May 10, 2022

Tech Tip Tuesdays with Zemax: Featured April Tip

Category: Product News

This article was originally featured in our Tech Tips Tuesday series on LinkedIn, where we share technical know-how directly from our team of expert optical engineers and the Zemax Community.  

To view these posts each week, follow us on LinkedIn

Tech Tip Tuesdays with Zemax: Ansys Mechanical and OpticStudio STAR Module

As many know, the OpticStudio STAR Module has always been FEA agnostic. Integration with other Ansys tools has led to a workflow that streamlines the process and allows greater fidelity.

Design, optimize and perform tolerancing as you typically would in OpticStudio. Build CAD and other mechanical components, including those interacting with optics. Note; OpticsBuilder, Speos, SpaceClaim, Mechanical, Discovery and other tools can help facilitate this need depending on the case.

Export the design for FEA analysis. Bring the components from OpticStudio and CAD into Ansys Mechanical. Materials and initial conditions can also be imported.

It is possible to leverage WorkBench, bringing in any physics that are necessary, Fluent, Mechanical, Icepack, etc.

Define the mesh and apply mesh control with a finer mesh in areas of interest to gain better fidelity, while areas of less importance use a sparce mesh facilitating faster processing. A large advantage that the OpticStudio STAR Module has, is mesh control can be applied to optical elements, STAR is capable of pulling in non-uniform data.

Select the elements you wish to study by right clicking and run analysis.

In this case we perform a transient analysis in Ansys Mechanical first looking at the mechanical components, then the mechanical and optical together. Plot charts of single or multiple components and visual representations, in this case the mechanical components are illustrated by the green line and the two optical elements selected by the red and blue lines.

After running studies including structural, thermal, CFD, etc. bring it full circle to OpticStudio via the STAR Module. To do this as effortlessly as possible, try our ACT file extension for Ansys WorkBench, it allows the data to be exported in a format STAR will recognize. Select the optical element either from the part tree or from the screen, right click and select export to STAR.

Import data with the “Load FEA Data” Button under the STAR tab in OpticStudio.

Next, run analysis used as design criteria with and without the FEA data, see the impacts side by side. In addition, use some new tools included with the STAR Module, such as thermal index plot.

Try the OpticStudio STAR Module capabilities for yourself, request a free trial.

Additional Resources:
OpticStudio STAR Module Product Demo

Steven LaCava
Senior Application Engineer
Zemax an Ansys Company