Stay competitive with hands-on training.

Zemax courses help engineering teams gain practical skills to design optical products faster.

Whether you’re looking for an introductory course for first-time users or advanced capabilities for experts, Zemax courses will enhance your team’s productivity by helping them master the tools available in OpticStudio and LensMechanix.

Led by our exceptional team of optical and mechanical engineers, with years of experience designing real-world optical systems, our training is designed to be hands-on to teach the most useful tips and techniques.

Training locations include:

-      San Francisco
-      Seattle
-      Boston

United Kingdom
Singapore, India & Australia

Private training

If your organization has multiple individuals to train, customized on-site training is an economical option at a flat fee of $5,400/day plus travel expenses. Maximize your value by encouraging up to 18 people to attend. Taught by Zemax optical and mechanical engineers with advanced degrees, courses are taught with the most  current version of Zemax solutions.

Contact us to create a custom training agenda. >


Special offer

Customers who purchase ZPA save 20% on one Zemax training course per 12-month period.

Find a course that's right for you

Introductory Courses

Fundamentals of Optics

No prior knowledge of OpticStudio required.

Designed for engineers with little to no background in optics, this course teaches foundational concepts in optics and prepares attendees for the Optical System Design Using OpticStudio course.


  • Day 1: Light propagation, Snell’s Law and first-order optics, and conventions and definitions
  • Day 2: How light is traced in OpticStudio, dispersion and defining materials, and the optical design process

Skills gained

  • Define and use concepts from geometric optics
  • Identify optical system properties
  • Build simple, rotationally symmetric systems
  • Explain how the design process and optimization work

None. This course is ideal for mechanical or electrical engineers, or those from other engineering disciplines, who need to understand basic concepts of optics and how to apply them within OpticStudio.

2 days





January 18 - 20, 2018 San Francisco
July 12 - 14, 2018 Kirkland 

Optical System Design

Assumes a background in optics or completion of Fundamentals of Optics course. No prior knowledge of OpticStudio is required.

This course provides a solid introduction to the OpticStudio sequential design environment. Attendees will acquire the skills to design, optimize, and tolerance imaging systems through hands-on exercises.


  • Day 1: Introduction to OpticStudio and review of first- and third-order optics
  • Day 2: Overview of optimization
  • Day 3: 3D systems, multiple configurations, and image simulation
  • Day 4: Tolerancing simple systems
  • Day 5: Real-world tolerancing scenarios

Skills gained

  • Model and analyze the performance of simple sequential systems in OpticStudio
  • Build merit functions to optimize system performance
  • Identify system sensitivities and predict manufacturing and assembly yields


Knowledge of fundamental optical concepts or completion of the Fundamentals of Optics course.

5 days





January 22 - 26, 2018 San Francisco
February 26 - March 2, 2018 Boston
April 23 - 27, 2018 San Francisco
July 16 - 20, 2018 Kirkland
September 17 - 21, 2018 Boston
November 5 - 9, 2018 San Francisco

Illumination & Stray Light

Familiarity with illumination or imaging systems encouraged. No prior knowledge of OpticStudio required.

This course provides a comprehensive introduction to the OpticStudio non-sequential design environment, and is intended for those working on illumination systems or evaluating stray light in imaging systems. Attendees will acquire the skills to design, optimize, and tolerance systems through hands-on exercises.


  • Day 1: Introduction to non-sequential systems, sources, and analysis methods
  • Day 2: Optimization, tolerancing, complex geometries, and CAD parts
  • Day 3: Using mixed sequential/non-sequential mode, ray splitting, and troubleshooting techniques
  • Day 4: Stray light analysis, scattering, and switching between sequential and non-sequential mode

Skills gained

  • Model, analyze, optimize, and tolerance illumination, imaging, and collimation systems in non-sequential mode
  • Build mixed sequential and non-sequential systems, like prisms, fibers, or other systems that generate total internal reflection (TIR)
  • Conduct stray light analysis of an imaging system

Familiarity with illumination or imaging systems is encouraged. No prior knowledge of OpticStudio required.  

4 days





March 19 - 22, 2018 Boston
August 13 - 16, 2018 Kirkland

Advanced Courses

Advanced Optical System Design

Requires strong familiarity with OpticStudio or completion of Optical System Design Using OpticStudio course.

This course teaches advanced topics in optical system design using OpticStudio. Attendees will learn the key features and functions to take an imaging or afocal design from initial specification to manufacture and testing.


  • Day 1: Local and global optimization, thermal analysis, and diffractive optics
  • Day 2: Diffraction, thin-film coatings and polarization, and introduction to freeforms and aspheres
  • Day 3: Designing with freeforms and aspheres and an introduction to tolerancing
  • Day 4: Tolerancing advanced systems and 3D systems
  • Day 5: Simulating lasers and optical fibers

Skills gained

  • Use freeform and aspheric surfaces
  • Perform advanced tolerancing techniques
  • Use physical optics propagation, Gaussian beams, and geometric rays to simulate lasers and optical fibers, and explain when to use each tool

A background in optics and experience with OpticStudio or attendance of Optical System Design Using OpticStudio.

5 days





June 11 - 15, 2018 Kirkland
October 8 - 12, 2018 Boston

Programming OpticStudio

Indispensable training for anyone wanting to write their own code to control OpticStudio or interface it to other programs.

This course teaches how to utilize the ZOS-API.NET to build
standalone applications in C#, control OpticStudio through MATLAB or C#, design custom analyses. Learn Zemax Programming Language (ZPL) macro programming, how to create user-defined features (surfaces, objects, sources, etc.) and operands.


  • Day 1: ZPL and ZOS-API.NET with examples in C# and MATLAB
  • Day 2: User-defined operands and surfaces, and non-sequential programming

Skills gained

  • Simplify common workflows using ZPL
  • Program new operands, surfaces, and objects in OpticStudio
  • Use the ZOS-API to create and analyze systems with C# and MATLAB

Experience with OpticStudio and at least one high-level programming language is required. Knowledge of MATLAB is encouraged for MATLAB-specific material, but is not required.

2 days



June 7 - 9, 2018 Kirkland