In this paper, we propose a new miniature air-bearing stage with a moving-magnet slotless linear motor. This stage was developed to achieve the precise positioning required for submicron-level machining and miniaturization by introducing air bearings and a linear motor sufficient for mesoscale precision machine tools. The linear motor contained two permanent magnets and was designed to generate a preload force for the vertical air bearings and a thrust force for the stage movement. The characteristics of the air bearings, which used porous pads, were analyzed with numerical methods, and a magnetic circuit model was derived for the linear motor to calculate the required preload and thrust forces. A prototype of a single-axis miniature stage with dimensions of 120 × 120 × 50 mm3 was designed and fabricated, and its performance was examined, including its vertical stiffness, load capacity, thrust force, and positioning resolution. Two fabricated stages were then used for the X and Z-axes of a mesoscale micro-turning machine combined with an air-bearing spindle to investigate the effectiveness of the proposed system. A mirror surface was machined from an aluminum alloy with a single-crystal diamond tool.

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