Macro focussing rails

Started 5 months ago | Questions
User8692945365 New Member • Posts: 2
Macro focussing rails

Anyone have any experience with the MJKZZ Qool Rail 250, WeMacro, StackShot or other automated rails, pros/cons, reservations, recommendations, thoughts on controllers and operating software, calculation software, bracketing/stacking issues, reviews, sources of information, etc.? Thanks in advance.

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Chris 345 Forum Member • Posts: 83
Re: Macro focussing rails

User8692945365 wrote:

Anyone have any experience with the MJKZZ Qool Rail 250, WeMacro, StackShot or other automated rails, pros/cons, reservations, recommendations, thoughts on controllers and operating software, calculation software, bracketing/stacking issues, reviews, sources of information, etc.? Thanks in advance.

My wife and I have a Cognisys Stackshot rail and controller. We have fitted a Novoflex bellows to the focusing rail and use a Nikon enlarging lens (reversed) and microscope lenses adapted to fit the bellows. Our bellows provides back and forth movement for the camera/lens as well as focusing movement. The rail and controller have worked faultlessly for a number of years but for the last couple we have used the controller connected to a stepper motor to focus a microscope. We now use Zerene Stacker (our stacking software) to run the controller via a laptop instead of using the built-in screen.

The photo shows our set up for photographing microscope slides but it is obviously easy to use the rail in the horizontal position. Some photos my wife took with the set up can be seen at:
https://sinwp.com/subs/Algar126027/index.htm

mawyatt2002
mawyatt2002 Contributing Member • Posts: 502
Re: Macro focussing rails

Ive used the Stackshot, WeMacro and MJKZZ older type rails & controllers. The Stackshot is the most versatile and the WeMacro best value. Never used the MJKZZ rail because at that time the controller didn't support a Mac, later a controller was offered which didn't require a computer and works well, but the rails were bypassed because better rails were available. All the rails can be operated with different controllers if you prepare a proper interface cable to the stepper motor (they all use 4 wire steppers), and setup the proper motor parameters.

Later developed custom rails based on the THK KR20, 15 and 26 surplus linear rails. These are precision devices and can be operated with various controllers, including a set of custom developed controllers based upon the Trinamic chips that offer exceptional performance.

Eventually this evolved into Stack & Stitch setups, below shows some of the THK rails and custom controllers. Much has been posted on these developments over at the mentioned Photomacrography site.

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/4342999

Best,

Horizontal setup on modded WeMacro Stand and THK KR20 focus rail

Vertical setup shown in back.

-- hide signature --

Research is like a treasure hunt, you don't know where to look or what you'll find!
~Mike

vd Berg Forum Member • Posts: 87
Re: Macro focussing rails

User8692945365 wrote:

Anyone have any experience with the MJKZZ Qool Rail 250, WeMacro, StackShot or other automated rails, pros/cons, reservations, recommendations, thoughts on controllers and operating software, calculation software, bracketing/stacking issues, reviews, sources of information, etc.? Thanks in advance.

mjkzz.de website quote “This Ultra Rail is already fully assembled and ready to use! With the 2mm pitch it offers the best precision and highest quality. It is completely wobble-free and super stable and together with the included MJKZZ stand alone IR remote controller the minimum step size is 0.078125 μm (yes, it's really μm, so 0.000078125 mm) and can be used for magnifications up to 100x!” (https://www.mjkzz.de/collections/ultra-series/products/ultra-rail-kit-with-mjkzz-ir-controller?variant=18210497462387).

con: the owner of mjkzz and administrator of the facebook group "extreme makro & mikro fotografie", Daniel Pusch, plays on the person at the facebook group, erases the topic from the facebook group and deletes the memborship of the facebook group, if asked for the camera+tube lens+objective for testing former maximum magnification and former minimum step size.

mawyatt2002
mawyatt2002 Contributing Member • Posts: 502
Re: Macro focussing rails

vd Berg wrote:

User8692945365 wrote:

Anyone have any experience with the MJKZZ Qool Rail 250, WeMacro, StackShot or other automated rails, pros/cons, reservations, recommendations, thoughts on controllers and operating software, calculation software, bracketing/stacking issues, reviews, sources of information, etc.? Thanks in advance.

