Special tools - Optics

Posted on Sun 26 June 2022 in Scientific software/Special Tools - Optics


Optical design

While this is in general understood as raytracing (see next section) there are a number of free tools available that allow the designing and following evaluation of optical setups. The main difference to pure raytracing softwares is often that these have some kind of comfortable way to create larger setups. I have not dug to deep into the matter and there might be quite some interesting candidates missing https://pyoptools.readthedocs.io/en/latest/description.html

Pyoptical tools is a powerful python based tool that offers raytraing and wavefront analysis of a a larger set of elements. It has a toolbox for Freecad that can be used to very comfortable design the optics (and import stuff from e.g. Thorlabs) https://ray-optics.readthedocs.io/en/latest/index.html

Rayoptics is also a powerful python based tool that offers raytraing and wavefront analysis. It has build in libraries for the import of Thorlabs or Edmund optical elements. https://salsa.debian.org/mess42/pyrate/

Also pyrate provides interfaces to freecad designing of optical systems. It seems to be actively developed, but somwhat more oriented to coding type of persons, but hard to judge, as I have not played with it. https://design.3doptix.com/lp1.html 3doptics offers a free online modeller as introduction into the simulation of optical systems. Might be worth a visit.

A very usefull online tool is the toolbox from lightconversion that can be found here: http://toolbox.lightcon.com


A colleagues tested OSLO and said it is good for small simulations (up to 10 surfaces) http://www.lambdares.com/index.php/oslo

Gnu Optical seems to be a powerfull package http://www.gnu.org/software/goptical/

A python frontend and language https://pyscience.wordpress.com/2014/10/05/from-ray-casting-to-ray-tracing-with-python-and-vtk/

one classical not super scientific way is also to generate a scene with program like space-claim http://www.spaceclaim.com/ or sketchup and then use the very powerfull raytracer povray http://www.povray.org/ with the “photon map” feature to forward raytrace those elements.