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Standard Stepper Motor Linear Actuators

Actuator (MLA)

MLAs are a fully housed solution in which the motion is taken care of for you - simply determine stroke length, linear travel per step or revolution, and precision level to select an appropriate model.

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Rotating Screw (MLS)

MLS assemblies actuate by having the stepper motor rotate a lead screw and translate a load that is attached to the lead nut.

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Rotating Nut (MLN)

MLN assemblies actuate by rotating a nut within the stepper motor body. Motion is achieved by constraining the motor and translating a load attached to the lead screw or constraining the lead screw and translating a load attached to the stepper motor.

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Rotary Encoders Available as a Standard Option

Rotary Encoders Image

Rotary Encoders deliver real-time feedback about position, speed, direction and many other useful motion parameters.

Thomson offers pre-assembled encoders as a standard option on all stepper motor linear actuators.


Custom Stepper Motor Linear Actuator Options

Stepper Motor Linear Actuators Customization

Optimize your design with a custom stepper motor linear actuator solution.

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Combining cutting edge-motor and lead screw technologies, pre-engineered stepper motor linear actuators deliver compact linear motion to high-precision applications.

Why Thomson Stepper Motor Linear Actuators?

Thomson offers three basic configurations – rotating screw (MLS), rotating nut (MLN) and actuator (MLA). The open architecture rotating screw and rotating nut motorized lead screws suit applications where external guidance is present or a high level of design flexibility is required, while the closed assembly of the motorized lead screw actuator is ideal to further simplify the design process and remove requirements for external guidance.

Customization Options

Thomson routinely collaborates with original equipment manufacturers globally to solve problems, boost efficiency and enhance the value passed on to their customers. Our technology and application experience can be harnessed to help you go beyond standard products to fit the exact needs on your next product.

Where Can You Get Started?

Thomson provides extensive online resources to help you no matter where you may be in the purchase decision process:

Technical Articles

  • Leveraging Stepper Motor Linear Actuator Configurability

    When designers and integrators need simple, flexible and compact linear actuation, they often turn to stepper motor linear actuators (SMLAs). The high configurability of SMLAs is among their greatest virtues, but sorting through myriad configuration options to tailor the optimal solution for a particular application can be a challenge for even the most seasoned motion engineer. Understanding the unique capabilities and limitations of each type of SMLA will make it easier to take maximum advantage of their wide range of flexibility.

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  • Implementing Anti-Rotational Guidance for Stepper Motor Linear Actuators

    Integrating lead screws with stepper motors is a simple and cost-effective method of getting precise linear motion. But achieving that precision requires anti-rotational guidance, which must either be added externally by the user or designed in by the manufacturer. Determining which option makes sense for you requires an analysis of your need for a guidance system and weighing the advantages and disadvantages of each approach. 

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  • Reduce Your Linear Motion Assemblies to a Single Component with Motorized Lead Screw Actuators

    When it comes to specifying linear motion within a machine, system designers have many options from which to choose. Making the right choice can impact the ease of installation, footprint and cost of operation. A common driving mechanism for achieving linear motion is a stepper motor and externally supported lead screw-based assembly. A simpler, easier-to-install approach, however, is to select a drive mechanism with built-in guidance and support, thus removing the need for external components that would normally perform these functions and the complexity that comes with them.

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Stepper Motor Linear Actuator Specifications (Inch Units):