mjkzz.de website quote “This Ultra Rail is already fully assembled and ready to use! With the 2mm pitch it offers the best precision and highest quality. It is completely wobble-free and super stable and together with the included MJKZZ stand alone IR remote controller the minimum step size is 0.078125 μm (yes, it's really μm, so 0.000078125 mm) and can be used for magnifications up to 100x!” (https://www.mjkzz.de/collections/ultra-series/products/ultra-rail-kit-with-mjkzz-ir-controller?variant=18210497462387).

con: the owner of mjkzz and administrator of the facebook group "extreme makro & mikro fotografie", Daniel Pusch, plays on the person at the facebook group, erases the topic from the facebook group and deletes the memborship of the facebook group, if asked for the camera+tube lens+objective for testing former maximum magnification and former minimum step size.

Yes it says that, but there is no way the rail nor controller can achieve anything close to that minimum step size.

We have the MJKZZ controllers, actually have 3 I think, they are OK but we don't use them. The Trinamic based controllers mentioned are at another level of performance, and coupled with a THK KR20 with 1mm pitch thread and a quality 400 step motor is about as good as you can get with stepper based focus rail systems.

Best,

-- hide signature --

Research is like a treasure hunt, you don't know where to look or what you'll find!
~Mike

vd Berg Forum Member • Posts: 87
Re: Macro focussing rails

mawyatt2002 wrote:

vd Berg wrote:

User8692945365 wrote:

Anyone have any experience with the MJKZZ Qool Rail 250, WeMacro, StackShot or other automated rails, pros/cons, reservations, recommendations, thoughts on controllers and operating software, calculation software, bracketing/stacking issues, reviews, sources of information, etc.? Thanks in advance.

mjkzz.de website quote “This Ultra Rail is already fully assembled and ready to use! With the 2mm pitch it offers the best precision and highest quality. It is completely wobble-free and super stable and together with the included MJKZZ stand alone IR remote controller the minimum step size is 0.078125 μm (yes, it's really μm, so 0.000078125 mm) and can be used for magnifications up to 100x!” (https://www.mjkzz.de/collections/ultra-series/products/ultra-rail-kit-with-mjkzz-ir-controller?variant=18210497462387).

con: the owner of mjkzz and administrator of the facebook group "extreme makro & mikro fotografie", Daniel Pusch, plays on the person at the facebook group, erases the topic from the facebook group and deletes the memborship of the facebook group, if asked for the camera+tube lens+objective for testing former maximum magnification and former minimum step size.

Yes it says that, but there is no way the rail nor controller can achieve anything close to that minimum step size.

We have the MJKZZ controllers, actually have 3 I think, they are OK but we don't use them. The Trinamic based controllers mentioned are at another level of performance, and coupled with a THK KR20 with 1mm pitch thread and a quality 400 step motor is about as good as you can get with stepper based focus rail systems.

Best,

Hi Mike,

Thanks. Concerning Stack&Stich systems.

Can you tell in which (sub)micron step range and in which magnification range are best used:

-(plug-n-play) Cognisys Stackshot;

-(DIY) THK rail (KR15, KR20, KR26) with Trinamic controller (TMC5130, 5160, 5072) and with 400 stepper motor;

-Thorlabs Piezo Resonant Stages and Mounts;

Regards,

ken_in_nh Contributing Member • Posts: 902
Re: Macro focussing rails

Interesting summation!  Thank you all for the great information.

John K Veteran Member • Posts: 8,649
Re: Macro focussing rails

mawyatt2002 wrote:

Ive used the Stackshot, WeMacro and MJKZZ older type rails & controllers. The Stackshot is the most versatile and the WeMacro best value. Never used the MJKZZ rail because at that time the controller didn't support a Mac, later a controller was offered which didn't require a computer and works well, but the rails were bypassed because better rails were available. All the rails can be operated with different controllers if you prepare a proper interface cable to the stepper motor (they all use 4 wire steppers), and setup the proper motor parameters.

Later developed custom rails based on the THK KR20, 15 and 26 surplus linear rails. These are precision devices and can be operated with various controllers, including a set of custom developed controllers based upon the Trinamic chips that offer exceptional performance.

Eventually this evolved into Stack & Stitch setups, below shows some of the THK rails and custom controllers. Much has been posted on these developments over at the mentioned Photomacrography site.

