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Design and Theory

Lead screws are a precise, cost-effective tool for positioning light to medium loads along a linear axis.

How do lead screws work? 

Lead screws are similar, in many ways, to a nut and a bolt. But instead of trying to fasten things together, lead screws are used for moving things back and forth. Of course, the thread of the nut and the screw are specially optimized for linear motion use. But the concept is the same. A nut running on a screw. Simple, effective and useful.

Lead screws are sometimes called ACME screws

"Lead screw" is a generic term referring to any threaded drive screw using sliding surfaces to transmit a load.

"ACME" is a term that refers to a particular thread form. All ACME screws are also lead screws, but not all lead screws are ACME screws. The ACME thread standard is accompanied by specific classes such as 2G, 3G, 2C etc., which have slightly different tolerances. ACME thread forms can be easily checked using readily available thread gauges. The ACME thread standard is designed for interchangeability and manufacturability.

Most lead screws used for linear motion are proprietary thread forms and not made to the ACME standard.

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