Long-Travel Vertical Translation Stages

  • Stages with 4" (101.6 mm) or 10" (254 mm) Travel
  • Recommended Load Capacity of 50 lbs (23 kg)
  • Dynamically Damped Post Construction
  • Quick-Release Feature for Coarse Adjustment


4" Travel

Quick-Release Button


10" Travel

Locking Handle


Back View

Locking Pin and Chain

Related Items

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Item # VAP4(/M) VAP10(/M)
Travel Range 4" (101.6 mm) 10" (254 mm)
Adjustment per Revolution 0.05" (1.27 mm)
Load Capacity 50 lbs (23 kg)
Maximum Momenta 150 in-lbs (16.9 N•m)
Stabilityb ≤15 µrad Drift Over 6 Hours
Linearity >90%
Weight 8.6 lbs (3.9 kg) 11.0 lbs (5.0 kg)
  • With Respect to the Mounting Plate
  • Measured with No Load and the Mounting Plate Locked in Position


  • 4" (101.6 mm) or 10" (254 mm) of Vertical Travel
  • Maximum Moment of 150 in-lbs (16.9 N•m)
  • Quick-Release Button for Coarse Positioning
  • Quick-Release Locking Pin
  • C15QR Handles to Lock Stage Position

Thorlabs' Long Travel Vertical Translation Stages have been developed to accurately position optomechanical systems with moments as high as 150 in-lbs (16.9 N•m) at a recommended load of 50 lbs (23 kg). These stages are constructed using dynamically damped Ø1.5" posts to minimize mechanical vibration and ringing, making them ideal for alignment-sensitive applications.

Click to Enlarge

VAP4 Stage Supporting an Aluminum Breadboard and an Optical System

The VAP4(/M) and VAP10(/M) Vertical Stages allow for 4" (101.6 mm) or 10" (254 mm) of translation, respectively. The fine adjustment knob on the top of each stage can be actuated by hand or with a 3/16" (5 mm) hex key or balldriver to achieve a motion of 0.05" (1.27 mm) per revolution. The torque required to actuate the fine adjustment knob increases with the load on the stage. For coarse adjustment over a long travel range, the stage features a quick-release button. Holding down the button disengages the stage from the lead screw and allows the position of the mounting plate to be adjusted by hand.

A pin attached to the back of the stage by a ball chain can be placed in a quick-release lock to prevent the use of the coarse adjustment feature. We recommend keeping this locking pin engaged at all times except for when using the coarse adjustment. Both the quick-release button and the locking pin can be seen in the image above. Two bumpers on the base plate of the stage help to minimize damage if the mounting platform is dropped during coarse adjustment with the quick-release mechanism. Once the required stage height has been set, two included C15QR handles can be used to lock the post clamps holding the mounting plate for extra stability.

The translating vertical 3" x 6" (76.2 mm x 152.4 mm) mounting plate has an array of thirty-three 1/4"-20 (M6) and thirty-one 8-32 (M4) tapped holes. An Aluminum Breadboard can be attached to this plate using 90° mounting adapters (such as the AP90 or AB90), as shown in the photo to the left. The base plate of the stage features six linear counterbored slots and one counterbored hole for 1/4" (M6) mounting hardware. In addition, two counterbored 1/4" (M6) slots on a Ø2.00" (50 mm) circle are provided for rotational positioning. For other high load vertical translation applications, we also offer a selection of Lab Jacks.

Posted Comments:
user  (posted 2021-10-28 19:14:39.893)
Will a quarter turn give a vertical displacement of (1.27 \ 4) mm ?
YLohia  (posted 2021-12-23 11:14:01.0)
Yes, a quarter turn would yield a displacement of (Adjustment per revolution / 4) = 0.3175 mm.
Brian Patton  (posted 2021-08-02 12:23:08.183)
We are using two of these units to raise and lower a microscope stage for sample loading and then imaging. They are performing very well and we have been very happy with them in general. However, the mass being supported means that some of the smaller team members can't use the quick release function without risking dropping the stage and the turn-screw is very laborious to run by hand while avoiding the risk of raising one side more than the other and locking the stage in position by accident. Is there a way in which we could remove the upper knob to allow us to replace it with a pulley for a belt drive system? We could then use appropriate stepper motors to raise and lower the stage.
cdolbashian  (posted 2021-08-19 04:10:06.0)
Thank you for reaching out to us here at Thorlabs! We do not recommend motorizing this unit: excessive speed could lead to accelerated wear on the lead screw and nut which can in turn lead to a failure of the unit. This has not been tested and Thorlabs cannot be held responsible for any damage or injury as a result of modifying this part. I have contacted you directly to discuss this further.
er  (posted 2017-11-16 14:22:06.67)
Is it possible to turn the base plate 180 degrees? So that if you mount something on the stage you can move it all the way down without touching the base? Is it possible to have it longer the stage ? (maybe 350mm or more?)
tfrisch  (posted 2017-11-20 04:39:22.0)
Hello, thank you for contacting Thorlabs. Flipping the mounting base is possible, we've offered this as a custom several times before. As for the longer travel, that would be limited by the lead screw. Unfortunately, we are currently limited to 10" travel. I will reach out to you directly to discuss your application.
fgr  (posted 2016-08-24 10:45:48.987)
Hej You name a max. moment of 16.9 Nm in the specs. For my calculations: Where do I have to apply it? 1) Where the posts touch the base-plate? 2) On the mounting plate? Thanks!
tcampbell  (posted 2016-08-24 02:53:18.0)
Response from Tim at Thorlabs: Thank you for your question. The moment load is measured from the mounting plate, not the base of the posts. We have updated the web with this information.
konstantin.sukharnikov  (posted 2016-07-27 06:26:00.097)
Dear Sir or Madam Is it possible to have a vacuum compatible (10^(-8) mBar) version of this stage?