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/4342999

Best,

Horizontal setup on modded WeMacro Stand and THK KR20 focus rail

Vertical setup shown in back.

Excellent post, and your wife has taken some impressive photos!

If I ever get into stacking, beyond doing it hand held, I'm gonna do it right and get a microprocessor controlled rail. But I'm more interested in stacking larger subjects (like bees and beetles, for example).

-- hide signature --

Also known as Dalantech
My Book: http://nocroppingzone.blogspot.com/2010/01/extreme-macro-art-of-patience.html
My Blog: http://www.extrememacro.com
My gallery: http://www.johnkimbler.com
Macro Tutorials: http://dalantech.deviantart.com/gallery/4122501/Tutorials
Always minimal post processing and no cropping -unless you count the viewfinder...

mawyatt2002
mawyatt2002 Contributing Member • Posts: 502
Re: Macro focussing rails

vd Berg wrote:

mawyatt2002 wrote:

vd Berg wrote:

User8692945365 wrote:

Anyone have any experience with the MJKZZ Qool Rail 250, WeMacro, StackShot or other automated rails, pros/cons, reservations, recommendations, thoughts on controllers and operating software, calculation software, bracketing/stacking issues, reviews, sources of information, etc.? Thanks in advance.

mjkzz.de website quote “This Ultra Rail is already fully assembled and ready to use! With the 2mm pitch it offers the best precision and highest quality. It is completely wobble-free and super stable and together with the included MJKZZ stand alone IR remote controller the minimum step size is 0.078125 μm (yes, it's really μm, so 0.000078125 mm) and can be used for magnifications up to 100x!” (https://www.mjkzz.de/collections/ultra-series/products/ultra-rail-kit-with-mjkzz-ir-controller?variant=18210497462387).

con: the owner of mjkzz and administrator of the facebook group "extreme makro & mikro fotografie", Daniel Pusch, plays on the person at the facebook group, erases the topic from the facebook group and deletes the memborship of the facebook group, if asked for the camera+tube lens+objective for testing former maximum magnification and former minimum step size.

Yes it says that, but there is no way the rail nor controller can achieve anything close to that minimum step size.

We have the MJKZZ controllers, actually have 3 I think, they are OK but we don't use them. The Trinamic based controllers mentioned are at another level of performance, and coupled with a THK KR20 with 1mm pitch thread and a quality 400 step motor is about as good as you can get with stepper based focus rail systems.

Best,

Hi Mike,

Thanks. Concerning Stack&Stich systems.

Can you tell in which (sub)micron step range and in which magnification range are best used:

-(plug-n-play) Cognisys Stackshot;

-(DIY) THK rail (KR15, KR20, KR26) with Trinamic controller (TMC5130, 5160, 5072) and with 400 stepper motor;

-Thorlabs Piezo Resonant Stages and Mounts;

Regards,

The THK KR20 are the best performing rails I have come across for focus stacking, coupled with the Trinamic based controller is about as good as it gets for any price IMO.

Haven't used any ThorLabs Piezo Stages, but have developed custom controllers for the Physik Instrumente P601K and P603K stages. These are for actual nanometer levels of performance, not speculation like mentioned.

https://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=40679&p=255768&hilit=P601K#p255768

https://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=40681&p=255776&hilit=P601K#p255776

https://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=40682&p=255778&hilit=P601K#p255778

https://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=40510&hilit=P601K

Best,

-- hide signature --

Research is like a treasure hunt, you don't know where to look or what you'll find!
~Mike

mawyatt2002
mawyatt2002 Contributing Member • Posts: 502
Re: Macro focussing rails

John K wrote:

mawyatt2002 wrote:

Ive used the Stackshot, WeMacro and MJKZZ older type rails & controllers. The Stackshot is the most versatile and the WeMacro best value. Never used the MJKZZ rail because at that time the controller didn't support a Mac, later a controller was offered which didn't require a computer and works well, but the rails were bypassed because better rails were available. All the rails can be operated with different controllers if you prepare a proper interface cable to the stepper motor (they all use 4 wire steppers), and setup the proper motor parameters.

Later developed custom rails based on the THK KR20, 15 and 26 surplus linear rails. These are precision devices and can be operated with various controllers, including a set of custom developed controllers based upon the Trinamic chips that offer exceptional performance.

