How to create a User Analysis using ZOS-API

In this article, we will show how to create a User Analysis using the new ZOS-API.NET.

  • Vary thickness of a surface in steps of 10 μm
  • Run QuickFocus to bring image plane into focus
  • For each step, calculate FFT MTF at several spatial frequencies
  • Plot data

Authored By: Thomas Aumeyr

Published On: November 26, 2015

How to apply scattering in the presence of total internal reflection (TIR)

In OpticStudio, total internal reflection (TIR) is applied at a surfacebefore other surface properties, such as scattering. This can cause a problem when attempting to model light pipes or fibers that include optically rough surfaces. Such elements rely on TIR, but don’t achieve perfect TIR behavior due to the surface roughness.  To correctly model such systems, an embedded surface can be used so that the scatter function is applied before the TIR. 

Authored By: Erin Elliott & Alissa Wilczynski

Published On: October 21, 2015

Transferring and Updating a Softkey License

This article outlines how to update the support expiration information on a softkey license and how to move a softkey license from one machine to another. 

If you are working on a machine without internet access, please see our article "Activate, Transfer, or Update a Softkey License On A Machine Without Internet Access."


Authored By: Alissa Wilczynski

Published On: October 6, 2016

How to Pivot Any Element About Any Point in Space

The coordinate breaks in OpticStudio are extremely flexible. Coordinate breaks can be used to tilt or decenter any optical surface, or group of optical surfaces, about any pivot point, without disturbing the rest of the optical system.
In this article, I’ll show how to tilt a lens about its front vertex without disturbing the rest of the optical system. I’ll also use global coordinates to check that the system remains undisturbed. Then I’ll move on to tilting a lens about its center, and finally I’ll demonstrate tilting a lens about an arbitrary point in space.

Authored By: Erin Elliott

Published On: September 24, 2015

Array ray tracing in Zemax OpticStudio from Python using the DDE extension

This article describes how to trace large number of rays in Zemax OpticStudio using a Python-based DDE1 extension called PyZDDE.

1Although the DDE extension has been superseded by the new and excellent .NET based extension in the latest release of OpticStudio, Zemax will most likely retain the DDE interface for the foreseeable future.      

Authored By: Indranil Sinharoy (Lyle School of Engineering, Southern Methodist University, Dallas), Julian Stuermer (Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Chicago, US)

Published On: September 4, 2015

Troubleshooting UI Issues in OpticStudio

This article explains what to do if you install OpticStudio and experience a slow user interface. There are a number of preferences and settings that can be changed to help speed up the UI. If you are experiencing other installation problems, please see the Troublshooting your OpticStudio Installation Knowledge Base Article.

This article will walk you through the following troubleshooting steps:
  • Checking for graphics driver updates from the manufacturer
  • Changing your Project Preferences
  • Checking your Non-Sequential Settings
  • Getting help from Zemax 

Authored By: Alissa Wilczynski & Alison Yates

Published On: August 24, 2015

Investigating Zemax OpticStudio's Polarization Features

OpticStudio has several ways of modeling polarization-based optical phenomena. The purpose of this article is to examine the strengths and proper applications of these features when modeling polarization-based optics. 


Authored By: Kyle Hawkins and Nicholas Herringer

Published On: April 28, 2017

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

Multi-threaded Optimization in Zemax OpticStudio

Zemax OpticStudio is designed to exploit all the CPUs in the user's computer without any user intervention. It will automatically determine the optimum number of threads to launch for any given calculation, including during optimization. One question the engineering team often encounters is why CPU usage seems to be single threaded during optimization. This article specifically addresses that topic. 

Authored By: Sanjay Gangadhara & Alison Yates

Published On: August 18, 2015

Simulation of Young's Interference Experiment via Geometric Ray Tracing in OpticStudio

This article presents the theory behind Young's Two-Pinhole experiment and simulates the setup in OpticStudio. The theoretical and simulated results are then compared.

Authored By: Jeffrey P. Wilde

Published On: June 2, 2015

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