3D printable optomechanical library

A small library of 3D-printable linear stages, kinematic mounts etc.

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This library of 3D-printable optomechanical components offers a cheap way of populating your home optical lab.

The parts herein may only deliver limited precision, but for many projects it should suffice. All parts are made of cheap accesible everyday things.

The library will grow with my needs for different parts.

All criticism is welcome.

So far it's not exactly the library of Alexandria, but I expect it to grow (though probably slowly).

The library consists of:

  • A linear stage - (dimensions: 35x35x13mm)
  • A kinematic mount for a dichroic mirror (18x26mm)

Zip Archive - 43.73 kB - 07/04/2017 at 08:05


Zip Archive - 977.00 bytes - 03/03/2016 at 15:10


  • 1
    Step 1

    The linear stage:

    Dimensions: 35x35x13 mm

    Translational range: ±4 mm

    Precision: M3 screws has a pitch of 0.5 mm, so 1/8th of a turn corresponds to 0.0625 mm of translation.


    • 40mm M3 screw
    • 4 M3 hexnuts
    • One bicycle spoke
    • Two springs from ballpoint pens

    Print the top and bottom parts. Melt the two inner hexnuts into the plastic:

    Cut the two springs in half (or other suitable size). Cut the bike spoke (so it's sharp) and assemble everything.

    The linear stage shouldn't exhibit any free play.

    OpenSCAD files

  • 2
    Step 2

    2. The square kinematic mirror mount

    Mirror dimensions are 18x26mm

    Download the file.

    Additional components are:

    • 1 steel ball bearing (Ø = 4mm)
    • 2 tension springs ()
    • 2 M3 dome nuts
    • 4 M2 screws (or possibly M1.5 - I don't remember)
    • 2 M3 12mm screws, 4 M3 hexnuts
    • 1 paper clip (to attach the springs)

    Print the 3 parts and assemble. It should look like this:

View all instructions

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Michael Lynch wrote 04/19/2020 at 20:24 point

I've recently started 3D printing my own optomechanics as well. It's such a good idea that I was surprised I hadn't heard of others doing it until I ran into this project. If you want some other inspiration I know Thorlabs let's you download Solidworks files of all their optomechanics. I have access to Solidworks thru my university so it's easy for me to convert those to .stls, but I don't know how else you can do it. One of the most useful things I've printed is a breadboard. Here is one on thingiverse:

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Andrew Ferguson wrote 03/06/2016 at 16:59 point

Thank you for the spectrometer details. I'll keep an eye out for your builds. 

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Andrew Ferguson wrote 03/05/2016 at 20:59 point

Yes, I found that in the Michelson. It was actually easy to get a quite precisely steerable mirror mount using machine screws and springs. Also I am keen to build a VIS spectrometer and to try to get good resolution, say 1 nm (if one was happy with less, the Hamamatsu C12666MA would be the way to go). Was going to build  a crossed Czeny-Turner but seems like the BOM ends up being significant with the mirrors and grating. Probably you are going beyond the DVD grating approach too, do you have a design in mind? 

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esben rossel wrote 03/05/2016 at 23:10 point

I intend to make very cheap one with a DVD-transmission grating, and another with proper reflective grating. Both will have old 50mm camera optics  on either side of the grating and as few degrees of freedom as possible with regards to the optical pathway. It will probably be variations of this design (that I don't know the name of):

I have some spherical mirrors lying around so I might play with those too, but unless the above proves very impractical, that's the way I'm going.

(and in the far future I would like to look into spatial heterodyne spectrometers)

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Andrew Ferguson wrote 03/05/2016 at 07:54 point

This is interesting Esben - I look forward to seeing your optical builds. I guess you are working towards your Raman spectrometer. Cheerio, Andrew

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esben rossel wrote 03/05/2016 at 08:47 point

Thanks. Yes that is the plan. In the assembly and alignment of the spectrometer I've come to realize how convenient it is to have movable parts. After the Raman spectrometer I intend to make at least two VIS-spectrometers - one of them suitable for integrating in the classroom. Hopefully spectrometers will be less of a black box for my students then.

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