Figure 1: Sample Optical Cage System Components with #85-632, #85-664, #85-488, and #85-543 [View Larger Image]
Designed for modularity and flexibility, optical cage systems are high precision alternatives to complex optical alignment systems. These systems are constructed of rods and plates, allowing the user to continuously modify the system's design by adding additional components, such as optical mounts and angular brackets. For the complete line of components, browse TECHSPEC® Optical Cage System.
For an introduction to what can be done with optical cage systems, consider eight unique design examples. Each design can be applied toward larger systems, and provide familiarity to the cage system. For example, Figure 1 illustrates a sample system comprised of four stock numbers: #85-632 25mm Standard Cage Plate, #85-664 Cage Plate Angle Bracket, #85-488 6mm Diameter x 100mm Length Cage Support Rod, and #85-543 25mm Cage 20mm Diameter Lens Mount.
Note: These stock numbers are only one sample setup; components can be replaced with those of different sizes.
Optical Cage System Design Examples Include
DESIGN EXAMPLE 1: OPTICAL CAGE SYSTEM CUBE
The optical cage system cube is a fundamental design that enables the addition or intersection of beam paths, or bends the system in 90°. While a TECHSPEC® Cage System Sphere is superior in rigidity, the cube system offers increased flexibility, and can be designed using Cage System Plates and Cage System Plate Angle Brackets. By using plates of different inner diameters, the cube system can be customized to best fit the application. For example, Figure 2 shows a cube system consisting of six #85-632 25mm Standard Cage Plates and eight #85-664 Cage Plate Angle Brackets.
Note: Do not tighten adjustment screws fully until all cage system components are attached. To make integration easy, download a complete SolidWorks® assembly of Design Example 1 (ZIP 1.1MB).
DESIGN EXAMPLE 2: OPTICAL CAGE SYSTEM ANGLE BRACKET JOINTS
Similar to the build of the cube system in Design Example 1, it is possible to create joints angled at 30°, 60°, and 90°. Due to their diverse use in many setups, angle brackets are crucial components in a variety of cage system setups. All 30°, 60°, and 90° angles can be created with two Cage System Plates (such as #85-632), two #85-617 25mm Fixed Angle Mounting Plates, and four #85-664 Cage Plate Angle Brackets. To make integration easy, download a complete SolidWorks® assembly of Design Example 2 (ZIP 1.5MB).
Figure 2: Video of Optical Cage System Cube
Figure 3: Video of Optical Cage System Angle Bracket Joints
DESIGN EXAMPLE 3: OPTICAL CAGE SYSTEM SKELETAL RAILS
Building from Design Example 2, skeletal rails can be added to connect the cube system or angle bracket joints. When joining numerous joints and components together, use TECHSPEC® 6mm Cage System Support Rods to hold the optical axis in place. A cage system can be built with either two or four rods. A four rod system adds additional stability for long systems, while two rods simplify assembly and allow easy access to the optical components within the cage.
When connecting 6mm Cage System Support Rods to Cage System Plates, it is best to lay each plate on a flat surface such as a laboratory table and connect each support rod into the appropriate sized holes. Then, use a set screw to secure the support rods in place. To make integration easy, download a complete SolidWorks® assembly of Design Example 3 (ZIP 1.1MB).
DESIGN EXAMPLE 4: OPTICAL CAGE SYSTEM SWIVEL JOINT
TECHSPEC® Cage System Angle Adjustment Plates are used to construct fixed 30°, 60°, and 90° bends in a cage system's optical path. For applications requiring customized angular positions, swivel joints are an ideal alternative to angle adjustment plates. For example, a pair of #85-670 Swivel Adapter Plates can be used with a single #85-692 Post Mount Adapter to enable 180° of continuous angular adjustment. Each swivel adapter plate features three M3 set screws which allow the angle to be locked into place. For this design example, the swivel joint consists of two #85-632 Cage System Plates, four #85-670 Swivel Adapter Plates, two #85-692 Post Mount Adapters, eight #85-488 6mm Diameter x 100mm Length Support Rods, and two #85-664 Cage Plate Angle Brackets. To make integration easy, download a complete SolidWorks® assembly of Design Example 4 (ZIP 2MB).
Figure 4: Illustration of Optical Cage System Plate with Four 6mm Support Rods [View Larger Image]
Figure 5: Video of Optical Cage System Swivel Joint