Linear Actuators - When DIY Turns into Why


We have all been there – you saw a great idea and thought, “I can do that.” Whether it was a repair on your car, a landscaping project in your backyard, or even a craft idea for your house, we have all had a DIY project go wrong. There is nothing wrong with attempting a project on your own - if it works out.


The same thing goes for linear motion. You know the basics behind it, so building your linear actuator should be easy – right? 

Everything can be found online, so you start ordering from different manufacturers. All of your pieces arrive in the mail eventually, and it is time for assembly. Hours later, you have something that resembles what you were trying to build, and the questions start.

Why do I have an extra piece? Why isn’t my lead screw turning? Why did all of this cost so much? Why did I even try to do this on my own? Why can’t I buy a linear actuator that is ready for me to use?


Helix Linear Technologies has the answer for you. Rather than design, purchase the components, and assemble, our customers are finding that the convenience and cost savings of designing into their applications a Helix Linear pre-engineered, built, tested, and ready to use actuator is the most economical and time-sensitive approach to low-cost automation.

Our Micro Precision Linear Actuators are the building blocks for low-cost automation. Each option includes a precision lead screw assembly housed in durable aluminum extruded housing.

  • CPA (Coupled Precision Actuator)
  • IPA (Integrated Precision Actuator)
  • SPA (Simple Precision Actuator)

Helix uses a stepper motor specially manufactured to their specifications and is available in different winding configurations. The motors have oversized deep-groove ball bearings that are shimmed to eliminate motor backlash and provide maximum thrust. Three frame sizes of double-stack motors, NEMA 14, 17, and 23, are standard catalog options. The motors can have their wiring harnessed and connectors added per customer drawing.

The actuators are manufactured from self-supporting, precision extruded aluminum and are available with optional Profile Rail outrigger guidance to enhance stiffness for a moment or offset loads. Built-in T-Slots allow convenient support and accessible and cost-efficient accessories, such as mounting brackets, limit switches, and cable carriers. 

Smoothness is ensured by a precision rolled, PTFE coated, motor-mounted lead screw that is factory matched to Helix’s lead nut. Lead nuts are injected into a unique proprietary blend of polymers that provide years of life and exceptionally smooth operation in the most demanding environments. Helix lead screws and lead screw nuts are manufactured to a centralizing modified thread profile that prevents wedging, passes contamination, and provides the lowest coefficient of friction. Total versatility is achieved by seven standard leads offered in the catalog. For those extra precision applications, an anti-backlash lead nut assembly is a standard catalog option.

Have your motor? Helix Linear offers the Micro Precision Actuator with standard motor mounts and couplings. We even have a version with a shaft extension to mount a pulley, knob, or handwheel.