X-Y table

A cross table (also: XY table or cross support ) is a two-way system consisting of two single-axis linear guide systems, the movement of an object in two directions within a plane possible.

Design and function

The two guides of the cross table lay the movement directions determined in the X and Y directions. They are incorporated crossed, here in the blue part. The angular offset is usually exactly 90 degrees. There are also cross tables, where this angle is adjustable, they are called pivot table. The red machine table carrying the workpiece to bearbeitene and can occupy any position in the XY plane by the interplay of the two axes, as long as the position is in the range of movement possibilities of the guides. We speak in terms of this limit also from the working space or travel.

The final drive of such a construction can be realized via motor-driven ball screws, other screws or linear motors.


Machine Tools

A stage can be an integral part of a machine tool, or be installed as optional extra.

Measuring systems

Also measuring systems can be equipped with a mechanical stage. Thus, the measuring arrangement for testing the surface of optical components with certain optical test method shall be adjustable over a wide path reproducible in the micrometer range.


In accordance fine mechanical design, a cross table is also a component of light microscopes. He serves with the help of two very fine working set screws exact and jerk-free positioning of the object to be observed under the lens. A scale on the cross table also allows you to find specific image details.

Cross tables are found primarily in modern, high-quality microscopes for professional use in research. Because of these properties, it has prevailed in this area compared to other solutions, such as the particularly widespread in the hobby sector fixed tables, in which the displacement of the object is done by hand.