We approached the design of our kinematic alignment stages from a different angle. While most positioners are made by stacking several single-axis translation stages, our positioners consist of several actuators moving in a single stage. This results in an all-in-one multi-axis stage with an exceptionally low beam height and minimal wobble and slop. These stages were designed to have all of the degrees of freedom needed (two angular and two linear) to align one optical axis to another. An additional degree of freedom is provided in the five-axis stages which provides focus. Since there is only one actuator or constraint for each degree of freedom, these stages operate slightly differently than more conventional ones. In our kinematic stages, two actuators are used to position a side of the moving plate. Therefore, if you want pure translation, simply adjust both screws the same amount. A single screw rotates the plate about the opposite motionless actuator. And if you want to rotate the plate around its center, adjust both screws in opposite directions. (Weve found that understanding the mechanism in these stages makes alignment much simpler and more intuitive.)
With our four-axis positioner, you can intuitively align optical tubes that comprise an input and an output (e.g., electro-optic or acousto-optic modulators or lenses). Center one end to the laser beam, then adjust the other until the beam emerges. All motions are independent and connected to a single base, so you wont induce coupled motion while making adjustments. These stages are great for aligning New Focus modulators (High Damage Threshold Phase ModulatorsAmplitude Modulators).
With these stages, aligning a laser beam through a tube is simple. Turning both X screws or both Y screws equal amounts in opposite directions gives you tilt or pivot about the center of the plate. Turning them in the same direction gives you pure translation. Z adjustment allows precise translation along the optic axis. The Model 9082 uses extra-stiff springs and gives you a larger mounting platform.