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Frequently Asked Questions

OpticsBuilder increases efficiency by saving time and increasing productivity by enabling fast and flawless conversion of lens design data into native CAD platform. It makes it possible for optical and CAD users to work in their preferred environments and to share data without file format conversions. For example, CAD users can send .ZBD files of their complete optomechanical systems to optical engineers for final validation in OpticStudio.

This empowers CAD users to detect errors early, reduce back-and-forth communication with optical engineers and avoid expensive physical prototyping by delivering analysis tools that show the impact on optical performance. CAD users can also update the .ZBD file when there is a change in the optical system, making it easier to identify how the mechanical design needs to change with changes to the optical design.

OpticsBuilder also allows CAD users to share ISO compliant optical drawings with a push of a button using an automatic design export tool.
While OpticsBuilder uses the same physics core as OpticStudio, OpticsBuilder is licensed separately as an application for CAD users who package optical systems. Users do not need OpticStudio on their computers to run OpticsBuilder.
Common problems are caused by importing invalid solids. Invalid solids can be caused by internal faces on a CAD part or by holes in the surface of the CAD volume. Check out this article on the Knowledgebase for some tips and tricks for a successful CAD import to OpticStudio.

The results reported by Physical Optics Propagation (POP) may differ from those reported by ray-based analyses, such as the Spot Diagram, for several reasons. Namely, POP models a different type of propagation from traditional ray propagation in that it is most commonly used to model Gaussian beams. Rays will travel in a straight line. That is, a collimated beam will never change size and a diverging beam will retain the same divergence everywhere. This is not the case for a Gaussian beam, as it will diffract as propagates. Within the beam’s Rayleigh range, the size of a Gaussian beam changes slowly, and far beyond the Rayleigh range, the beam size changes linearly with propagation distance. Near the Rayleigh range, however, the beam size will change nonlinearly with propagation distance. These three factors can all contribute to difference between a POP results and ray-based analysis results.

Check out this webinar for a detailed discussion on how and when (and when not) to use POP to model Gaussian beams in OpticStudio.

The two most common reasons for ray trace errors in Non-Sequential Mode are geometry errors encountered by rays during a ray trace and not enough ray segments or intersections allocated to complete a ray trace. It is important that these errors are not ignored and that they are diagnosed.

Check out the Knowledgebase for instructions on how to locate geometry errors and how to fix the error message" Not Enough Segments Allocated to Trace All Possible Ray Paths ."
Yes. If you’re new to OpticStudio or need a refresher on the basics, take a look at our knowledgebase article, “How to design a singlet lens.” This article will introduce you to the concepts and tools used to model simple systems in Sequential Mode.

When softkey licenses fail to transfer from one computer to another, they often do so for one of two reasons: the Zemax License Manager (ZLM) on one computer is outdated or one or more components of the Zemax License Manager are installed improperly.

The first thing to check which version of the ZLM is installed on both the source and destination computers. You must ensure that the version of the ZLM installed on both computers either predates or postdates August 2016. There was a change made to the transfer process at this time, and softkey licenses cannot be transferred to or from ZLMs which use different transfer methods. The version date for the ZLM can be found at the top of the ZLM window.

If you’re still receiving error messages after ensuring that you’re using compatible ZLM versions, there may be one or more components of the ZLM that are installed improperly. The first step to fixing this error is to repair the ZLM using the instructions outlined here.

If you are still unable to complete your license transfer after doing this, contact for next steps.

The number of instances you can use with OpticStudio depends on your license type.

Users who have perpetual OpticStudio licenses (sold before April 1, 2019), have access to two instances of the software.

Users with subscription licenses for OpticStudio can run four instances with the Professional Edition and eight instances with the Premium Edition. For more information on OpticStudio subscription licensing, check out the Subscription FAQ!