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Direct drive Linear Actuators

Linear stepper motors from FAULHABER: simply highly precise

A linear stepper motor, also referred to as a linear actuator with direct drive, offers a simple solution for highly precise applications with low load. It functions without a gearhead and without an encoder. This makes it extremely compact, as well as especially easy to integrate. FAULHABER offers linear stepper motors with numerous equipment options for a wide range of operating conditions.

Selection of FAULHABER Linear Components portfolio
Key Features
1.2 ... 3 mm
Cost effective positioning drive without encoder
High accuracy
Wide range of lead screws available
Short lead time for standard length
Flexibility offered by optional nuts and ball bearings
Custom length on request

What is a linear stepper motor?

A linear stepper motor or linear actuator with direct drive is a combination of a rotating motor and a lead screw. The rotation of the lead screw is transferred by the nut to the application as a linear movement. This task can also be performed by a component of the application whose threaded hole is seated on the lead screw.

How are FAULHABER linear stepper motors designed?

For linear actuators with direct drive, FAULHABER only uses stepper motors – hence the designation "linear stepper motor." The rotary movement of a stepper motor can be divided into small steps by the motor control. As a result, this drive can approach a predefined position very precisely without the use of an encoder.

At the same time, stepper motors accelerate very rapidly, they deliver full power with nearly no delay, and hold their position even with the power switched off. Thanks to these properties, they are very well suited for demanding positioning tasks. Because neither a gearhead nor an encoder is interconnected, this type of drive has an especially short overall length.

The lead screw of the linear actuator is directly connected to the output shaft of the motor. Lead screws are available with diameters of between 1.2 and 3 millimeters and with leads of between 0.2 and 0.5. The threads are metric. For the standard products, the length of the lead screws ranges from 7.5 to 120 millimeters, customer-specific versions are possible.

As an optional component, FAULHABER offers nuts made from a variety of materials. Their exterior features a surface that prevents them from rotating in the application. Instead of a nut, a threaded hole in the application can also hold the lead screw. As another option, ball bearings are available for a bearing tip with which the free end of the lead screw can be secured and stabilized.

How does a linear stepper motor work?

Because motor and lead screw are directly coupled, the threaded rod performs the same rotary movement as the output shaft of the motor. The rotation sets the nut into linear movement. The interplay of lead screw and nut acts like a gearhead reduction. The smaller the selected lead, the lower the speed but the greater the force and the precision of the linear movement.

Direct Drive Linear Actuators from FAULHABER

Product family

The devices are available with two types of stepper motors:

  • AM – high performance and cost-effective
    The motors of the AM series allow cost-effective solutions for the most common positioning tasks.
  • DM – positioning in microsteps
    These especially compact disc magnet motors are designed for highly precise positioning tasks in very confined installation spaces. Their extremely low inertia enables very fast acceleration.

In addition, the linear actuators with direct drive from FAULHABER follow the same concept and differ from one another only with respect to size and features.

Criteria for the selection of linear stepper motors

Linear stepper motors from FAULHABER are all designed for very compact applications with small loads in which a very high precision is required. As a rule, the key criteria are, thus:

  • Positioning resolution
  • Position accuracy
  • Available installation space

In addition, consideration must be given to the required force, speed and service life. The standard combinations of motor and lead screw offer a wide range of product variants. A suitable drive can be found in this product range for most applications. You can enter the required parameters in the Drive Calculator. There, you will receive a selection of suitable linear stepper motor calculations from series production. FAULHABER also offers the bespoke manufacture of customized linear drives.

Typical applications for linear stepper motors

The devices are suitable for all applications in which highly precise positioning tasks are performed in the smallest of installation spaces. They are predestined for optical applications, especially for the positioning of lenses and for focus adjustment. They perform a similar task in the area of fine dosing, e.g., in medical technology and laboratory automation.

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