NSC Angle of Incidence from Ray Database Viewer

This article shows the steps for calculating the AOI based on the LMN direction cosine of a ray and the Normal vector of the surface at the intersection point.  There is a provided ZPL macro will will automatically calculate this information for the user from a ZRD file loaded in a Ray Database Viewer.

Authored By: Michael Humphreys

Published On: February 14, 2017

Adjusting Relative Luminosity to Simulate the Visible Spectrum

Relative luminosity is very important in optical design. By defining appropriate weighting per the characteristics of the optical system, we can better model what we would expect to see. This article demonstrates a method of using wavelength weighting to model the relative luminosity of the visible spectrum as perceived by the human eye.

Authored By: Kayo Sugiyama, translated by Jade Aiona

Published On: May 5, 2017

Display Pupils on a Layout Plot

You can easily show the Entrance and Exit Pupils in both the LDE and Layout Plots by using dummy surfaces and pickups to show the location of the pupils without affecting the other surfaces in your sequential system.  This article walks through how to use ZPL Macro and Chief Ray Height thickness solves in the Lens Data Editor (LDE) as well as hiding dummy surfaces in a layout plot.

Authored By: Michael Humphreys

Published On: November 13, 2016

Using Diffractive Surfaces to Model Intraocular Lenses

This article will demonstrate how users can use the Binary 2 surface to model an intraocular lens. Throughout this article, we will go through a demonstrative design and outline many of the concepts, as well as tips and tricks, involved in designing intraocular lenses in OpticStudio.

Authored By: James E. Hernandez

Published On: August 19, 2016

How to Design A Catadioptric, Omnidirectional Sensor

This article walks through a deomsrative design of an omnidiriectional, catadioptric sensor in OpticStudio. Throughout the article, tips and tricks are presented to designers looking to model their own omnidirectional system.

Authored By: James E. Hernandez

Published On: August 19, 2016

Modeling Optics with Realistic Edge Apertures

OpticStudio 16 offers a comprehensive way to model realistic lens apertures with opto-mechanical semi-diameters. Three separate apertures (semi-diameter, chip zone, and mechanical semi-diameter) offer the ability to define a lens component the same way it is made.

Authored By: Thomas Aumeyr

Published On: April 15, 2016

Designing a Head- Mounted Display (HMD) for Augmented Reality Systems in Zemax OpticStudio

This article demonstrates how to set up an optical system for a HMD in sequential mode, using a wedge- shaped prism and freeform surfaces.


Brief process overview
Design Strategy
Defining Field of View (FOV)
Total Internal Reflection (TIR)
Setting up Rectangular Apertures
Setting up Multi- Configuration Editor (MCE)


Authored By: Natalie Pastuszka

Published On: August 18, 2015

How to Define Metal Materials in Zemax OpticStudio

This article explains how to add metal materials in Zemax and how to apply them to sequential surfaces or non-sequential object faces.  Additional information on coatings can be found in the following KB articles:

How to Add Coating and Scattering Functions to Non-Sequential Objects
How to Model a Partially Reflective and Partially Scattering Surface

Authored By: Kristen Norton

Published On: September 23, 2014

How to Design a Confocal Fluorescent Microscope in Zemax OpticStudio

This articled shows how to design a confocal fluorescent microscope in Zemax OpticStudio using a combination of the Sequential and Non-Sequential modes. The system is designed in two major parts:

  • Laser focusing (and collimating) system to the microscope objective
  • Microscope objective to the tube lens and detector
The microscope objective used in this example is the K_007 objective available in Zebase. Zebase is a collection of more than 600 sequential systems, and can be purchased for use with OpticStudio.

Authored By: Lisa Li

Published On: August 19, 2014

Understanding the Geometry in OpticStudio Curvature Cross-Section Analysis

This article explains the geometry behind the OpticStudio curvature cross-section analysis. Two important aspects to understand are

  • the conventions used for the tangential and sagittal curvature directions, and
  • the placement of the cross-section in situations where the aperture is decentered.
A point of possible confusion is clarified for situations when the surface is not rotationally symmetric and the tangential and sagittal curvature becomes multi-valued at the surface vertex due to the arbitrary choice of the tangential direction at that point.

Authored By: Shawn Gay

Published On: June 10, 2016

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