Background: I am a first year PhD student and I just started graduate school this January. My background is in ME so this is a bit out of my realm. My current project requires the use of a tubular linear motor, possibly similar to the one shown here: http://www.copleycontrols.com/motion/technologies/motor/ I want to use a device like this (moving magnet only) to control a gas compression device. The trouble is I need to control the dimensions of the device as much as possible (i.e. it needs to fit within a specific space envelope). From what I can tell, this rules out all the off the shelf products I could find. Specifications (approx): The device needs to be capable of the following: Peak Force: ~50lbf (222 N) Const. Force: ~20lbf (89 N) Accel.: ~15-20G The device it will control (the piston) will have an OD of roughly 0.59 in (1.5 cm), and a stroke of about 0.39 in (1 cm). It would have an operating frequency of about 50Hz and be spring return (i.e. the motor alone does not have to handle keeping the magnet within operating space). Question: Does anyone have any experience building a device like this from scratch? If so, how difficult is it, would you recommend it for a research project? What are the major difficulties I should look out for? I am trying to decide if it would be worth the effort to research the function of these devices so I can build my own, or, approach an outside vendor and attempt to get one custom made. Again, I am an ME by education so the design of this device is a bit outside of my traditional range. Thanks in advance.