S = Rotating Screw (MLS), N = Rotating Nut (MLN), A = Actuator (MLA)
Linear Travel /
Full Step (μ in.)
Lead Designator
MLxX8 MLx11 MLx14, MLx17 MLx23
Diameter Designator [hundredths of in. diameter]
18 18 25 25 31 37 31 37 43 50
0.063² 0.013 0013     S,A¹³ S,N,A¹³ S¹³ S¹³ S,N¹³ S,N,A¹³   S¹³
0.125² 0.025 0025     S,A¹³ S,N,A¹³     S,N,A¹   S¹³
0.157 0.031 0031     S,A S,N,A     S,N,A¹    
0.165 0.033 0033                  
0.179 0.036 0036     S,A¹³ S,N,A¹³            
0.200 0.040 0040             S,N,A¹    
0.209 0.042 0042     S,A¹³ S,N,A¹³ S¹³ S¹³ S,N¹³ S,N,A¹³    
0.250 0.050 0050 S,A S,N S,A¹ S,N,A¹     S,N,A¹ S¹³ S¹³
0.313 0.063 0063     S,A¹ S,N,A¹   S   S,N,A  
0.357 0.071 0071     S,A¹ S,N,A¹            
0.394 0.079 0079     S,A¹ S,N,A¹     S,N,A¹    
0.417 0.083 0083         S S,N S,N,A¹    
0.490 0.098 0098                  
0.500 0.100 0100 S,A S,N       S   S,N,A  
0.591 0.118 0118     S,A¹ S,N,A¹            
0.625 0.125 0125 S,A¹ S,N¹ S,A S,N,A     S,N,A¹  
0.787 0.157 0157     S,A¹ S,N,A¹            
0.833 0.167 0.167         S S S,N S,N,A    
0.960 0.192 0.192     S,A¹ S,N,A¹            
1.000 0.200 0200 S,A S,N S,A¹ S,N,A¹     S,N,A¹  
1.180 0.236 0236                  
1.250 0.250 0250     S,A¹ S,N,A¹ S S S,N S,N,A
1.500 0.300 0.300             S,N,A¹    
1.665 0.333 0.333 S,A¹³ S,N¹³                
1.875 0.375 0.375 S,A¹³ S,N¹³         S,N,A¹    
2.000 0.400 0.400 S,A S,N                
2.500 0.500 0500 S,A¹³ S,N¹³ S,A S,N,A S S S,N S,N,A
3.750 0.750 0750     S,A¹³ S,N,A¹³   S¹³   S,N,A¹³    
4.000 0.800 0.800                   S¹³
5.000 1.000 1000         S,N³ S,N,A³   S¹³
6.000 1.200 1.200           S¹³   S,N,A¹³    
7.500 1.500 1.500                   S¹³

1. Some leads may not be available in high-performance nut material, rotating nut (MLN) configurations or some anti-backlash nuts. Contact Thomson for more detail.
2. Fine-pitched lead screws may have substantially lower load capacities compared to traditional lead screws.
3. Lead screw not available in precision grade accuracy (P)

Stepper Motor Linear Actuator Specifications (Metric Units):

S = Rotating Screw (MLS), N = Rotating Nut (MLN), A = Actuator (MLA)
Linear Travel /
Full Step (mm)
Lead Designator²
MLxX8 MLx11 MLx14, MLx17 MLx23
Diameter Designator
M04 M04 M06 M06 M08 M10 M08 M10 M12
3 0.6 006 (0024)     S,A¹ S,N,A¹          
5 1.0 010 (0039) S S,N S,A S,N,A          
6 1.2 012 (0047)     S,A¹ S,N,A¹          
10 2.0 020 (0079)         S S S,N S,N,A
15 3.0 030 (0118)           S   S,N,A
20 4.0 040 (0157) S S,N     S   S,N  
25 5.0 050 (0197)           S   S,N,A  
30 6.0 060 (0236)     S,A S,N,A     S,N,A¹
40 8.0 080 (0315) S,N³     S   S,N    
50 10.0 100 (0394)           S   S,N,A
60 12.0 120 (0472)     S,A S,N,A S S,N S,N,A¹  
75 15.0 150 (0591)                
80 16.0 160 (0630)                
90 18.0 180 (0709)     S,A¹³ S,N,A¹³          
100 20.0 200 (0787)         S S,N³ S,N,A  
125 25.0 250 (0984)                 S¹³
175 35.0 350 (1378)           S¹³   S,N,A¹³  
225 45.0 450 (1772)                 S¹³

1. Some leads may not be available in high-performance nut material, rotating nut (MLN) configurations or some anti-backlash nuts. Contact Thomson for more detail.
2. Lead designations for MLA are shown in parenthesis.
3. Lead screw not available in precision grade accuracy (P)

Stepper Motor Linear Actuator Highlights

  • Increased Torque Density
  • Improved Efficiency
  • Rotating Screw, Rotating Nut or Actuator
  • Custom Sizes/Leads Available
  • Taper Lock Advantage
  • Reduced Noise
  • Inch or Metric Versions

Stepper Motor Linear Actuator Applications

  • Medical Devices
  • X-Y Stages
  • 3D Printing
  • HVAC Control Valves
  • Pipetting Devices
  • CNC Machines
  • Fluid/Syringe Pumps
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CAD Models

Choose Your CAD Model:


MLA CAD model


MLS CAD model


MLN CAD model

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