Manual Linear Translation Stages

Thorlabs' manual translation stages are offered in a range of maximum travel distances, from less than 1/4" (6 mm) to 2" (50 mm) and longer for our long travel, large area platforms. Many of these stages can be ordered in multi-axis configurations, providing XY or XYZ translation. For fiber coupling applications, please see our Multi-Axis Stages, which offer finer adjustment than our standard manual translation stages. In addition to linear translation stages, we offer rotation stages, pitch and yaw platforms, and goniometers. We also offer motorized translation stages that are powered by DC Servo motors, stepper motors, or direct drive technology.

Crossed-Roller Bearing Stages

These linear translation stages feature crossed-roller bearing travel mechanisms for precision motion, high load capacity, and low angular deviation. The LNR Series stages feature all-steel body construction, while the LX, XRN, and XR Series stage bodies are constructed of cast tool and jig aluminum. We also offer several vertical crossed-roller bearing stages (see below).

Crossed-Roller Bearing Stages
Product Family LNR Series 25 mm Stages LX Series 25 mm
XRN Series 25 mm Stages XR Series 25 mm Stages XR Series 50 mm Stages LNR Series 50.8 mm Stages
Click Photo
to Enlarge
Travel 25 mm (0.98") 25 mm (0.98") 25 mm (0.98") 25 mm (0.98") 50 mm (1.97") 50.8 mm (2")
Drive Type Multiple Micrometer Micrometer Micrometer Micrometer Multiple
Platform Size 2.34" x 2.36"
(59.4 mm x 60.0 mm)
2.56" x 2.56"
(65.0 mm x 65.0 mm)
2.00" x 3.35"
(50.7 mm x 85.0 mm)
2.98" x 4.33"
(75.7 mm x 110.0 mm)
2.98" x 5.51"
(75.7 mm x 140.0 mm)
3.94" x 3.94"
(100.0 mm x 100.0 mm)
Possible Axis
Additional Details

Ball Bearing Stages

These translation stages feature hardened steel linear bearings for precise motion and long life. They are available with a variety of actuators and in single-axis or preassembled multi-axis configurations.

Ball Bearing Stages
Product Family MS Series 1/4" Stages T12 Series 1/2" Stages MT Series 1/2" Stages PT Series 1" Stages LT Series 2" Stages
Click Photo to Enlarge
Travel 1/4" (6.4 mm) 1/2" (12.7 mm) 1/2" (12.7 mm) 1" (25.4 mm) 2" (50 mm)
Drive Type Multiple Thumbscrew Multiple Multiple Differential Micrometer
Platform Size 1.17" x 1.17"
(29.7 mm x 29.7 mm)
0.76" x 0.81"
(19.3 mm x 20.6 mm)
2.40" x 2.41"
(61.0 mm x 61.2 mm)
3.00" x 4.00"
(76.2 mm x 101.6 mm)
3.75" x 3.75"
(95.3 mm x 95.3 mm)
Possible Axis Configurations X, XY, XYZ X, XY, XYZ X, XY, XYZ X, XY, XYZ X, XY, XYZ
Additional Details

Dovetail Stages

These compact stages incorporate dovetails and a leadscrew for the translation mechanism. They are suitable in general purpose motion control applications.

Dovetail Stages
Product Family DT Series 1/2" Stages DTS Series 1" Stages
(Vacuum-Compatible Version Available)
DTS Series 2" Stage
Click Photo to Enlarge
Travel 1/2" (12.7 mm) 1" (25 mm) 2" (50 mm)
Drive Type Thumbscrew Thumbscrew Thumbscrew
Platform Size 1.00" x 1.00" (25.4 mm x 25.4 mm) 2.68" x 2.95" (68.0 mm 75.0 mm) 2.68" x 3.74" (68.0 mm x 95.0 mm)
Possible Axis Configurations X, XY, XYZ X, XY, XYZa X, XY, XYZ
Additional Details
  • The DTSA03 anodized angle bracket designed for XYZ configurations may also be used with the DTS25V(/M) vacuum-compatible stages; however, the DTSA03 is not vacuum-compatible.
  • The 1" (25 mm) travel DTS Series features an anodized DTS25(/M) stage and a DTS25V(/M) stage that is vacuum-compatible down to 10-6 Torr.

