Added Glasses to "local" session files

  • 15 November 2021
  • 2 replies

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Once a model is saved as a *.zos file, glass catalogs are added to the same directory as the model.  I want to add more “local” glass catalogs to this model.

  1. Can I just copy-and-paste the new glass catalogs into the local GLASSCAT directory?
  2. Glass catalogs added to this new local directory don’t seem to appear in the dialog box to add them to my model.  How do I make OpticStudio aware of these local files?



Best answer by Brian.Catanzaro 15 November 2021, 21:36

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Hi Brian.  I took a quick look at the local GLASSCAT directory that is created after invoking the new Convert to Project Directory feature:



After opening up a new (empty) lens file, saving it to a specific directory, clicking on Convert to Project Directory, and then selecting the current lens file directory as the place to store local supporting files, I see the default Schott catalog is in the local GLASSCAT folder:



I can then go to the System Explorer → Materials Catalog drop down, and select any of the other glass catalogs that are in the *global* GLASSCAT directory for use in the current file.  For example, here I’ve added the Infrared catalog:



Now if I look at the local GLASSCAT folder, I see that the Infrared catalog has indeed been added, but so have some other *.dat and *.grd files (not sure why that happens...):



In any event, I assume that subsequent changes to the loaded catalogs will remain local to the current model file directory.

Now, however, if I try to add a new local glass catalog file manually by cut-and-pasting, it doesn’t show up as a loaded file in the Materials Catalog drop down menu.  I tried this using the Corning catalog.  But, say I then try to insert a Corning glass into the model, I get the usual prompt:



If I select Yes, the Corning catalog is added to the file, but if I look at the local GLASSCAT folder I see not only the Corning files, but several other catalog files too.



I have no idea why this is happening…  These other glass catalogs are not available for use in the lens file:



So, it looks like there are some idiosyncrasies that need to be ironed out…


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This may be an unanticipated workflow.  The use case I am describing is:

  • I have a design
  • I want to make a copy of the design and add some components that depend on custom glass catalogs
  • I copy the design to a new directory
  • Now I want to add surfaces that use glasses from custom catalogs that are not stored in the ..\Documents\Zemax\Glasscat folder.

(I’ve already implemented the obvious work-around.  Copy the custom glass catalog to ..\Documents\Zemax\Glasscat folder)


It seems like the use case for Convert to Project Directory is to archive your design.