Sutter 3DMS System

3DMS 3-Dimensional Motorized Stage

Many imaging experiments require the ability to move to multiple locations in a chamber or in a tissue culture dish. Large motorized stages accomplish this, but generally make the microscope into a single-use, motorized imaging station. The form factor of motorized stages usually precludes positioning other equipment such as manipulators at the same microscope.

Now, a simple attachment converts a standard Sutter MP-285 manipulator into the 3-Dimensional Motorized Stage. The 3DMS manipulator and stage attachment can be either mounted on an MT-75 gantry stand next to an upright microscope, or on an MD series stand attached to the body of an inverted microcope. The compact size allows manipulators and other equipment to be used simultaneously. Refocusing is often required at the different X-Y locations when images are automatically acquired. Normally this requires a motorized focus drive to be added to the microscope. Because the 3DMS is a three-axis manipulator, focusing (vertical movement of the stage) is already built in. Surprisingly, this relatively small package still allows for 25mm of movement in X, Y, and Z axes with micron precision. The stage shown carries a Warner Instruments’ RC Style chamber and PM-1 holder (not included). Other chambers can be accommodated.


  • Highly stable for experiments intolerant of pipette drift.
  • Submicron resolution and integrated coarse positioning.
  • 1 inch of motorized travel on all three axes.
  • Adjustable speed and resolution allows optimization for your experimental setup.
  • When used with MP-285 controller, has programmable robotics for complex motion sequences.
  • Continuous display (in microns) of axes positions.
  • Switch between continuous or single step movement.
  • Absolute and relative origins.
  • Remote computer control
  • Compact design easily adaptable to your setup.


1 inch on all three axes

Resolution (with MP-285 controller)
Low: 0.2um/step High: 0.04um/step

Maximum Speed

Long Term Stability
<10nm/hour at 24deg C.

Drive Mechanism
Precision worm gear capstandrive

Serial Interface
RS-232, 9600 baud (1 start bit, 8 data bits, 1 stop bit)

Mechanical: 4.5″ x 6″ x 6.25″  | 11cm x 15cm x 16cm
Controller: 4″ x 16″ x 12.25″ |  10cm x 40.5cm x 31cm

Manipulator: 3.85lb | 1.7kg
Controller: 10lb 11oz | 4.5kg

115/230 Volts 50/60 Hertz power line