Jan 25, 2022

Zemax launches STAR Module enhancements, plus new OpticStudio & OpticsBuilder analysis visualization tools

Category: Product News

OpticStudio® STAR Module 22.1 enables multi-wavelength simultaneous FEA fitting support, and adds useful new Thermal Index Plot and FEA Data Viewer visualization tools

OpticStudio® 22.1 improves algorithms for wide-angle system design, ray aiming improvements, and native non-sequential diffraction analyses

OpticsBuilder™ 22.1 features enhanced Creo support and new tools for streamlining and visualizing Advanced Ray analysis

KIRKLAND, WASHINGTON— Zemax, an Ansys company, is pleased to announce the latest release of our three major products: OpticStudio®, our flagship optical design solution; OpticsBuilder™, which streamlines optomechanical packaging; and our latest product, the OpticStudio® STAR Module, which simplifies and optimizes workflows between finite element analysis (FEA) packages and OpticStudio. This version 22.1 release is the first of several we anticipate for the calendar year 2022.

While all products received valuable technical updates for this release, we are especially proud of our continued improvements to the STAR Module, which was introduced in May 2021. In December, the international optics and photonics society SPIE announced the STAR Module as a finalist for their 2022 SPIE Prism Award in Software. "As a technology leader at Zemax, I have always strived to advance innovation in our products," said Sanjay Gangadhara, Chief Technology Officer of Zemax. "SPIE's recognition for our innovation is truly an honor."

Winners will be announced at the Prism Awards Ceremony on January 26th at Photonics West. To see the full list of 2022 Prism finalists in all ten categories, read the SPIE press release.

OpticStudio STAR Module 22.1: Expanded FEA fitting capabilities and new methods of visualization
Releases on January 25, 2022

The OpticStudio STAR Module 22.1 features the following key changes:

  • Multi-wavelength thermal FEA fitting capabilities
    We significantly enhanced the STAR Module algorithm for thermal FEA fitting to provide simultaneous support for multiple wavelengths, enabling users to analyze the performance of optical designs across all relevant temperatures and wavelengths for the system. This update supports a wide range of optical applications where spectral response is critical to system design, such as in cell phone lenses, cameras for autonomous vehicles, and guided laser cutting tools. We also added a wavelength option to certain STAR analyses letting users view optical system performance at any wavelength they select.

  • Thermal Index Plot
    This new tool lets users visualize the refractive index with respect to the temperature defined in their FEA thermal datasets and see the refractive index range calculated by STAR. By plotting index versus temperature, the tool helps users visualize temperature effects for each surface in an optical design, as well as monitor the index range column to see which lens experiences the greatest optical change.

  • FEA Data Viewer
    With this new tool, users can now visualize their FEA datasets in OpticStudio before loading them into the system and assigning them to an optical surface. This capability enables users to readily verify the correct files are used prior to performing a numeric fit of the data. The tool also displays key parameters about the data in text form, such as dimensions and center location, helping users verify the correct FEA dataset in advance so they can avoid errors and time spent loading irrelevant data.

OpticStudio 22.1: Wide-angle system design and ray aiming improvements, native non-sequential diffraction analyses, and more
Releases on January 25, 2022

All editions of OpticStudio 22.1 include a new ray aiming algorithm designed for innovative applications that require a wide field of view, such as machine vision, surveillance cameras on drones, cameras for autonomous vehicles, and cell phone lenses. This improvement addresses issues in situations where existing algorithms have struggled, such as "cannot trace" errors and other analytics discontinuities. Professional and Premium editions also include non-sequential off-axis mirror improvements to enable the front surface of an object to support a wider variety of shapes; updated surface-relief grating DLLs using the RCWA method for increased accuracy and performance; and (in subscription versions) three new non-sequential diffraction analyses for volume holograms that analyze holograms constructed with Hologram Lens, Hologram Surface, and Toroidal Hologram objects.

Additional OpticStudio improvements for this release include:

  • ZOS-API support for Mathematica, including templates and examples for various applications

  • Ability to define the aperture stop so that chief rays can be easily created in OpticsBuilder

  • Updated Project Directory support for storing and updating design files in a single location

  • 16 new materials added to the CDGM material catalog, plus updated thermal coefficients

OpticsBuilder 22.1: Creo 7 support, Advanced Ray tools, and sample file improvements/additions
Releases on February 1, 2022

OpticsBuilder is now available on PTC Creo Parametric or later. By supporting this major release by PTC, we continue to provide OpticsBuilder for users as they utilize new CAD functionality. In addition, we've updated OpticsBuilder for Creo to support the nonsequential off-axis mirror component that we introduced as a new native component type in OpticStudio 21.3. Creo users can now use this component across the Zemax range of products without loss of design integrity, and with full access to analysis tools.

OpticsBuilder for Creo 22.1 also introduces the Chief Ray tool. This tool generates chief rays based on sources the user selects during setup, and then allows for easy analysis within the user's CAD tools for making informed decisions, defining further changes to the mechanical assembly, and ensuring ray path requirements are met.

All versions of OpticsBuilder 22.1 also include six new sample files—Cellphone camera lens, Cube Satellite, Laser-Induced Thermal Lensing Effect, Ultra-Short Throw Projector, Schmidt-Cassegrain, and Riflescope—as well as improvements to three existing sample files (Heliar 37mm, Single Gauss 25mm, and Laser w Aplanatic Lens). Multiple bug fixes are also included with the release.

OpticStudio SolidWorks CAD Link and OpticsBuilder for SolidWorks end of support

Due to a decision made unilaterally by Dassault Systèmes, OpticsBuilder for SolidWorks and the CAD Link: SolidWorks functionality in OpticStudio are no longer supported as of December 31, 2021. OpticsBuilder for SolidWorks customers can continue using their software for the remainder of their contracted term. With the release of OpticStudio 22.1, users will no longer have a dynamic link to parts and assembly files created in SolidWorks. This means that users will no longer be able to expose the dimensions of those parts in OpticStudio for purposes of modifying, optimizing, or tolerancing. For more details, contact your Account Manager or view our FAQ.

Interested in learning more about the features included in Zemax 22.1 Release, register for the upcoming webinar:

What's New in Zemax 22.1 Product Release
February 10th, 2022
6:00am PST and 11:00am PST

To try Zemax capabilities for yourself, request a free trial.