Linear Slides


Linear Slides

New Way® Linear Slides provide a noncontact alternative to conventional, contact bearing-based slides. Packaged as an integrated system, New Way Linear Slides are composed of a porous carbon media air bearing, an aluminum stage and housing, and a precision-ground, aluminum guide rail.

The linear slide product lines are built using our patented air bearing design and our foundational Porous Media Technology™. This technology works by producing a stiff, nanometers-thick layer of air as the frictionless medium of motion between the linear slide’s  air bearing face and the guide surface. The unique carbon substrate ensures an even flow of air, offering improvements in both precision and operational efficiencies, as well as a robust, crash-resistant design.

Precision Machined, and Machined for Precision

A key differentiator of New Way Linear Slides is our unique mechanism for integrating the Porous Media™ slide against its guide rail. We use vacuum replication to position the stage securely against the rail, eliminating vibration and harmonic noise. This process results in superior stability as well as straightness and stiffness, allowing you to achieve unprecedented precision motion without hysteresis error.

Technical Report 3 covers the application of our vacuum-replaced bearings for high-speed, high-precision machine tools, and proves how valuable this technique is. The air bearing possesses a uniquely positive correlation between stiffness and damping (known as the squeeze-film effect). This, combined with vacuum replication against the guide, quantifiably produces greater straightness and reduced resonance.

Air bearing based linear slides achieve all of these benefits while also reducing the time and cost of maintenance nearly to zero. Because air bearings are a noncontact technology, there is no wear and tear on rolling elements. Thus, there is no need for lubrication to prevent—or more appropriately, forestall—the spalling which inevitably affects rolling element- and ball bearing-based systems.

Four Solutions—Same Fundamentals

New Way offers four types of linear slides to accommodate a wide range of motion, customer needs and requirements. All are built on our foundational Porous Media Technology™, and each type provides off-the-shelf options with varying slide sizes and linear slide rail lengths. Custom solutions are also available.

End-Supported Linear Slides

End-Supported Linear Slides

The simplest and most straightforward solution, end-supported linear slides are designed for situations where continuous support of the slide structure is impossible or impractical. End-supported slides are often used in a gantry or X/Y-axis configurations, but can also be used along the Z-axis by fixing the stage and moving the guide bar.

Dovetail Linear Slides

Dovetail Linear Slides

The dovetail series of linear slides features a lean, low-profile track. This provides consistent performance for high acceleration, even with moderate loads. The guide bar can be mounted in continuous support configurations to accommodate larger loads. These linear slides can also be stacked, and include mounts for encoders and noncontact linear motors.

Boxway Linear Slides

Boxway Linear Slides

The Boxway series combines our widest stage with a T-shaped linear slide rail, allowing for the largest load capacity of our linear slides. Boxway slides are continuously supported, and also include mounts for noncontact motors and encoders.

Airway™ Linear Motion System

Airway™ Linear Motion System

The New Way Airway Linear Motion Guide System is designed as an alternative to existing rolling-element guide systems bolted to a flat surface. Once the current system has been unscrewed and removed, the Airway System is designed to seamlessly replace it, bolting into the previous system’s place. It is used in the same manner, but now with all the benefits of Frictionless Motion®️.

Cleanroom Compatibility

End-Cleanroom Compatibility

The unique properties of Porous Media-based linear slides  make them ideal for use in cleanroom environments where particle generation and infiltration must be kept to an absolute minimum. Because the Porous Media itself acts as a sub-micron filter, the very nature of the linear air bearing filters air into the cleanroom environment. Furthermore, noncontact bearing technology means no lubrication can become aerosolized, or no bearing spalling can eject particles into the local environment.

Our internal testing, which you can view and download on the right-hand side of the page, demonstrates how New Way’s full line of linear slide bearings meets ISO class 3—and arguably ISO Class 1—standards for cleanroom airborne particulate limits.

  • No Contact
  • No Noise
  • No Wear
  • No Lubrication
  • High-speed
  • No vibration
  • Nano-precision positioning
  • Increased reliability
  • Crash resistant
  • Clean Room Class 1 Compliant
  • Increased operations time
  • Less maintenance downtime


New Way offers four types of linear slides to accommodate a wide range of customer requirements. All are built on our foundational Porous Media Technology™ , and each type provides standard off-the-shelf options with various slide sizes and rail lengths. Custom slides are also available.

  • The semiconductor industry requires maintaining high-speed operations at nanometer levels of precision to ensure both quantity and quality.
  • Cleanroom conditions are necessary for production, making Porous Media linear air bearings the ideal choice for removing concerns about outgassing and lubricant.
  • The stiff, even air film provided by Porous Media allows for sub-nanometer-level precision and creates a crash-resistant design, minimizing potential damage.
  • Manufacturing efficiency is improved as maintenance downtime is virtually eliminated.
Coordinate Measuring Machines
  • Noncontact motion coupled with vacuum replication provides nanometer-level, hysteresis-free motion for truly accurate measurements.
  • Versatile design for XY- and XYZ-gantry configurations enables vertical applications for probes and sensors, as well as traditional horizontal applications.
Optical Grinding
  • With vibration and harmonic noise removed, grinding operations achieve repeatable, precise motion.
  • An air film free of lubricants eliminates outgassing concerns in a contaminant-free environment.

Linear Slides Product Line

Discover the benefits, applications, and specifications of non-contact linear air slides

End-Supported Air Slides
Product image of New Way Air Bearings End-Supporter Linear Slide
End-Supported Air Slides

Dovetail Air Slides
airway linear motion guide system
Dovetail Air Slides

Boxway Linear Air Slides
dovetail air slides
Boxway Linear Air Slides

Linear Motion Guide System
Linear Motion Guide System


Airpel’s Use of Air Bearings Proves Excellence in their Product Line

Airpel’s Use of Air Bearings Proves Excellence in their Product Line

Airpot® Corporation, an industry leader in force pneumatics, motion, and displacement, turned to New Way® when they wanted to test their latest product. While Airpot has a long history of providing linear actuation and motion damping across their product line, they too, like New Way, recognize the value of Frictionless Motion®️, which guided the development of their Airpel-AB Air Cylinders.

New Way Solves Straightness & Flatness Constraints for Axis

New Way Solves Straightness & Flatness Constraints for Axis

New Way partnered with Axis New England, a firm specializing in robotic and machine automation for the lithography, semiconductor, and precision optics industry. We provided them with a solution built on flat round air bearings to meet the needs of a customer who produces ultra-high format printers, allowing for high speeds and precise positioning.

Tell Us About Your Application


If you have any questions about the application, installation, or use of linear slides, please feel free to contact us so we can discuss what New Way Air Bearings can do for you! We also invite you to download our free eBook on 5 Industries Using Air Bearings to Deliver Disruptive Innovation today.

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