Flexure Stages

Thorlabs' Nanoflex™ translation stages feature frictionless flexure mechanisms for improved positioning and resolution when compared to similar stages made using bearings. The translation of the stage is accomplished by the elastic deformation (flexing) of a linkage attached to the mounting platform. Most models also include piezo actuators for small position adjustments.

Flexure Stages
Product Family Nanoflex™ 1.5 mm Stage Nanoflex™ 5 mm Stages
Click Photo to Enlarge
Travel 1.5 mm (0.06") + 25 µm Piezo 5 mm (0.20") 5 mm (0.20") + 20 µm Piezo
Drive Type Thumbscrew and Piezo Actuator Differential Micrometer Differential Micrometer and
Open-Loop Piezo Actuator
Differential Micrometer and
Closed-Loop Piezo Actuator
Platform Size 1.18" x 1.18" (30.0 mm x 30.0 mm) 2.95" x 2.95" (75.0 mm x 75.0 mm)
Possible Axis Configurations X, XY, XYZ X, XY, XYZ X, XY, XYZ X, XY, XYZ
Additional Details

Vertical Stages

We offer vertical translation stages with crossed-roller bearings for precise motion as well as long travel vertical stages for heavy-duty applications.

Vertical Stages
Product Family XRN Series 9 mm Vertical Stage XR Series 14 mm Vertical Stage MVS Series 1/2" Vertical Stage MVS Series 1" Vertical Stage VAP Series 4" Vertical Stage VAP Series 10" Vertical Stage
Click Photo to Enlarge
Travel 9.0 mm (0.35") 14.0 mm (0.55") 1/2" (13.0 mm) 1" (25.0 mm) 4" (101.6 mm) 10" (254 mm)
Drive Type Worm-Gear Driven Lift Screw Micrometer Adjuster Knob and Coarse Manual Positioning
Platform Size 2.00" x 2.00"
(50.7 mm x 50.7 mm)
2.98" x 2.98"
(75.7 mm x 75.7 mm)
2.36" x 2.36" (60.0 mm x 60.0 mm) 3.00" x 6.00" (76.2 mm 152.4 mm)
Additional Details
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Long-Travel Vertical Translation Stages

Based on your currency / country selection, your order will ship from Newton, New Jersey  
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Imperial Price Available
VAP4 Support Documentation
VAP44" Travel Vertical Translation Stage, 8-32 and 1/4"-20 Taps
VAP10 Support Documentation
VAP1010" Travel Vertical Translation Stage, 8-32 and 1/4"-20 Taps
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Metric Price Available
VAP4/M Support Documentation
VAP4/M101.6 mm Travel Vertical Translation Stage, M4 and M6 Taps
VAP10/M Support Documentation
VAP10/M254 mm Travel Vertical Translation Stage, M4 and M6 Taps
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Right-Angle Mounting Adapters

  • Attach Aluminum Breadboards to our VAP4(/M) or VAP10(/M) Vertical Stages
  • One-Piece Aluminum Construction for Excellent Rigidity
  • Parallel and Perpendicular to Within 0.002" (0.05 mm)

The AP90(/M) and AB90 Right-Angle Adapters are ideal for mounting aluminum breadboards on the VAP4(/M) and VAP10(/M) Vertical Translation Stages. The AP90(/M) plate provides four 1/4"-20 (M6) clearance slots, seven 1/4"-20 (M6) tapped holes, and two 1/4"-20 (M6) counterbores on one face. The other face contains two 1.30" (34 mm) long, 1/4"-20 (M6) clearance slots and two 1/4"-20 (M6) counterbores for attaching it to the mounting plate of these stages. The AB90 Right-Angle Bracket has two counterbored slots at 90° for 1/4" (M6) mounting hardware.

For alternative 90° mounting options, please see our full selection of 90° Mounting Adapters. We also offer 45° and 30°/60° mounting plates.

Based on your currency / country selection, your order will ship from Newton, New Jersey  
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Imperial Price Available
AP90 Support Documentation
AP90Right-Angle Mounting Plate, 1/4"-20 Compatible
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Universal Price Available
AB90 Support Documentation
AB90Right-Angle Bracket with Counterbored Slots
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Metric Price Available
AP90/M Support Documentation
AP90/MRight-Angle Mounting Plate, M6 x 1.0 Compatible