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30 mm Removable Segment Cage Plates
0.35" Thick Cage Plate
0.50" Thick Cage Plate
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Schematic of Removable Segment Cage Plate (Flexure Cam Locks on Bottom)
Thorlabs' 30 mm Removable Cage Segment Plates provide the means to extract a portion of a cage system and replace it with another pre-aligned cage segment, as illustrated in the animation and images below. Unlike standard cage plates which require the cage rod to be threaded through the cage plate, these plates allow a segment of a cage system to be removed without disturbing other components in the cage system. The flexure cam locks used in these plates (shown in the schematic to the right) allow the removal of the cage plate in a direction perpendicular to the cage axis, and also securely hold the cage rods prior to locking the segment in place. These cage plates may also be mounted on our Ø1/2" Posts via an 8-32 (M4) threaded mounting hole in the bottom of the parts; the CP09, CP09T, and CP45T/M have an additional 8-32 (M4) threaded mounting hole on their top face.
Thorlabs offers 16 mm, 30 mm and 60 mm cage systems designed for Ø1/2", Ø1" and Ø2" optical components (respectively). The parts on this page are compatible with our 30 mm cage system and utilize Ø6 mm ER cage rods.
Assembling a Removable Cage Segment
Step-by-step instructions for assembling and using a removable cage segment are shown below and is also illustrated in the animation to the right.
1. Use a CP09T or CP45T/M (0.50" thick) cage plate to create an interface for a removable cage segment. Pass two cage rods completely through the through holes in the cage plate and secure them via the side-located setscrews. The CP09T uses a 0.050" hex; the CP45T/M has a 2 mm hex. The remaining cage rods are passed halfway through the flexure cam locks of the fixed CP09T or CP45T/M cage plates. Do not tighten the flexure cam locks at this point.
2. The removable cage segment can be constructed using the cage plates sold below. Slide the cage rods through the through holes in the cage plate and tighten the side-located 4-40 setscrews with a 0.050" (1.3 mm) hex key, unless using the CP45T/M, in which case the side-located M4 x 0.7 setscrews are tightened with a 2 mm (5/64") hex key. Please note that the cage rods in the removable segment need to be long enough so that they fit into the flexure clamp of the fixed CP09T or CP45T/M cage plates.
3. To lock the removable cage segment once it is in position, tighten all of the flexure mechanisms by tightening the cap head screws with the appropriate hex key. The CP09 and CP09T cap head screws use a 3/32" hex size, while the CP09/M requires a 1.5 mm hex key, and the CP45T/M needs a 2.5 mm hex key. To remove the segment, loosen the screws on the flexure mechanisms and gently lift the removable segment. An example showing a completed cage system with a removable segment is shown below.
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 below). 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.
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.
An example of the standard cage plate measurements determining cage system compatibility.