While controlling the linear actuator can be done without hacking, I've found that doing so has its limitations.
Specifically with my setup the arduino nano has voltage and current limits that prevent the servos from reaching their full potential. Especially when I'm controlling 3 servos simultaneously in a stressful application! This problem manifests in a locked up actuator when trying to make small movements, because the actuator cannot overcome the static friction with a proportioned control designed to only move a small distance.
So I did some experimenting to find a way to power my servos directly from two 18650 batteries while isolating that 7V from getting to my computer's usb port.
In the end the hack was simple, which is the way I like it! This successful experiment will enable my drawing robots to operate with move torque and a greater degree of precision in small movements!
One step closer, yay!