By Leslie Lui, Mechanical Design Engineer
Linear guide systems have long been used to enable payloads to be moved smoothly and precisely in a diverse array of applications. The five most common types of linear guide systems are based on profile rail, drawer slides, linear bearings, guide wheels, and plain bearings. All five types have the same general layout and operation, with one or more mobile elements that can move over a stationary section with little friction. However, each type of linear guide system has different attributes that make each type well suited for some applications but ill suited for others.
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