Clamps and Angle Brackets for 66 mm Rails
- Clamps, Brackets, and Platforms Securely Connect 66 mm Rails
- Join Rails at Right Angles in Three Dimensions
- Rotation Clamps and Platforms Allow Arbitrary Orientations
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(See Application Idea Tab for Details)
- Provides Stable and Rigid Mounting of 66 mm Rails and Components
- Easy to Adjust and Position by Sliding
- Clamp Design Permits Rails to be Dropped In and Tightened Into Place
- Brackets, Clamps, and Carriages Orient Rails at Right Angles in Two or Three Dimensions
- Rotating Options for Securing Rails at Arbitrary Angles
Thorlabs' clamps and brackets for 66 mm rails are fundamental building blocks of two- and three-dimensional rail constructions.
Our clamps, which can be slid along the rail and locked in place, are designed to securely fasten two rails together. We offer options that attach rails in parallel, at right angles in horizontal and vertical planes, or at arbitrary angles in a horizontal plane. They feature a wide opening that tightens shut around the dovetailed rail side, allowing rails to be added and removed to a structure without having to disturb existing components.
Brackets have short dovetail sections with the same cross-sectional profile as our 66 mm rails, oriented such that rails can be attached at fixed angles in up to three dimensions. They are designed to be used in combination with our clamps. Machined from a single piece of aluminum, they provide excellent rigidity and sturdiness.
Platforms consist of a bottom-located clamp that is connected to another surface that enables free rotation. The XT66CC Counterbored Pivot Platform provides rotation through a full 360°, while the XT66RP1 Rotation Slide Platform provides ±45° of rotation with laser-engraved graduations.
Thorlabs offers an extensive selection of accessories for 66 mm rails, including clamps and angle brackets, breadboard mounts, mounting platforms, rail carriages, rail platform positioners, rotation slide platforms, rail joiners, and lens tube adapters. Together with size adapters that incorporate 34 mm and 95 mm rails into an XT66 setup, these tools provide a complete family of rigid, versatile building blocks suited for virtually any optomechanical setup.
Application Idea: A Simple Periscope
The photographs to the left depict a simple periscope constructed using our 66 mm rail system. The two photos display the same setup from two different angles in order to clearly show how each part has been integrated. The labeled parts correspond to a row in the upper table, while the lower table shows the clamps and optical mounts used throughout the periscope.
|Label||Item #||Description||Product Image|
|1||XT66-500||66 mm Construction Rail, L = 500 mm|
|2||XT66D2||50 mm Long Slotted Dovetail with One Z-Axis Counterbored Slot|
|3||XT66D2-50||50 mm Long XT66 Platform with Three 1/4"-20 (M6) Counterbores|
|4||XT66RA2||Right-Angle Clamp for 66 mm Rails|
|5||XT66DP-500||66 mm Double Dovetail Rail, L = 500 mm|
|6||XT66DE1||20 mm Long, 1/4"-20 Tapped Dovetail for 66 mm Rails|
|XT66C1||20 mm Long Double Dovetail Clamp for 66 mm Rails|
|XT66C2||40 mm Long Double Dovetail Clamp for 66 mm Rails|
|MA45-2||45° Mounting Adapter, Compatible with KM100 and KM200|
|KM100||Ø1" Kinematic Mirror Mount|
|LMR1||Ø1" Lens Mount|
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|Item #||% Weight|
- Reduce Weight of Packaging Materials
- Increase Usage of Recyclable Packing Materials
- Improve Packing Integrity
- Decrease Shipping Costs
Thorlabs' Smart Pack Initiative is aimed at waste minimization while still maintaining adequate protection for our products. By eliminating any unnecessary packaging, implementing packaging design changes, and utilizing eco-friendly packaging materials for our customers when possible, this initiative seeks to improve the environmental impact of our product packaging. Products listed above are now shipped in re-engineered packaging that minimizes the weight and the use of non-recyclable materials.b As we move through our product line, we will indicate re-engineered packages with our Smart Pack logo.
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Schematic of Rails in Parallel
- Clamp Between Rails or Accessories
- Orient Rails Parallel to Each Other
- XT66C1: 20 mm Long Clamp
- XT66C2: 40 mm Long Clamp
Thorlabs' Double Dovetail Clamps for 66 mm Rails securely join XT66 rails and components in a parallel orientation. They are available in two lengths: 20 mm and 40 mm.
Using two XT66C1 clamps as a pair, as shown to the right, prevents torsional strains and keeps two rails parallel over the entire length spanned by the clamps. If a single-clamp solution is preferred, then we recommend the XT66C2, which provides additional surface contact. The XT66C2 is also perfectly sized to attach to our XT66D2-40 Dovetail Mounting Platform.
