How do I move a plate on a flat surface?

This might be something trivial and just something I couldn’t google for simply for not knowing the proper names of the parts or mechanical functions, but here goes…

I want to be able to move a small thin plate, against another plate. Two flat surfaces against each other, one is stationary, the other is moving in X- and Y-axis. Sure, one servo for X and one for Y, but… how?

My first thought was that I needed some sort of special bearing, like a wheel, consisting of small wheels along its outer edge, freely moving in the opposite direction. But, I have no idea what they would be called or where to find them. Or if that is the “proper” solution.

Any help would be highly appreciated!


You might consider a system that uses rods and linear bearing platforms like this one from Adafruit to get that kind of movement. You could also employ a similar system that uses a rail like this. To move in both X and Y, you could nest one of those systems into another one, which I think is common for 3D printers. (You can search the Internet for examples.)

As for actuating that setup, what would work best for you depends on whether or not you need to accurately control the position of your flat surface. If you tell me more specifically what it is you are doing with the flat surface, I might be able to help you find a useful way to get your setup moving.


Thanks for your reply! Hm, I think those will be too large for my needs. I should have added that I want something really small. The plates should be around 10 x 5 cm in size, smaller even, and I just want to move it in maybe 2-3 cm in X/Y. It’s for something silly, let’s keep it at that for now. :O) I could show some pictures after.