Release News

The Zemax 21.2 suite is live!

  • 27 July 2021
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The Zemax 21.2 suite is live!
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​The next major release of the Zemax suite of products is live! As of May 25th, you can download the latest versions of OpticStudio, OpticsBuilder, and OpticsViewer. Each of these releases has introduced a wide array of new features and tools, all of which are outlined in detail within the release notes. Find those here:

One of the most exciting features going live with this release is the STAR module - a new add-in to OpticStudio which you can read more about here. If you’re curious about what this module is (and how to use it), check out the interview with Customer Success team member Hui Chen* below.


* - Hui Chen is a Senior Optical Engineer on the Customer Success team. She has been with the company since 2017. Hui specializes in handling laser & fiber questions from customers. Recently, she has worked closely with the development team and users to test STAR. Her diligence and experience helped ensure STAR is something users will love!


What’s a new feature in the 21.2 release that you’re excited about? 

STAR is an exciting new feature that’s released with OpticStudio 21.2. The STAR module allows a direct integration of FEA data into OpticStudio which helps make the STOP analysis much more streamlined and easier for our users.

From talking to customers, what do you think they will like about this feature?

  1. Ease of data import from any FEA platform
  2. Non-uniform mesh supported by the STAR module.
  3. Good quality fitting of the FEA data.

Do you foresee this feature being particularly useful to a certain industry? Like lasers & fibers, illumination, etc?

This feature will be particularly useful for optical engineers who deal with high precision optical systems, or systems whose performance are more susceptible to mechanical stress and thermal effect. The STAR module allows them to directly model the performance impact due to structural deformation and thermal gradient.  

Do you wish you had had this feature in any of your previous work? Be it at Zemax, in industry, or in school?

Yes, previously when a user needed to arrange the structural deformation data into Zemax Grid Sag format it was time consuming and error prone. This tool makes the task much easier.

How can users get started with this new tool?

  1. Purchase and set up your STAR license. This is separate from your OpticStudio license.
  2. Obtain the FEA data from the FEA engineer in the STAR compatible format. You can find the data format described in the STAR section of the OpticStudio manual.
  1. Load the FEA data using the LOAD FEA Data button.

Anything else you’d like to share about the feature?

We have created forum posts on STAR FAQs. Read them here:

Additionally, there is also a STAR KBA that describes how to use STAR with OpticStudio here: OpticStudio STAR Module - Data import and analysis tutorial.

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