LensMechanix Frequently Asked Questions


What is LensMechanix?

LensMechanix™ is a SOLIDWORKS add-in by Zemax™ that gives optomechanical engineers the tools to package, analyze, and validate their complete mechanical designs directly in SOLIDWORKS. This powerful ray tracing software for optical simulation and analysis simplifies the transition between optical design and optomechanical packaging. It is not used to design lenses.


Is LensMechanix part of OpticStudio?

No. LensMechanix is licensed separately as a SOLIDWORKS add-in.


Who is LensMechanix designed for?

LensMechanix is designed for optomechanical engineers and mechanical engineers who build products around optical designs created in OpticStudio. LensMechanix inserts optics design files (including lenses, materials, coatings, surface radii, edges, wavelengths, clear aperture location, sources, and detectors) directly from OpticStudio into a SOLIDWORKS assembly. Then, in SOLIDWORKS, you can build mechanical geometry around the optical components and analyze the entire system for optical performance.


What are the key benefits of using LensMechanix?

LensMechanix makes the transition of optical design to optomechanical design seamless. It uses the optical component data from OpticStudio to automatically create SOLIDWORKS component parts with actual lens dimensions, eliminating the need for STEP, IGES, or STL files. Within minutes, you can start building mechanical geometry from the dimensionally accurate optical components, run ray traces, and perform surface power analysis. LensMechanix enables you to:

  • Get accurate analysis results from Zemax’s industry-leading ray tracing engine.
  • Easily detect and correct mechanical geometry that impacts optical system performance, such as stray light contamination, image clipping, and image focus issues—before you build a prototype or send the design to optical engineers to review.

  • Create accurate prototypes more quickly and avoid repeated prototypes and manufacturing mistakes.
  • Improve your workflow and reduce development iterations, so you get to market faster.
  • Reduce the stress and delays on the team that come from repeated design iterations.

What is the main functionality in LensMechanix?

LensMechanix loads optical components, sources, and detectors designed in OpticStudio directly into a SOLIDWORKS assembly as live geometry and preserves the component data. You can run a ray trace through the system to identify problems such as stray light and beam clipping and to compare optical performance to the original OpticStudio output in the mechanical environment. A simple chart indicating “pass/fail” for image quality and stray light metrics enables you to quickly assess the

performance of your design. LensMechanix also stores detailed data results so you can quickly troubleshoot the design or gather additional insights.


Is it possible to design lenses in LensMechanix?

Yes. However, LensMechanix does not have optimization functionality for lens design. OpticStudio 16 is our recommended software for designing lenses. LensMechanix comes with a lens catalog of standard lenses; you can also add custom lenses.


Can I run ray traces in LensMechanix?

Yes. After LensMechanix loads an OpticStudio design file, you can run ray traces and perform surface power analysis to compare the optical performance of the complete system with the original OpticStudio file. LensMechanix uses the same Zemax multi-threaded physics core used by OpticStudio and relied on by NASA to analyze and validate your complete product designs.


Does LensMechanix work with both sequential and nonsequential designs?

Yes. LensMechanix loads both sequential and nonsequential designs. However, if a sequential file is loaded, LensMechanix automatically converts it to a nonsequential file.


Does LensMechanix work with reflective surfaces, scattering surfaces, or mirrors?

Yes. LensMechanix ships with 11 standard material scatter profiles. You can also load your own scatter profile in .isx or .bsdf file format. For any mechanical geometry without a scatter profile, LensMechanix will assume it is a perfect reflective surface during a ray trace.


What packaging, analysis, and validation tools are included in LensMechanix?

LensMechanix includes a full suite of tools to analyze optical performance and validate products in the mechanical environment.


Packaging tools

Analysis tools

Validation tools

Ability to insert sequential OpticStudio files into SOLIDWORKS

Full ray trace

Ability to save OpticStudio files from SOLIDWORKS

Ability to insert nonsequential OpticStudio files into SOLIDWORKS

Ray filtering

Optical Performance Summary (OPS)

Ambient conditions

Surface power

OpticStudio baseline results

Computational Domain

Ray scattering and ray splitting control

LensMechanix baseline results

Scatter profiles

Precision settings

Spot size validation

Construction geometry

Baseline ray trace

Beam clipping validation


Quick Trace

Image contamination validation


Image Viewer


How does LensMechanix improve the workflow between optical engineers and mechanical engineers?

LensMechanix improves the workflow in several ways:

  • Discover and resolve problems with your mechanical geometry before you build a physical prototype or send the design to the optical engineer to review.
  • Share data between the optical and mechanical engineering teams in your respective environments and formats. For example, optical engineers receive and analyze integrated designs in OpticStudio.
  • Simplifies the exchange of information between SolidWorks and OpticStudio.

    Reduces the back and forth development iterations that inevitably cause delays, tax team resources, and drive up costs.

Configuration and compatibility
What do I need to run LensMechanix?

  • Windows 7 (64 bit) or later
  • SOLIDWORKS 2015 or later

You do not need OpticStudio to run LensMechanix.


Does LensMechanix work with design files from earlier versions of OpticStudio?

Yes. LensMechanix accepts design files from all versions of OpticStudio.


Can I still baseline the performance of my optical system if I don’t have a sequential file from OpticStudio?

Yes. However, LensMechanix will establish the baseline by using only the optical components. You will still need to enter the performance tolerances manually in LensMechanix. To do so, change the allowable delta in the Optical Performance Summary (OPS) table.


Where do I get the allowable deltas for the optical performance?

Get the allowable deltas from the engineer who created the optical design. LensMechanix automatically populates the OPS table with default values of 1.


Can files from other design programs besides OpticStudio files be imported into LensMechanix? No. LensMechanix loads only OpticStudio files. However, OpticStudio can import Synopsys® Code V® files.


Does LensMechanix work with other CAD software besides SOLIDWORKS?

No. LensMechanix is a SOLIDWORKS add-in. It does not run on other CAD software.

Licensing and pricing

What is the price of LensMechanix?

LensMechanix is offered as an annual subscription only. The annual subscription price is $5,600.


What is included in the price?

The annual subscription price includes product enhancements, feature updates, and support throughout the year. Discounts are available for 5 or more seats. Additional discounts are available for 10 or more seats. Network licenses are available for 2 or more seats.


Is there a discount for LensMechanix if I have OpticStudio?



Does LensMechanix require a hard-coded key similar to OpticStudio?

No. LensMechanix uses a soft key license. It does not use hard-coded keys.


Are shared network licenses available for LensMechanix?

Network licenses are available for organizations with two or more user seats. For information about how to install a network license, see the Knowledge Base article on the Zemax website.


For more information

Whom do I contact if I have questions?

For questions, email sales@zemax.com.


Where can I learn more about LensMechanix?

You can get the latest information on the Resources page on the Zemax website. We recommend you bookmark the page because we update the page frequently with new resources.