Over the past few years, optical designers have faced an increasing demand to work within integrated project development teams – crossing disciplines, working on singular platforms, and sharing assembly models. At the same time, members of the optical design community have become more comfortable working with modern CAD design software and integrating it into their workflows. This is now often a necessity, especially on the product design front, and the SOLIDWORKS Link Module available in Synopsys LightTools provides enhanced capabilities that speed up the design process. To facilitate a quicker path to optical simulations and grant design teams the ability to set more optical characteristics in the SOLIDWORKS environment, the SOLIDWORKS Link Module features optical property identifiers, ray data source linking, and SOLIDWORKS configuration selection.
Optical and mechanical designers can both add optical property identifiers on features and facets (Fig. 1), as well as set a default optical property on a part in SOLIDWORKS. This translates to a significant advantage when a part is used repeatedly on a SOLIDWORKS assembly or in different configurations, because it ensures that an assembly using multiple optically characterized parts is already set up when the part is linked in Synopsys LightTools.
Fig. 1. Optical Property Identifiers are added to SOLIDWORKS features or facets
Simply link the identifiers to an optical property in Synopsys LightTools from the Optical Properties Manager (Fig. 2) to map them and make them ready for a simulation.
Fig. 2. Optical Property Identifiers are linked with optical properties in Synopsys LightTools via the Optical Properties Manager
Similarly, you can now link ray data files to parts in SOLIDWORKS. The process requires adding a point on the part, followed by a coordinate system. The coordinate system is located on the point and oriented via all three axes, with the Z axis toward the direction of propagation. The ray data file is then linked to the model. When a source is used multiple times in an assembly, the sources are automatically generated in Synopsys LightTools (Fig.3 ), saving valuable time during the setup process. For an application uses dozens of sources or more, the efficiency advantage is clear.
Fig. 3. A SOLIDWORKS part linked into Synopsys LightTools with its ray data source already attached
For many reasons, products often are designed with multiple configurations in mind, and this capability is also harnessed in the SOLIDWORKS Link Module. Synopsys LightTools now allows you to switch SOLIDWORKS configurations from the entity level. Furthermore, this feature works with the new optical property identifiers and ray data source placement. For example, a user can design a SOLIDWORKS assembly with three configurations, two of which have a different sources and properties, and a third that mixes and matches properties and sources in the same model, and all of which can be controlled in Synopsys LightTools. In the example below (Fig. 4), an LED strip with one LED is changed to a configuration where the same strip has three LEDs.
Fig. 4. Single-click to change a SOLIDWORKS configuration from one LED to three LEDs in Synopsys LightTools
Be sure to explore the full capabilities of the LightTools SOLIDWORKS Link Module and leverage the flexibility of these new capabilities. Example models featuring these new functions will be available on the Synopsys Optical Solutions Group Customer Support Portal in May 2022.
Learn more about the features and benefits of the dynamic link between Synopsys LightTools and SOLIDWORKS.
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