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Reconstruct your old AFM dimension 3100

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keith1019 Posted: Mon, Apr 16 2012 5:35 AM

Did anybody try  remove the sample stage from the dimension 3100 indicated black arrow shown as below?

Since the instrument is from other department, I would like to reconstruct it without any permanent damage.


If yes, I would like to ask for help 


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meco replied on Mon, Apr 16 2012 6:01 AM

Hi there!

You shouldn't have any problems removing the stage. It's connected to the X-axis drive shaft by sort of white piece of plastic. There are four small screws that hold that piece of plastic to the drive shaft and another four that hold it to the stage itself. You can remove the screws (make sure you don't lose them) on the either side and take the stage off. The stage itself just slides on the granite slab on air cushion and it's held in place by vacuum when taking an image. That piece of plastic is the only linkage between the stage and the drive shaft. You can put it back quite easily.



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meco replied on Mon, Apr 16 2012 6:06 AM

Thinking of it now - the screws might be more than four on each side. At the bottom of your picture you can see a bit of that white plastic. You can take off the top (rotating) part of the sample stage just by pulling it up - just make sure you slide the stage away from the scanned and pull steadily with both hands. Then you'll see the screws connecting the white plastic to the stage.

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Yes, this is relatively easy. If you just need some extra room in Z, the top (rotatable) part of the chuck can be removed by pulling it upwards with the vacuum off (easiest if you bring the stage right to the front of the granite area and remove the scanner from the dovetail first).

If you need more room, or want to remove the stage entirely, this is also possible. Just below the bottom of your picture there are 3 cross head screws that go through a metal spacer and the white plastic tab connected to the chuck assembly and screw into the stage. if you remove these, the whole of the circular assembly can be removed. If you have room on your isolation table, you can just put the stage next to the microscope while it is disconnected. If not you will also need to disconnect the vacuum hose in the lower left of your picture using a small spanner (I can't remember the size, but it will be imperial, and the connector is brass, so quite soft - be careful not to round the flats off with a spanner that isn't exactly the correct size).

Just removing the stage should cause no damage whatsoever, however you should note that the stage assembly is designed to float above the granite base on an air bearing. This relies on the granite and the lower surface of the stage being smooth and free from dirt. If you scratch or damage either the base or the bottom of the stage assembly the air bearing may become ineffective and the stage may become less mechanically stable.

Hope that helps.


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