Focus Modules

M3-FS and M3-F focus modules enable smaller instruments

M3-FS focus modules add high-resolution lens motion, with excellent dynamic stability, to the smallest embedded optical systems in handheld and portable instruments.

Each module is a complete closed-loop motion solution – including embedded controller – and requires no more space than a typical fixed lens mount. Very low power is needed to move the lens and zero power is needed to hold the lens in any position, making the M3-FS ideal for battery-powered devices.

M3-FS Focus Modules

M3 Focus Modules add precision focus to cameras in miniaturized instruments. They accept a 3.3V supply and simple high-level commands from your system processor. No external control board is needed.

M3-F Focus Modules

M3 Focus Modules incorporate a piezoelectric SQUIGGLE micro motor, built-in controller, position sensors and microprocessor on one tiny package.

News: Vibration, stability and lifetime test

News: M3-FS focus module with commercial lens tests successfully for dynamic stability, vibration and lifetime in an industrial robotics application. Read more

Advantages

  • Tiny “all-in-one” solution – No external control board needed
  • Superior image quality – Sub-micron lens movement with very low tilt. The M3-FS has higher dynamic stability
  • Low voltage & power – 3.3 VDC input, zero power position hold
  • Simple system integration – Accepts high-level motion commands directly from your system processor over standard serial interface (I2C or SPI)
  • Flexible, production-ready system – Accepts M8 to M16 lenses & compatible with typical image formats from 1/3” to 1/1.8”
  • Lowest cost, fastest time to market – Fully-engineered “plug and play” solution

 

All-in-one module, simple integration

All M3 smart modules have embedded closed-loop control. No external control board is needed. They take simple high-level motion commands directly from the camera processor, making system integration fast, simple and cost-effective.

Precise lens position control (0.5 µm resolution) and best-in-class bi-directional repeatability enable you to capture the sharpest images in the shortest time. Designed for long life with high performance, M3 modules are not susceptible to temperature or power variations.

New improved dynamic stability and precision

The M3-FS focus module is a drop-in replacement for the original M3-F focus module. The aluminum structure and innovative ball bearing guide mechanism deliver a 3x improvement in tilt and accuracy. The M3-FS features superior dynamic stability, minimizing pixel shift with changing camera orientation. This makes it ideal for miniature handheld, portable and mobile systems. Maximum lens diameter is M16.

The original M3-F focus module, with molded polymer construction and a pin-bushing guide, remains an economical choice for lower precision requirements or fixed camera positions. Maximum lens diameter is M12. 

Applications

Improve performance of high-resolution cameras in miniaturized systems including handheld, portable and mobile instruments.  Applications include in-vitro diagnostics, robotic inspection, miniature microscopes, surveillance, remote sensing,  biometric identification,  imaging arrays, process control, machine vision,  guidance, targeting and UAVs.

Developer’s Kits

The developer’s kit includes an M3-FS or M3-F focus module that you can control from your PC using our New Scale Pathway™ Software. This provides a simple and powerful platform for easy evaluation of the module as well as for your system development. You can interface directly to the module via its serial interface for prototyping.

The M3 modules in the developer’s kits can accept a broad range of lenses and accommodate image sensors up to 17 x 17 mm including 1/2″ and 1/1.8″ formats.  (The lens and image sensor are NOT included in the kit.) For lens recommendations and guidelines for determining your image sensor and lens compatibility, please read the design note “Checking Optical and Imager Geometry”.

M3-FS and M3-F Developer’s Kits provide convenient engineering evaluation and demonstration of focus in your system.

See the video

New Scale Pathway™ software lets you easily evaluate the micro stages and validate your embedded software. Control multiple smart stages from one PC screen.

M3-F focus modules are easily integrated with your camera board and lens, and take up no more space than a fixed lens holder.

See the video

Ordering Information

M3-FS high-performance

M3-FS Developer’s Kit

DK-M3-FS-1.8-1.5-M12/16

Includes the high-performance M3-FS-1.8-1.5-M16 focus module with ball bearing guide. USB adapter, M16 to M12 lens adapter, cables, instructions and New Scale Pathway™ software. (Lens not included)

Please contact us for volume pricing or for individual components:

M3-FS-1.8-1.5-M16
M3-FS Smart Focus Module
For M16x1 threaded lens (lens not included)

M3-FS-1.8-1.5-M12
M3-FS Smart Focus Module 
With adapter for M12x0.5 threaded lens (lens not included)

Kit, M3-FS-M16 to M12 adapter
Converts M16x1 threaded bore to M12x0.5

 

M3-F Original

M3-F Developer's Kit

DK-M3F-1.8-TRK-1.5-S

Includes one original M3-F Focus Module with pin-bushing guide, USB adapter (SPI), cables, instructions and New Scale Pathway software. (Lens not included.)

