Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Choosing The Correct Actuator For Your Application



If you're looking for a micro linear actuator to suit your application you may have found the options a little overwhelming. Under the Actuonix brand, there are 6 unique micro actuator lines. These lines feature strokes ranging from 10mm through to 300mm, forces between 2-67lbs and five different control options.

micro linear actuator control


As of today (July 2017), there are 164 unique products in the Actuonix family, and we have just received prototypes of a new line that will come available soon. Why do we offer so many choices? It's simple really, we want to have an off-the-shelf solution for as many customers as possible.

Frankly, it can be confusing to understand how to choose the right product for your application. That's what this article is for. I'm going to walk you through the different lines and control options and help you make the right decision for your project.

Choosing how you're going to control a linear actuator

This is where you should start when choosing a micro linear actuator. Our products come in five control options: S series, P series, R series, I series and NXT

S Series 

The S series is the simplest actuator that we offer. They are a simple 2-wire device and are controlled by reversing the polarity on the 2 wires. These are available in 12V input, and some of our models are also available in 6V input.

The 12V S series is ideal for automotive projects where 12V power is readily available. They're perfect for applications where you want to control the your linear actuator with a button or rocker switch or a wireless remote control. S series actuators are also great for home projects when used in conjunction with a power supply of the correct voltage for the device.

P Series

The P series actuator was designed to be used in conjunction with our linear actuator control board. When you use the P series actuator with the LAC board you get easy control of the stroke end points, sensitivity and actuator speed. The LAC board has 5 input modes that allow you to operate the actuator with your computer via our LAC software, radio control, PWM, 0-3.3V or 4-20mA.

P series actuators are perfect for testing and prototyping as well as other applications where you want to experiment with different stroke lengths and speeds. It allows you to easily experiment with different settings on the fly saving you the expense and hassle of having custom products designed.

R Series

The R series linear servo features the same 3-wire design as RC rotary servos. They are a plug and play replacement for rotary servos. R series products are ideal for RC and arduino applications. It is possible to run one R series actuator directly off of an arduino board. This makes them a great choice for Robotics enthusiasts and hobbyists.

I Series

The Actuonix I Series of micro linear actuators feature an embedded internal position controller  that allows you to send position commands  that it will follow. It is capable of accepting voltage, current or RC input and are available in 6V or 12V models.

Lego Actuators*

Our EV3 line of linear actuators for Lego are built off of the popular L12 platform. They feature custom mounting points that are compatible with Mindstorms, Power Functions and Technic Lego kits. These actuators are popular for custom Lego projects such as bridge builders, cranes, forklifts and much more.

We are proud to offer more micro actuators than anybody else in the industry. Whether you're a product designer for a medical company or a hobbyist building with arduino, there is a control option to suit your project.

For more information on our control options please don't hesitate to give us a call.

*We are not affiliated with Lego and they do not endorse our products.
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