Eventually this evolved into Stack & Stitch setups, below shows some of the THK rails and custom controllers. Much has been posted on these developments over at the mentioned Photomacrography site.

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/4342999

Best,

Horizontal setup on modded WeMacro Stand and THK KR20 focus rail

Vertical setup shown in back.

Excellent post, and your wife has taken some impressive photos!

If I ever get into stacking, beyond doing it hand held, I'm gonna do it right and get a microprocessor controlled rail. But I'm more interested in stacking larger subjects (like bees and beetles, for example).

Agree a computer controlled stage is the best approach IMO.

If you are interested in larger subjects like your bees, then you'll likely be around 1X. The old Nikkor PN105mm F2.8 reproduction lens on a FF camera is about as good as it gets at 1X. This lens was used to reproduce 35mm film for movie theaters, so highly optimized for 1X. This lens is shown on the horizontal setup above.

Best,

-- hide signature --

Research is like a treasure hunt, you don't know where to look or what you'll find!
~Mike

vd Berg Forum Member • Posts: 87
Re: Thorlabs Piezo stage for a Stack&Stitch system

Hi,

On Photomacrography.net is information/support about stack systems, like (plug-and-play) Stackshot. But what about plug-and-play Thorlabs piezo stages?

With all respect, THK rail with Trinamic controller and 400 stepper motor is DIY and I find the piezo (open/close loop) topics at Photomacrography complex. Can it be explained simpler?

Who is using a Thorlabs piezo stage for a Stack&Stitch system?

(what) is there a technical problem with using a Thorlabs piezo stage for a S&S system?

Regards,

John K Veteran Member • Posts: 8,649
Re: Macro focussing rails

mawyatt2002 wrote:

John K wrote:

mawyatt2002 wrote:

Ive used the Stackshot, WeMacro and MJKZZ older type rails & controllers. The Stackshot is the most versatile and the WeMacro best value. Never used the MJKZZ rail because at that time the controller didn't support a Mac, later a controller was offered which didn't require a computer and works well, but the rails were bypassed because better rails were available. All the rails can be operated with different controllers if you prepare a proper interface cable to the stepper motor (they all use 4 wire steppers), and setup the proper motor parameters.

Later developed custom rails based on the THK KR20, 15 and 26 surplus linear rails. These are precision devices and can be operated with various controllers, including a set of custom developed controllers based upon the Trinamic chips that offer exceptional performance.

Eventually this evolved into Stack & Stitch setups, below shows some of the THK rails and custom controllers. Much has been posted on these developments over at the mentioned Photomacrography site.

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/4342999

Best,

Horizontal setup on modded WeMacro Stand and THK KR20 focus rail

Vertical setup shown in back.

Excellent post, and your wife has taken some impressive photos!

If I ever get into stacking, beyond doing it hand held, I'm gonna do it right and get a microprocessor controlled rail. But I'm more interested in stacking larger subjects (like bees and beetles, for example).

Agree a computer controlled stage is the best approach IMO.

If you are interested in larger subjects like your bees, then you'll likely be around 1X. The old Nikkor PN105mm F2.8 reproduction lens on a FF camera is about as good as it gets at 1X. This lens was used to reproduce 35mm film for movie theaters, so highly optimized for 1X. This lens is shown on the horizontal setup above.

Best,

Actually I think that most of my stacking would be in the 4x and higher range. Below 4x diffraction isn't that big of a deal, and I can control where the area of acceptable focus falls so that I'm not wasting any of it.

Tech Specs: Canon 80D (F11, 1/250, ISO 200) + a Canon MP-E 65mm macro lens (set to roughly 2x) + a diffused MT-26EX RT (E-TTL metering). This is a single, uncropped, frame taken hand held.

-- hide signature --

Also known as Dalantech
My Book: http://nocroppingzone.blogspot.com/2010/01/extreme-macro-art-of-patience.html
My Blog: http://www.extrememacro.com
My gallery: http://www.johnkimbler.com
Macro Tutorials: http://dalantech.deviantart.com/gallery/4122501/Tutorials
Always minimal post processing and no cropping -unless you count the viewfinder...

mawyatt2002
mawyatt2002 Contributing Member • Posts: 502
Re: Thorlabs Piezo stage for a Stack&Stitch system

vd Berg wrote:

Hi,

On Photomacrography.net is information/support about stack systems, like (plug-and-play) Stackshot. But what about plug-and-play Thorlabs piezo stages?