Please contact us for volume pricing or for individual components:

M3-F
Original M3-F Smart Focus Module
For M12x0.5 threaded lens (lens not included)

 

Specifications

Model M3-FS Original M3-F
Data Sheet Download data sheet with drawings (PDF) Download data sheet with drawings (PDF)
Lens type(lens not included) M16x1mm
Accepts M12x0.5mm with standard adapter. Other sizes by special order
M12x0.5mm
Accepts smaller lenses (to M8x0.35) with adapter by special order
Lens weight (note 1) < 5 grams (all orientations) < 5 grams
Travel range up to 1.5 mm up to 1.5 mm
Housing dimensions 20 x 23 x 16 mm including controller 20 x 22 x 16 mm including controller
Max image sensor area (image sensor not included) 17 x 17 mm (see drawing) 17 x 17 mm (see drawing)
Max. speed 5 mm/s 5 mm/s
Resolution 0.5 μm 0.5 μm
Repeatability Uni-directional: +/- 2.5 μm
Bi-directional: +/- 5 μm
Uni-directional: +/- 8 μm
Bi-directional: +/- 20 μm
Linear accuracy +/- 12 μm +/- 30 μm
Static tilt <  +/- 0.7 degree <  +/- 1 degree
Dynamic tilt <  +/- 0.05 degree <  +/- 0.15 degree
Static concentricity <  +/- 0.25 mm <  +/- 0.25 mm
Dynamic concentricity <  +/- 0.002 mm typical <  +/- 0.02 mm
Digital interface I2C or SPI I2C or SPI
Input voltage  3.1 to 3.6 VDC  3.1 to 3.6 VDC
Input power (note 2) < 1 Watt (5mm/s with 5g mass) < 1 Watt (5mm/s with 5g mass)
< 0.13 Watts quiescent < 0.13 Watts quiescent
Temperature and humidity (note 3) 5°C to 70°C (lower possible)   5°C to 70°C (lower possible)
<70% relative humidity non-condensing <70% relative humidity non-condensing
Lifetime(note 4) >10 million random moves while not exceeding 1.2 km total travel (See note 4) >2 million cycles (fixed orientation) or 500,000 cycles (random orientation)
Weight of module(without lens) 8 grams 5.8 grams
Compliance CE, RoHS CE, RoHS
Control interface Via USB adapter from PC or directly via I2C or SPI  Via USB adapter from PC or directly via I2C or SPI 
Controller embedded embedded
Note 1: Fixed orientation may allow for heavier lens operation. Please consult the factory.
Note 2: Power depends on input voltage, speed & load.
Note 3: Consult the factory for lower temperature requirements.
Note 4: M3-FS specification corresponds to 10 million moves with average random move of 120 µm. Lifetime depends on application and use case. Please consult factory to discuss your specific system design.

Integration

System integration

No external controller is needed. M3 modules accept simple high-level motion commands directly from the camera processor, making system integration fast, simple and cost-effective.

The application note M3 focus modules in embedded vision system design describes the use of the M3-FS and M3-F module in camera systems. It includes module details, comparison to other focus techniques, block diagrams and integration information, and discussion of bi-directional vs. uni-directional repeatability and other performance considerations.

Read the Application Note

Lens installation and alignment

Install your lens using the threaded inside diameter of the M3 module. The M3-FS accepts a maximum M16 diameter lens, or an M12 lenses with a standard adapter. Smaller lenses may be feasible depending on the optical design. The M3-F accepts a maximum M12 lens directly.

For typical camera integration, “active alignment” is required to align the optical centerline of the lens orthogonal to the image sensor by moving the M3 module and lens as a single assembly.

After alignment, the base of the module is typically secured to the image sensor board using shims, adhesive and screws.  The lens back focal distance is then set by rotating the lens in the threads and securing it with a small amount of adhesive in the threads.

Download CAD files, software and programming guide

Learn more

The M3 Smart Module Platform

M3 Smart Modules integrate a piezoelectric SQUIGGLE® micro motor, precision mechanical guide system, position sensor, microprocessor, and drive electronics into one tiny package. Eliminating the need for external controllers, they offer the smallest system size and easiest integration into OEM systems.

Learn more about the M3 Platform

Custom Engineering

We use our configurable M3 Smart Module platform to develop customized focus modules to meet your exact specifications including longer travel, custom lens interface, mounting requirements and unique environmental considerations. We also develop full-custom micro motion systems. Ask us about a motion system feasibility study, the first step to faster, lower-risk product development.

Learn more about custom engineering services

You may also consider our other imaging solutions including UTAF modules for micro camera applications.

Contact us today to discuss your focus requirements.