Dual Rod Slides

The dual rod slide embodies some distinct advantages that make it the form of choice in many slide applications. The cylindrical rods that make up the guideways are machined to exacting tolerances, resulting in incredible yaw and roll accuracy. The highly preloaded housings provide excellent air film stiffness. The ability to space the rods widely allows for attachment of drive systems as close to the center of mass of the moving elements as possible. Dual rod slides can easily accommodate the addition of a spindle axis between the rods. Professional Instruments Company has produced dual rod slides with spindles both parallel and perpendicular to the slide axis. Some examples are shown here. The rods on these stages are supported at the ends using circular diaphragm flexures. The diaphragms allow each rod end to be individually adjusted and enables the slide to be insensitive to distortions due to inaccurate mounting surfaces or thermal variations. The pitch errors induced in horizontal mounting by the mass of the moving elements are extremely repeatable and can be mapped. Vertically mounted dual rod slides do not have mass-induced pitch errors. Voice coils, lead screws, ball screws, and brushless-DC linear motors are commonly used to drive dual rod slides. Linear glass scales or laser interferometers provide position feedback. Professional Instruments Company’s wide range of experience with drives and feedback devices provides us with the ability to custom-tailor slide systems to take advantage of these rapidly advancing technologies.

The most sophisticated dual-rod side we have built is an X-Y stage (13”x13” travel), using laser-inter-Ferometer position Feedback, driven by linear motors, and operating in a vacuum chamber. We will be pleased to help you solve your linear-motion problems.