With all respect, THK rail with Trinamic controller and 400 stepper motor is DIY and I find the piezo (open/close loop) topics at Photomacrography complex. Can it be explained simpler?

Who is using a Thorlabs piezo stage for a Stack&Stitch system?

(what) is there a technical problem with using a Thorlabs piezo stage for a S&S system?

Regards,

The THK rails with a Trinamic based controller are not as easy to setup and use as the Stackshot, which along with the WeMacro is probably the best for P&P. The THK based setups are more DIY types, but not that difficult for someone with moderate electronic & mechanical skills.

I've never used the Thorlabs stages (only PI types), although I do have have a Thorlabs based stacking setup based upon their optical base and extrusions. My experience with Thorlabs stuff is it's 1st class lab quality, so suspect the piezo stages would be very good.

Best,

-- hide signature --

Research is like a treasure hunt, you don't know where to look or what you'll find!
~Mike

mawyatt2002
mawyatt2002 Contributing Member • Posts: 502
Re: Macro focussing rails

John K wrote:

mawyatt2002 wrote:

John K wrote:

mawyatt2002 wrote:

Ive used the Stackshot, WeMacro and MJKZZ older type rails & controllers. The Stackshot is the most versatile and the WeMacro best value. Never used the MJKZZ rail because at that time the controller didn't support a Mac, later a controller was offered which didn't require a computer and works well, but the rails were bypassed because better rails were available. All the rails can be operated with different controllers if you prepare a proper interface cable to the stepper motor (they all use 4 wire steppers), and setup the proper motor parameters.

Later developed custom rails based on the THK KR20, 15 and 26 surplus linear rails. These are precision devices and can be operated with various controllers, including a set of custom developed controllers based upon the Trinamic chips that offer exceptional performance.

Eventually this evolved into Stack & Stitch setups, below shows some of the THK rails and custom controllers. Much has been posted on these developments over at the mentioned Photomacrography site.

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/4342999

Best,

Horizontal setup on modded WeMacro Stand and THK KR20 focus rail

Vertical setup shown in back.

Excellent post, and your wife has taken some impressive photos!

If I ever get into stacking, beyond doing it hand held, I'm gonna do it right and get a microprocessor controlled rail. But I'm more interested in stacking larger subjects (like bees and beetles, for example).

Agree a computer controlled stage is the best approach IMO.

If you are interested in larger subjects like your bees, then you'll likely be around 1X. The old Nikkor PN105mm F2.8 reproduction lens on a FF camera is about as good as it gets at 1X. This lens was used to reproduce 35mm film for movie theaters, so highly optimized for 1X. This lens is shown on the horizontal setup above.

Best,

Actually I think that most of my stacking would be in the 4x and higher range. Below 4x diffraction isn't that big of a deal, and I can control where the area of acceptable focus falls so that I'm not wasting any of it.

Tech Specs: Canon 80D (F11, 1/250, ISO 200) + a Canon MP-E 65mm macro lens (set to roughly 2x) + a diffused MT-26EX RT (E-TTL metering). This is a single, uncropped, frame taken hand held.

A lot depends on what you want in the final image. Diffraction begins to eat into your IQ around 18, this is where most of the excellent Mitutoyo objective lens have a effective aperture (EA) of ~18. Remember EA is actual lens aperture times magnification + 1. Most cameras like Canon (Nikon reports EA) do not report EA, only Lens Aperture, so when you are at 4X with a lens aperture at F11, this equates to an EA of F55!!

Recent blind deconvolution software I pointed you too can remove some of the diffraction effects, but not all.

One of the big benefits of stacking is this removes the trade-off between diffraction and DoF. Generally you use a lens setup with the best IQ setup (usually the lowest lens aperture at lowest EA), and stack to recover the shallow DoF.

For example the superb Mitutoyo 5X NA=0.14 with EA of ~18 at 200mm tube lens, has a DoF of just 0.028mm (28um).

