What is a Belt Driven Linear Actuator

A belt-driven linear actuator is a device that translates rotary motion to linear motion via a timing belt connected to two circular pulleys. This type of actuator operates under the same principles as the conveyor belt system. Belt-driven actuators are generally preferred for applications with lower loads that require longer stroke lengths and higher speeds.

Construction of a Belt-driven Linear Actuator

The timing belt of a belt-driven actuator is typically constructed of a fiber-reinforced elastomer for non-demanding requirements or other material such as steel-reinforced polyurethane for more heavy-duty applications.

These types of actuators have a distinct advantage since manufacturers can build them at virtually any length. Belt drive actuator designs come in either an external, trapped, or internal belt arrangement. With standard accessories, the linear axes can be easily combined to create multi-axis systems.

Types of Belt-driven Linear Actuator

Belt-driven actuators come in a range of different configurations, allowing engineers to select easily available standard models, ready-to-use plug-and-play models, and custom-build models that allow for an extensive range of configurations.

Standard Belt-driven Linear Actuators

Standard belt-driven actuators come in stock travel lengths and offer several commonly configured options. These systems are readily available for fast delivery while still providing top-notch quality for a range of applications.

Plug-and-Play Belt-driven Linear Actuators

Plug-and-play belt-driven actuators come with automation functionality out of the box. Each unit comes complete with an actuator/belt drive, electric motor, and control system or device. These systems work well for research and laboratory applications, as well as university and educational robotics.

Custom Belt-driven Linear Actuators

Custom belt-driven actuators offer similar features as standard models. However, users can give custom specifications and requirements to best suit their application.

How to Use a Belt-driven Linear Actuator 

Belt-driven linear actuators are used where linear motion is required. From printers and valve dampers to industrial machinery and micro medical applications. Today, belt-driven linear actuators are more commonly used in vehicles to open doors, trunks, roofs, etc.

Benefits of Belt-driven Linear Actuators

Below are some of the benefits of belt-driven actuators:

●      They can travel long lengths cost-effectively.

●      Because they’re not hindered by the whip effect, belt drives can reach higher speeds than their ball screw counterparts.

●      They possess fewer critical moving parts, are generally more efficient, and require less maintenance.


Like most things, the cost of a belt-driven linear actuator varies depending on several factors. These systems typically contain many moving parts and the quality of these parts and the materials they’re made of affect the overall cost of the final product. Other factors that affect cost include:

●      Stroke length

●      Operational temperature

●      Design requirements

At Creative Motion Control, we combine great technology and exceptional customer service to exceed client expectations. Our team develops innovative motion control technologies for various applications. Call us today at (866) 497-7202 to discuss your needs and request a quote for a belt-driven linear actuator.

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