Macro focussing rails

Started 4 months ago | Questions thread
mawyatt2002 Contributing Member • Posts: 502
Re: Thorlabs Piezo stage for a Stack&Stitch system

vd Berg wrote:

Hi Mike,

If I understand correctly you’re into focus stepping DIY controller+stacking rails+software for realizing your own vision and for costs reasons. There is interest, you’re followed, but DIY is difficult, even with (moderate) electronic knowledge. So can you tell (maybe a setup to start with, which later on can be expanded), which (of-the-shelf) (closed loop) piezo stage(s), controller(s), software for focus stepping are (as much as possible) plug-and-play?


I don't know of any type piezo stage that's PnP. These piezo electric stages and controllers are usually developed for industrial applications including semiconductor processing, and usually very costly. They aren't intended for focus stacking either, so the devices and software are for the mentioned industrial applications.

Because of the lack of piezo stages for focus stacking, and the cost, when some precision Physik Instrumente devices (P601K and P603K) came available on eBay we purchased a few. This began the development cycle, starting with an open loop system then a closed loop system for both the P601K and P603K stages.

So we've developed our own piezo stage controllers, setups and software specifically for focus stacking.

A per above the Wemacro (or Stackshot) is a good means to get into automated focus stacking, then migrate to the custom Trinamic stepper motor controllers & software we've developed. Add the THK KR20 rails with a 400 step motor and you have the best possible stepper motor based focus stacking rail system at any cost IMO, they are superb!! These also can do multi-axis control up to 4 axis (XYZR) from a single controller.

Some have skipped and jumped directly into the Trinamic based controllers with THK KR20 rails like this note I just received.

"I'm not sure if you remember me or not, but I purchased an XYZ controller from you a few months back and had the intention to modify for a rotational axis as well for stacked rotation videos. I just wanted to say thanks, it has been working great and I've had no problems. Coupled with the kr20 and a nema14 on a rotation stage the motion is buttery smooth fresh out of the camera, it's really been amazing! I've probably put a good 200k frames on the controller usually 10-20k at a time since December with no issues"

If you move to very high magnifications well beyond 20X, then consider the piezo stages, which are at another level of complexity.


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