Best,

-- hide signature --

Research is like a treasure hunt, you don't know where to look or what you'll find!
~Mike

John K Veteran Member • Posts: 8,649
Re: Macro focussing rails

mawyatt2002 wrote:

John K wrote:

mawyatt2002 wrote:

John K wrote:

mawyatt2002 wrote:

Ive used the Stackshot, WeMacro and MJKZZ older type rails & controllers. The Stackshot is the most versatile and the WeMacro best value. Never used the MJKZZ rail because at that time the controller didn't support a Mac, later a controller was offered which didn't require a computer and works well, but the rails were bypassed because better rails were available. All the rails can be operated with different controllers if you prepare a proper interface cable to the stepper motor (they all use 4 wire steppers), and setup the proper motor parameters.

Later developed custom rails based on the THK KR20, 15 and 26 surplus linear rails. These are precision devices and can be operated with various controllers, including a set of custom developed controllers based upon the Trinamic chips that offer exceptional performance.

Eventually this evolved into Stack & Stitch setups, below shows some of the THK rails and custom controllers. Much has been posted on these developments over at the mentioned Photomacrography site.

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/4342999

Best,

Horizontal setup on modded WeMacro Stand and THK KR20 focus rail

Vertical setup shown in back.

Excellent post, and your wife has taken some impressive photos!

If I ever get into stacking, beyond doing it hand held, I'm gonna do it right and get a microprocessor controlled rail. But I'm more interested in stacking larger subjects (like bees and beetles, for example).

Agree a computer controlled stage is the best approach IMO.

If you are interested in larger subjects like your bees, then you'll likely be around 1X. The old Nikkor PN105mm F2.8 reproduction lens on a FF camera is about as good as it gets at 1X. This lens was used to reproduce 35mm film for movie theaters, so highly optimized for 1X. This lens is shown on the horizontal setup above.

Best,

Actually I think that most of my stacking would be in the 4x and higher range. Below 4x diffraction isn't that big of a deal, and I can control where the area of acceptable focus falls so that I'm not wasting any of it.

Tech Specs: Canon 80D (F11, 1/250, ISO 200) + a Canon MP-E 65mm macro lens (set to roughly 2x) + a diffused MT-26EX RT (E-TTL metering). This is a single, uncropped, frame taken hand held.

A lot depends on what you want in the final image. Diffraction begins to eat into your IQ around 18, this is where most of the excellent Mitutoyo objective lens have a effective aperture (EA) of ~18. Remember EA is actual lens aperture times magnification + 1. Most cameras like Canon (Nikon reports EA) do not report EA, only Lens Aperture, so when you are at 4X with a lens aperture at F11, this equates to an EA of F55!!

Understood, but diffraction by itself really isn't that bad. Lens sharpness (or more importantly a lack of it) and motion are actually a bigger problem because they have a synergistic relationship with diffraction. As long as I can take as much control over the motion as possible, and freeze what's left with a short duration flash, and use a sharp lens then diffraction softness is manageable. I'm not printing 100% crops, and no one is saving them to their PC or phone as wallpaper...

Recent blind deconvolution software I pointed you too can remove some of the diffraction effects, but not all.

That's a really cool concept, and I'm waiting for the day when the camera can do that level of processing.

One of the big benefits of stacking is this removes the trade-off between diffraction and DoF. Generally you use a lens setup with the best IQ setup (usually the lowest lens aperture at lowest EA), and stack to recover the shallow DoF.

Understood.

For example the superb Mitutoyo 5X NA=0.14 with EA of ~18 at 200mm tube lens, has a DoF of just 0.028mm (28um).

Best,

I know that once I really dive into it I'm gonna have a lot to learn.

-- hide signature --

Also known as Dalantech
My Book: http://nocroppingzone.blogspot.com/2010/01/extreme-macro-art-of-patience.html
My Blog: http://www.extrememacro.com
My gallery: http://www.johnkimbler.com
Macro Tutorials: http://dalantech.deviantart.com/gallery/4122501/Tutorials
Always minimal post processing and no cropping -unless you count the viewfinder...

vd Berg Forum Member • Posts: 87
Re: PI stage for Stack&Stitch system

Meanwhile read (part of) Basics of Motorized Positioning Systems (https://www.pi-usa.us/fileadmin/user_upload/pi_us/files/catalogs/PI_Motorized_Positioners_Basics.pdf).

With which Physik Intrumente (PI) motor, actuator, controller, software, etc. did you worked with for a Stack&Stitch system?

