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Rigid frames and automated stages are ubiquitous in scientific instruments. High precision commercial stages are available but adding automation to teaching or research projects is typically very expensive, in particular when high rigidity is required. These guides provide detailed instructions on how to construct a linear stage, and illustrate its use with the OpenLabTools Microscope project. Only standard components at relatively low cost are used; these include in particular OpenBeam frames and Arduino microcontrolers. The tutorials covers 3D printing; construction of the support structure, mechanism and platform; and integration of mechanical, electrical and software components.

General tutorial for motorised linear stages

This guide is a collection of useful information to aid in the design and construction of a linear translation stage. While the partner tutorial (see above) gives detailed step-by-step instructions, this document provides as-general-as possible information so that you can build a stage with whatever materials you have availiable. Covers topics including choosing a stepper motor, designing the structure and reference information for working with linear bearings and leadscrews.

pdf of the tutorial (author: Thomas Roddick, 2013).

Tutorial for the construction of the microscope platform

This guide provides detailed instructions on how to construct the stage used in the OpenLabTools Microscope project.

pdf of the tutorial (author: Thomas Roddick, 2013).

CAD models

GitHub repository

Project list