A microelectromechanical (MEM) tiltable-platform apparatus is disclosed which utilizes a light-reflective platform (i.e. a micromirror) which is supported above a substrate by flexures which can be bent upwards to tilt the platform in any direction over an angle of generally .+-.10 degrees using a gear-driven rack attached to each flexure. Each rack is driven by a rotary microengine (i.e. a micromotor); and an optional thermal actuator can be used in combination with each microengine for initially an initial uplifting of the platform away from the substrate. The MEM apparatus has applications for optical switching (e.g. between a pair of optical fibers) or for optical beam scanning.