A novel magnetic topology has been designed for a six degrees of freedom, magnetically levitated and driven mirror, to be used in a three dimensional (3D) measurement system based on laser interferometry. The translations of the mirror are to be kept small, whereas the rotations are to be controlled over a large range with a high bandwidth and high accuracy. Finite element modelling (FEM) is used to analyze the proposed topology. For computational load reduction, a 2D FEM model has been derived from the actual 3D topology, which incorporates most of the magnetic subsystems. Simulations show that cross-influence between the actuators is small, that the forces and torques are proportional to the applied currents and that the angle of the rotor is of little influence. This allows the multiple in multiple out system to be regarded as multiple linear single in single out systems. ©2000 American Institute of Physics.