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Current Academic Licensing Options for OpticStudio

  • 7 September 2023
  • 16 replies
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Hey everyone,

I am going to teach an OpticStudio course at a university and they have an academic license for all Ansys products including OpticStudio.

However, what surprised me is that as far as I understood it is not possible for students or me to install and use OpticStudio locally, without a remote connection to the university Ansys server.

I distinctly remember that a few years ago I did an online course at a university and got an OpticStudio license which I could use without any problems fully locally.

Did the policy change? Is it not possible anymore to just have OpticStudio run locally with an academic license on your private PC?

 

Best regards,

Mikayel.

 

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Best answer by David.Nguyen 7 September 2023, 22:04

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16 replies

Userlevel 7
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Hi @Mikayel.Musheghyan,

 

The policy definitely changed when Zemax was acquired by ANSYS end of 2021.

In my case, I had to get my research license, that I can use locally, through an academic partnership with ANSYS. They also have a link where you can request more information about the academic partnership. Perhaps they can find a solution for you there.

Take care,

 

David

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Hi @David.Nguyen !

Thanks a lot! This is very interesting, but unfortunately I am not so sure that it is applicable for my case.

Ideally I want each student to just have their own offline Zemax license for the duration of the course, without the need to constantly be connected to the university.

 

Best,

Mikayel

Userlevel 7
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Probably not helpful either, but I found this also in the meantime:

https://www.zemax.com/pages/get-the-skills-you-need-for-a-future-in-optics

Hopefully you get access to those licenses for your sutdents, that’s how you fidelise customers :p

Take care,

 

David

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Thanks! This is exactly what I used and when I told Ansys that I used before an offline license as a student, they seemed very surprised :)

It would be really a shame if that option has been completely removed.

 

Best,

Mikayel.

Userlevel 3
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Hello!

Zemax did issue students their own personal license previously but Ansys doesnt have an equivilent program. 

Our team is working on a free limited functionality student version for release early next year. keep an eye on the Ansys academic page for it.

 

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Hey Don!

 

Thanks a lot for clarification!

That is extremely disappointing to hear.

 

Best,

Mikayel.

Userlevel 7
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Hi @Mikayel.Musheghyan,

 

Its definitely not on the level of OpticStudio, but if you are already committed to teaching a course, I can suggest the basic, but free, Winlens software:

https://www.qioptiq-shop.com/en/Optics-Software/Winlens-Optical-Design-Software/Free-Winlens-Basic/

I did learn Winlens before OpticStudio myself actually.

Take care,


David

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Thanks a lot @David.Nguyen !

 

I'll check it out.

 

Best,

Mikayel

Hello!

Zemax did issue students their own personal license previously but Ansys doesnt have an equivilent program. 

Our team is working on a free limited functionality student version for release early next year. keep an eye on the Ansys academic page for it.

 

@Don Dickinson do you have any new news about the free student version?

Many thanks, Gabriele

Userlevel 6
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@Gumbriaco -

We intend to release a reduced-functionality free student version in the future, but I don’t have a timeline for that. In the meantime, I suggest looking into the licenses your campus may provide.

The Ansys Academic team provides reduced cost licenses to universities throughout the world. If your university has one of these licenses, you can use Ansys Zemax OpticStudio with full functionality. Looking at your profile, I believe your campus does have a license you might be able to connect to. Your university’s account is managed by a Channel Partner: EnginSoft Simulation Software Italia Srl. Please contact them to find out how to connect to your license: Contact our experts! | EnginSoft .

It’s fairly poor form to simply remove functionality from under users and then claim “We intend to release a reduced-functionality free student version in the future, but I don’t have a timeline for that.“ especially when such a solution already existed. Why remove it in the first place if it was already in place?

This has prevented students in our group from being able to be involved in a meaningful way with certain aspects of the research.

Userlevel 6
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Please realize that this was due to the acquisition of Zemax by Ansys. It will take some time to harmonize their practices. I can assure you, based on 25 years as a Zemax customer (always treated more as a friend), that the Zemax staff is competent and well-meaning.

>It will take some time to harmonize their practices.

I think “harmonizing” would have meant leaving the working solution in place until there was a modified replacement. I’m really failing to see the “well meaning” here based on the responses the students are getting.

Userlevel 6
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Hi @asdf - when Zemax was absorbed into Ansys, we were required to update our licensing policies to align with the larger company. This is typical for acquisitions at any company - Ansys is not unique in that regard. The change in license policy affected academic licenses the most because Zemax previously supplied the same license type to students, educators, and researchers. Ansys has a different policy which, in many cases, simply changes how you access a license. In general, academic institutions will have one of the following optics-related license types:

  1. Teaching Optics (used by professors and their classes to learn the software)
  2. Research Optics (used by research groups)
  3. TECS or LEASE license (the same license type used by industry users)

The above options are paid licenses. Additional to those, Ansys offers a free student version for students who are trying to learn the software on their own time. It is limited in functionality to the tools necessary to become familiar with the software. It is also limited because it is not supposed to be used for research or industry.

Since you mentioned research in your initial response, I had a look at your profile. Your university has purchased at least four of the TECS or LEASE license types for OpticStudio. Chances are you should be able to use at least one of those. If you email our support inbox then I can direct you to the Account Manager for your university to try to get you connected to the IT team managing your licenses.

Hello @Allie 

>It is also limited because it is not supposed to be used for research or industry.

Those of us doing research have paid licenses and this is not industry, it is a university. However, at an academic institution drawing a line between research and teaching is not clear cut. In the simplest sense, we attempt to include students in the research for educational purposes such that they are not simply doing pointless exercises and instead learning how to actually apply what they are supposed to be learning. The software usage for students is for the purpose of education.

>If you email our support inbox

Can you please provide an address? I’ve contacted Ansys several different ways now, and none of them have been fruitful at all. I keep getting redirected to forums when I email or call, and on forums I’m told to contact Ansys… It’s not clear what the right contact is to even acquire an academic license, what’s available, or how one goes about it.

 

Userlevel 6
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@asdf 

Thanks for the follow-up here. And apologies for the run-around. You can email zemax.support@ansys.com. From there I can look up your credentials and find out who your account manager is.

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