Flexure based stages are particularly important for vacuum applications because they combine low hysteresis, no wear and no contamination with a high supporting stiffness. However, flexure hinges inherently lose stiffness in supporting directions when deflected. Therefore the workspace to footprint ratio is limited. In this article we present the design and modeling of a two degrees of freedom cross flexure based stage that combines a large workspace to footprint ratio with high vibration mode frequencies. Because the mechanism is an assembly of optimized components, the stage is designed according to the exact constraint principle to avoid build-up of internal stresses due to misalignment. FEM results have been validated by measurements on an experimental test setup. The test setup has a workspace-area to footprint ratio of 1/32. The lowest measured natural frequency with locked actuators over a 60 × 60mm workspace was 80Hz.

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