- Compact Clamp Joins Two 66 mm Rails at Right Angles
- Single-Screw Clamping Mechanism
The XT66CC Cross Clamp fastens two rails or accessories together at a 90° angle and closes using a single screw, making it easy to adjust and reposition. The clamping surfaces on the top and bottom are 20 mm long.
In order to orient two rails such that they are not orthogonal, please consider the XT66RD Double Dovetail Rotation Clamp shown below.
- Connect Two 66 mm Rails at 90°
- Used with Dovetail Clamps
The XT66CB Cross Bracket creates a 90° intersection between two 66 mm rails and is typically used with dovetail clamps. It is ideal for situations where an XT66CC Cross Clamp is not available or desired. The dovetails on this bracket are 60 mm (2.36") long.
- Connect Rails at 90° Horizontally or Vertically
- More Surface Engagement than Our Double Dovetail Clamps
- Ideal for Reinforcing a Right-Angle Connection
The XT66RA1 Right-Angle Clamp is a heavy-duty clamp that securely holds two rails together and is well suited for building three-dimensional rail constructions. Its long diagonal helps to brace a 90° rail intersection, and the two-screw clamping mechanism provides a high degree of surface contact.
- Orient 66 mm Rails at 90° in Two or Three Dimensions
- Combines Three Dovetails in One Bracket
- Used with Dovetail Clamps
- Machined from a Single Extrusion for High Rigidity
The XT66RA2 Right-Angle Bracket features three dovetails that can be used simultaneously. It contains two dovetails oriented at 90° for mounting rails horizontally or vertically, and a third dovetail is built into the diagonal brace. This third dovetail, oriented at 45°, both rotates the mounted rail and enables three-dimensional constructions from a single joint.
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- Form 90° Intersections Between the Side and End of Two Separate Rails
- Side-Locked Clamping Mechanism is Easily Accessed
- Also Used to Mount Optomechanics to Rail Sides
The XT66P2(/M) Rail Carriage contains four counterbored holes at the corners, positioned such that the carriage can fasten to the end of a standard 66 mm rail by using four M3 cap screws (not included). In this orientation, the swinging clamping arm, which tightens using a side-mounted 9/64" (M3) locking screw, is free to secure another 66 mm rail at a right angle. The arm provides ample clearance to lift the rail off when the locking screw is loosened.
Alternatively, this rail carriage can be fastened directly to a rail side to provide a mounting surface for optomechanics. The XT66P2(/M) contains a closely packed array of six 1/4"-20, four 8-32, and seven 6-32 tapped holes (six M6 and eleven M4 taps in the metric version), along with a centered 1/4" (M6) counterbore.
- Rounded Dovetail Shape Allows Any Orientation Between Rails
- Directly Fastened to Base Rail
- Requires an Additional Double Dovetail Clamp (Sold Above) to Fasten to Second Rail
The XT66RC Counterbored Pivot Platform consists of a removable dovetailed disk with a radially symmetric outer profile and a 40 mm long clamp. Our Double Dovetail Clamps, sold separately, can be directly fastened to this disk at an arbitrary angle and used to continuously rotate an attached rail through a full 360°. The XT66RD Double Dovetail Rotation Clamp shown immediately below is identical to this part, but includes an additional 40 mm clamp for attaching parts to the top.
Alternatively, the rotatable counterbored slot allows 1/4"-20 or M6-compatible optomechanics to be attached using our Low-Profile Channel Screws or Low-Profile T-Nuts, which are sold here.
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Two 66 mm Rails at an Arbitrary Angle
- Two Independent Clamps that Provide a Full 360° of Rotation
- Create Complex Orientations Between Rails and Rail Systems
The XT66RD Double Dovetail Rotation Clamp includes all the parts needed to continuously rotate one rail with respect to another through a full 360°. Rotation is provided by a removable dovetailed disk with a radially symmetric outer profile. It is identical to the XT66RC Counterbored Pivot Platform shown immediately above, except that it includes two 40 mm long clamps instead of one.
In contrast to these options, the XT66CC Cross Clamp pictured above rotates rails by a fixed 90° and uses 20 mm long clamps.
- Clamps Directly to 66 mm Rails and Provides ±45° of Rotation
- 5.00" (127 mm) Long Rail Allows Translation of Mounted Objects with Respect to Center of Rotation
- Easy-to-Read Laser Engraved Scale with 1° Resolution
The XT66RP1 Rotation Slide Platform provides a 5" (127 mm) long mounting surface that can be rotated by up to ±45° from the axis defined by the base rail. It clamps to a 66 mm rail using two rear-mounted locking screws. The laser-engraved scale features 1° graduations and allows mounted rails to be precisely and repeatably rotated. Although the platform cannot be locked in place, it features a friction-fit design that helps to prevent accidental movement or deviations from the desired angle.