In this study, a precision motion stage, whose design utilizes a single shaft supported from the bottom by an air bearing and voice coil actuators in complementary double configuration, is evaluated for its dynamic properties, motion accuracy, and potential machining force response, through modal testing, laser interferometric metrology, and spectral analysis, respectively. Modal testing is carried out using two independent methods, which are both based on impact hammer testing. Results are compared with each other and with the predicted natural frequencies based on design calculations. Laser interferometry has been used with varying optics to measure the geometric errors of motion. Laser interferometry results are merged with measured servo errors, estimated thermal errors, and the predicted dynamic response to machining forces, to compile the error budget. Overall accuracy of the stage is calculated as peak-to-valley 5.7 μm with a 2.3 μm non-repeatable part. The accuracy measured is in line with design calculations which incorporated the accuracy grade of the encoder scale and the dimensional tolerances of structural components. The source of the non-repeatable errors remains mostly equivocal, as they fall in the range of random errors of measurement in laser interferometry like alterations of the laser wavelength due to air turbulence.
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