XY Stage

Instructions to assemble the XY Control are below.

Many Microscopes have the XY controls in a coaxial knob.  That is, the two knobs are on one shaft.  This means that the stepper motors must move in at least one direction with the knobs.

(there are other options, but that is what we have so far).

Here is an example of coaxial XY knobs in a Zeiss microscope.  The Micro GigaPan adapter kit can, with minor modifications, handle this.

Zeiss - detail of xy stage.

Here is another instrument, same idea, but with the XY knobs on the other side:
Yet Another Microscope :-)
Our current answer to XY stage issue is to mount two stepper motors which 'hang' from the stage, and connect to the X and Y knobs with timing belt pulleys.

Assembling the XY Control

  1. Get Acrylic Parts [todo: link to parts files and Ponoko]
  2. Create framework from Acyrlic parts
  3. Install Stepper motor and Electronics
  4. Mount to Microscope
All the parts

All of the laser cut acrylic parts for the XY Platform


Front and Middle plates with first rods

Put the front and middle plates together. These are the large pieces. The middle plate has the larger opening-in this picture it is behind the front plate.


Rods and 'stop'

Put the four lengths of all thread through the front and middle plates. Slip the small acrylic 'stops' over the ends. Put a washer on, and then a nut.


Start of Motor Sled assembly

Assemble the X and Y motor sleds. These. This shows the first two pieces screwed together. Like the Z axis rig, make sure not to over tighten any of the screws.


Motor Sled

Assembled motor sled for the bottom motor.


Motor mount without screws

Motor mount lined up with the mounting holes for the stepper motor


Motor mount with screws

Use 4mm screws to screw a motor mount to each stepper motor. The motor mount and motor 'slides' look the same, except that the motor slide has larger holes. This picture also shows the timing belt pully installed on the stepper motor shaft.


Motor mount with 'slide' covering the screw heads.

Push fit the motor mount slide onto each motor mount. Note how the larger holes act like countersinks for the motor mount screws.


Motor sled assembled, with motor ready to be attached.

Screw the stepper motor, slide, and mount to the 'sled.'


Complete X and Y motor assemblies. Note that the motors point towards each other, so the sides of the motor sleds are on opposite sides of the assembly.


Front and Middle Plates stacked.

Put the [todo: screw length] plastic screws through the front and middle plates to hold the motor sleds.


Detail of motor sled screwed onto front and middle plates.

Detail of motor sled held to the front and middle plates with the plastic screws. There are four screws for each motor sled, but two screws has held together for me so far.


Complete XY Rig

Complete XY rig ready to be attached to the microscope.


MicroGigapan Adapter Kit.

Slip the assembly over the front of the microscope stage



Gears for XY adapter The pulleys are designed in Corel Draw with the specific inside diameter of the X and Y knobs (which vary even on the same instrument) and then a top plate which hangs from the top of the Y knob on the instrument we are using, and uses screws to pull the pulley tight against the taper of the knob.