Compact Linear Systems

January 18, 2023
Compact Linear Motion Systems Bring Modularity to Small-Space Application Development

Thomson Industries, Inc., a leading manufacturer of linear motion control solutions, has introduced a family of compact linear systems that makes it easier for motion designers to implement complex applications in small spaces. Designers needing thrust and bearing support in a single, compact unit now have the flexibility to build such applications with versatile, time-tested components from Thomson.

"As demand for smaller-scale applications grows, so does the challenge of packing high functionality into a smaller footprint. Our new family of compact linear motion systems equips designers to meet those challenges by assembling world-renowned Thomson linear motion components, with the added option of real-time collaboration with one of our engineers,” said Matt Palmer, Product Line Specialist – Linear Motion Systems for Thomson.

In building a Thomson compact linear system, a designer can configure a unit or combination of units from a wide variety of components based on their specific application details. Components include, but are not limited to:

  • Integrated stepper motors
  • Lead screws
  • Profile rail linear guides
  • 60 Case® LinearRace® shafting
  • Linear Ball Bushing® bearings
  • End blocks

Many features can be customized, including screw diameters and leads, mounting holes and mounting configurations.

To enable engineers to take maximum advantage of such flexibility, Thomson offers an innovative new 3D modeling tool that optimizes their solution by revealing design tradeoffs in real time. The tool, in collaboration with a Thomson engineer, guides the designer in tailoring motor size, stroke length, and other variables to function most effectively within given load and space parameters.

The resulting designs go directly to the Thomson product CAD system, where the information is used to produce the prototype sent for testing. Because of such close user involvement during the design process, the number of design iterations is reduced, which, in turn, decreases the likelihood of mistakes being made.


Thomson compact linear systems are appropriate for applications requiring high-accuracy linear axes in confined spaces, such as 3D printers, microscope stage managers, medical pipetting systems and semiconductor manufacturing. They are available with NEMA motor sizes between 14 and 23; stroke lengths of up to 40 in (1000 mm); and load capacities up to 2091 lbs (9300 N).

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