BeamWise Debuts Zemax Integration at Photonics West 2015

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Demos, skmurphy

BeamWise will be demonstrating an integration with Zemax at Photonics West 2015. Stop by our booth #4034 to see a demo of our bidirectional interface with Zemax.  We are excited to be accepted into the Zemax partner program.

BeamWise-Zemax integration demo at Photonics West 2015


  • BeamWise is a design automation tool for complex photonic systems.
  • It provides model-based design and configuration solutions.
  • With BeamWise, an instrument designer can quickly define an optical system interactively, using real optomechanical components.
  • At any time the designer can verify or optimize the optical performance using Zemax simulation before validating the design on an optical bench.
  • We show an instrument designer sketching a preliminary design from catalog components and sending it to Zemax for optical analysis.
  • We start by modeling an optical resonator in BeamWise.
  • BeamWise allows the designer to position the optical elements at specific locations and defer selecting fixtures or mounts.
  • This is a traditional optical resonator made from bulk optical components arranged in a triangular cavity. The challenge is to control the beam size so that the amplified beam can be merged into the output.
  • BeamWise associates a catalog URL with every optical component. This allows the designer at any time to review the supplier’s on-line catalog specifications–including price and availability.
  • Once the initial schematic is complete the designer can optimize lens positions by exporting the design to Zemax using the standard DDE interface
  • The optical designer adds a merit function to match the reflected and amplified beam sizes and defines a variable for the lens spacing. An optimization is run and the lens spacing is adjusted from 75 to 105,
    creating a beam width match of less than one part per million
  • Next the designer imports the new lens positions from Zemax. The BeamWise model is updated dynamically. You can see the lenses snap into their new locations.
  • Now the designer can add the fixturing and posts for each optical element. BeamWise guides the selection by only suggesting supports that are appropriate.
  • BeamWise also generates an assembly drawing to guide the detailed placement and construction of a benchtop prototype.
  • Since cost is always a consideration in any system, a costed bill of materials can be generated at any stage in the evolution of the design.
  • We have shown you how BeamWise supports the exploration of design options for an optical bench setup at a full instrument level and provides a bidirectional link with Zemax.

Related Events at Photonics West 2015

  • Don’t miss Dr. Giacomo Vacca, BeamWise’s Chief Science Officer talk on Flow Cytometry Trends and Drivers Monday Feb-9-2015 1:30 PM – 5:30 PM
  • Check out the BeamWise models on display in the Excelitas booth (#1723).  BeamWise was used to design the floor demo flow cytometer and two other systems shown in their booth.

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