dovetail to components with a male 3" dovetail. The XR25-A2 adapter enables parallel mounting of two components with 3" dovetails. The mounting configuration in the second photo below allows translation along the rail to be parallel to the direction of translation of a mounted stage.
To assemble, first loosen the dovetail locking screw on the end of the top stage or accessory. Position the adapter on the bottom stage or rail, as illustrated in the photos below, then align the top component on the adapter. Lastly, tighten the dovetail locking screw (maximum torque: 15 in•lbs) on the end of the top component until the entire assembly is secure. Please note that the deep-set screws in the sides of the adapter are not user adjustable.