Regards,

mawyatt2002
mawyatt2002 Contributing Member • Posts: 502
Re: PI stage for Stack&Stitch system

vd Berg wrote:

Meanwhile read (part of) Basics of Motorized Positioning Systems (https://www.pi-usa.us/fileadmin/user_upload/pi_us/files/catalogs/PI_Motorized_Positioners_Basics.pdf).

With which Physik Intrumente (PI) motor, actuator, controller, software, etc. did you worked with for a Stack&Stitch system?

Regards,

That's a very basic PI reference, good for someone new to these types of controllers to read. The details are quite a bit more involved, and producing a close loop system with excellent stability, position and repeatability is very involved.

I'm only using the PI stage for the Z axis in conjunction with the THK KR20 focus rail. The KR20 is used for coarse positioning and the PI 601K or PI 603K are used for fine positioning for actual stacking. These stages have a small range of ~250um, which is 1/4 turn of the KR20 with a 1mm pitch thread, thus the coarse and fine usage.

For X and Y we use the KR15. The controller for the KR20 (coarse Z axis) and KR15 (X and Y axis) are custom designed based upon the superb Trinamic devices.

The controllers developed for the PI stages are also custom designed and built with custom PCBs. One controller operates directly with the PI 601K stage, and is a flexible design to support various piezo stages. The other design interfaces with the PI 603K driver PCB and mounts directly on top.

All the controller, both THK and PI stages are controlled from a RPi.

Details are available over at the PM site. Use the search with author mawyatt....that's me.

Best,

-- hide signature --

Research is like a treasure hunt, you don't know where to look or what you'll find!
~Mike

Guito55 Regular Member • Posts: 164
Re: Thorlabs Piezo stage for a Stack&Stitch system

I have used a piezoelectric stage with stackshot for stacking but don't know what brand the piezoelectric stage was. It was for a microprocessor shot. I think there's someone here (or in the diy or photo experiment forum) that created their own piezoelectric stage.

It ain't for the faint of heart!

mawyatt2002
mawyatt2002 Contributing Member • Posts: 502
Re: Thorlabs Piezo stage for a Stack&Stitch system

Guito55 wrote:

I have used a piezoelectric stage with stackshot for stacking but don't know what brand the piezoelectric stage was. It was for a microprocessor shot. I think there's someone here (or in the diy or photo experiment forum) that created their own piezoelectric stage.

It ain't for the faint of heart!

That was probably me (Mike at Mike's Labs), here's some links over at Photomacrography on the development of the Piezo Stages for focus stacking.

https://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=40679&hilit=Piezo+Stage

https://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=40681&hilit=Piezo+Stage

https://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=40682&hilit=Piezo+Stage

https://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=40510&hilit=Piezo+Stage

And link here at DPR.

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/4441997

Yes it was quite involved and expensive (probably cost $5000), but the result was worth the effort IMO (sub-micron to nanometer levels of performance with the Closed Loop Systems). Now it's more straightforward and affordable (less than $500 total including PI stage) since all the initial research and development have been completed. I'm getting ready to assemble and test a couple more control systems for someone for a university research project, these are the last of the custom developed PCBs available, may need to reorder.

The Stackshot is a current mode Sine and Cosine stepper motor driver/controller ( I had one many years ago before I developed my own multi-axis stepper motor controllers based around the Trinmaic devices). Most stepper motor controllers like Stackshot utilize the motor winding inductance as part of the control scheme, and the motors are current driven not voltage driven.

I am very curious how you were able to configure a Stackshot to work with a piezo electric stage since these are voltage driven (usually very high voltages >100V) and are highly capacitive (usually >1uF) with little inductance??

Best,

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Research is like a treasure hunt, you don't know where to look or what you'll find!
~Mike

Guito55 Regular Member • Posts: 164
Re: Thorlabs Piezo stage for a Stack&Stitch system

Hi Mike, thanks for correcting me and for your fascinating work! I called up my friend, an engineer, who I took the photos for. I have little science/engineering formal knowledge, He couldn't stop laughing. He explained that it wasn't a piezoelectric stage, that the steps were in micrometers not nanometers and that it wasn't a microprosser at all. I blame it on old age and reading your posts thinking I was doing what you were doing. :}
So in answer to your question: I didn't. I am interested how to get nm steps without a stepper motor, though.  My microscopy hasn't reached that level yet, but maybe one day.

Your work is super inspiring.

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