Existing long range nanopositioning and nanomeasuring machines are based on three independent linear movements in three rectangular axes. This in combination with the specific nature of optical and mechanical sensors and tools limits the application of those machines in terms of addressable part geometries. State of the art multiaxial precision machines solve this problem but do not fulfil the requirements in positioning accuracy. This article contributes to the development of multiaxial machine structures allowing e.g. 5-axis operation while keeping the precision in the nanometre range. A parameter based dynamic evaluation system with quantifiable technological parameters is performed to identify general solution concepts. State of the art machines are evaluated based on this classification system in terms of the implementation of multi-axial movements. The evaluation system is further refined with comprehensive design catalogues and corresponding diagrams to support the selection of adequate substructures. First evaluations for the substructure in terms of a rotation axis for the probing system of a nanopositioning machine in its XZ-plane show the highest degree of fulfilment for basic structures considering a goniometer setup. After all, the knowledge gained is formed into general rules for the verification and optimization of constructive solutions for multiaxial nanopositioning machines.
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