Drives for optical systems

Capture the light.

From making bacteria visible to the human eye to revealing the wonders in the vastness of outer space, optical systems from the field of photonics, such as microscopy, laser technology, machine vision, sensors, and analytics, need reliable drives which perform each movement with the highest precision. 

Precision drive systems

Optics and precision belong together.

Regardless of whether a microscope, night vision device, or a huge space telescope, optical systems have sensitive components inside them. Drives which move with micrometer precision are not good enough here. Heat development, vibration, and noise must be practically non-existent. These complex, technical challenges are mastered by drives from maxon:

Highest precision and reliability

High power density

Compact design with minimal weight

Long service life

Smooth running

Dynamic, highly precision positioning, even with multi-axis trajectories

Solutions for optical systems.

Capturing light requires complex mechanical devices. The extremely high precision of drives from maxon enables their successful use in various optical applications.


To get a consistent view of an object in space, for example, a telescope must move steadily and without jerking. This is compounded by practical aspects, since trouble-free, continuous operation is decisive for success in research stations on Earth or in space due to the difficulty or impossibility of maintenance work. 

Infrared optics and residual light amplifiers

Making invisible light visible: Thermal imaging cameras, infrared photo detectors, and night vision devices use electromagnetic waves for imaging. For this, electric micro drives need to move lenses, apertures, filters, and caps into position precisely and quickly.

Camera applications

maxon drive systems ensure lightning-fast pictures and filter changes in digital cameras, SLR cameras, or camera gimbals.


A good microscope not only needs first-class precision optics, but also precision-engineered components that provide high accuracy, robustness, freedom from maintenance, and durability.


Micromotor for high tension.

The Leica S-System combines the image quality of a medium-sized camera with the handling, speed, and flexibility of a small-format camera. Inside the camera, a specially developed maxon motor with a high-precision overrunning clutch performs accurate work – with a service life of more than 100 000 resolutions.

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Corporate Blog

Success stories

Our drive components are used in optical systems, research, science, and art.
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hetgal_full_primarymaxon Story

The dark energy of the universe.

The HETDEX project is the first major attempt to find "dark energy" in the universe. With special spectrographs, the three-dimensional positions of one million galaxies are recorded. In the summer of 2012, the Hobby-Eberly Telescope will start scanning the universe – aided by maxon motors every step of the way.
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Royal Shakespeare Company/ Ellie Kurttzmaxon Story

Shakespeare in a new Light

Since 2011 audiences can see plays in a whole new light after a literally revolutionary development in theatre lighting with flat, brushless motors playing a leading role.
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Fotolia_39322202_XLmaxon Story

Please smile with maxon motors

Digital SLR cameras can deliver extremely sharp photos – regardless of whether the photo-grapher is a professional or a hobbyist. Not only does the skill of the photographer, but also the technology inside the camera play a key role. maxon drive systems help to create lightning-fast images.
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Configurator and shop

For us, a batch size of 1 is nothing out of the ordinary.

The maxon online configurator allows our customers to combine a motor, gearhead, and encoder into a specific drive and send the order directly to production. Prices are displayed in real time, and once the configuration is complete, 2D as well as 3D engineering data can be accessed directly. The digital model can immediately be integrated into the customer’s application. The delivery time is usually 11 days.

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We bring light into the darkness for you.

Our optical systems experts will be happy to help you.