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From CAD User Mechanical Magazine Vol 16 No 04 - MAY 2003
Optis, masters in the field of optical simulation software, has released OptisWorks, to enable designers add ray diffusion technology to their SolidWorks models.
The behaviour of rays of light emitted from a variety of light sources is the object of an interesting piece of software from Optis, which exhibited at the Solid Modelling Show last month. The software, OptisWorks, is integrated within SolidWorks is designed to simulate light used in transport, electronics, lighting and optics.
Designing certain types of light fitting is pretty useless without an understanding of the dynamics of light ray diffusion. A headlamp, for instance, has to project a fairly precise beam from its light source, reflected off the interior of the headlamp parabola, through a multifaceted glass of plastic screen. The problem is exacerbated when a combination of light sources is fitted within the headlamp – for full and dipped headlights, for instance.
Each of the different application areas that Optis works in has different requirements, but the principal needs of all is to analyse the effect of light – light levels, distribution, photometric performance and standard compliance. Accessed within SolidWorks, users can test these lighting conditions directly from the models they are creating, using a comprehensive set of libraries of optically measured materials-which come with an intuitive material editor. Combined with the SolidWorks model, the software allows users to define a very accurate and realistic simulation of the propogation of light.
The light sources are very closely defined, so much so that even the filaments of a light bulb, for instance, are simulated, enabling the total emission properties of a real bulb to be analysed – intensity, power and spectrum.
OptisWorks is available in tow packages, one for standard users – OptisWorks Illumination and an Xpert version. Both versions are able to provide ray tracing for a SolidWorks model, EZ Material, the optical properties mentioned earlier, a geometry emission model, source library and iIlluminance and intensity analysis. The Xpert version also includes high-resolution illuminance maps and SAE Cartesian intensity for automobile exterior lighting (headlamps etc).
Features of the software include editors for EZ surface reflectance, material optical properties and source materials, libraries that contain numerous surfaces – scattering, mirror etc., materials – plastics, glasses, metal, etc., and sources including automotive lamps, fluorescent tubes, LED and arc lamps.
The types of light propagation that can be simulated include interactive rays from a point source or an emitting geometry – a shaped light source, or a real source emission. To understand the effects of the light, photometry provides interactive maps for illuminance simulation, intensity distribution and a 3D irradiance map.
The intensity of light emissions can be measured with luxmeters for illuminence and fluxmeters for flux and intensity. Analysis tools include a virtual photometer library that can establish illuminance and intensity distribution, using such tools as false colour levels, automatic cross –section views and 2D/3D illuminance.
OptisWorks, designed specifically for SolidWorks users, is compatible with the company’s other standalone packages – SPEOS, SOLSTIS and LIGHT. SPEOS is CAD software for light simulation, whilst SOLSTIS addresses the photometry of laser simulation. LIGHT is an outdoor lighting simulator – and another package – LIGHT 3D lets users create their own lighting atmosphere.
Optis is the first company to offer light simulation in a CAD/CAM environment. The company specialises in optics and computing and has been offering innovative solutions in modelling since 1989. SOLSTIS – its first product for the simulation of very high-tech products (laser, telecom components, optronics and optical systems) is used by most important research laboratories all over the world. SPEOS, a package aimed at industry, covers four main areas – photometry, Colorimetry, Lighting and Photo Realism. Photometry provides a virtual model of a system equipped with light sources and bathed in light, whilst Colorimetry ensures exact colour. Lighting simulates 3D views taking materials, colours and structures into account (and also real surroundings, such as air, water, fog and smoke). Photo Realism enables users to generate high quality colour pictures – but also allows them to view objects through different types of illumination –short arc and new LED-type sources.
No need, therefore, to scratch your head when faced with designing some new type of lighting system for your designs. OptisWorks is an intuitive software package that covers virtually any lighting requirement that is thrown at it –after all –they are the experts!
OptisWorks can also provide a very impressive CD that has a number of realtime
presentations, viewed through Adobe’s Acrobat viewer, taking users in close
detail through all of the programming steps involved in a number of applications,
including headlamps, optics and other light propagators and receivers. (possibly
worth acquiring, even if you aren’t interested in light, just to see how it
can be done!, although I wish they had provided a simpler way of leaving the
demo without having to resort to Ctrl-Alt-Del!). CU
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