An apparatus and method is disclosed for ultra-precision positioning. A slide base provides a foundational support. A slide plate moves with respect to the slide base along a first geometric axis. Either a ball-screw or a piezoelectric actuator working separate or in conjunction displaces the slide plate with respect to the slide base along the first geometric axis. A linking device directs a primary force vector into a center-line of the ball-screw. The linking device consists of a first link which directs a first portion of the primary force vector to an apex point, located along the center-line of the ball-screw, and a second link for directing a second portion of the primary force vector to the apex point. A set of rails, oriented substantially parallel to the center-line of the ball-screw, direct movement of the slide plate with respect to the slide base along the first geometric axis and are positioned such that the apex point falls within a geometric plane formed by the rails. The slide base, the slide plate, the ball-screw, and the linking device together form a slide assembly. Multiple slide assemblies can be distributed about a platform. In such a configuration, the platform may be raised and lowered, or tipped and tilted by jointly or independently displacing the slide plates.
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG-48 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.