Kinematic mount design can be complicated. But it doesn’t have to be. This visual how-to guide highlights the decisions, criteria, and calculations involved in designing a robust, highly repeatable kinematic mount. Color-coding...
Split clamps are a simple, robust method for securing cylindrical components that need to be adjusted axially (e.g., focusing a lens) or rotationally (e.g., a prism holder or an adjustment screw). In both of these cases, the split clamp satisfies one of the principles of a good locking mechanism:
A locking mechanism’s action should not influence the sensitive adjustment that it is intended to secure.
The advantage of a kinematic mount is that it locates one rigid body relative to another with very high repeatability, without over-constraining the body or introducing instability. It accomplishes this by using the precise number (and arrangement) of contact points needed to allow the desired degrees of freedom – no more and no less. That is the principle of kinematic constraint, which this article will show how to apply in your designs.
Precision machine design and optomechanical engineering are the domain of deflection – designing a thing so it can hold a position, move to a position, or follow a position with a level of accuracy that is many orders of magnitude smaller than the size of the thing itself.