LightTools Enewsletter, June 2018

LightTools Enewsletter

June 2018

LightTools Version 8.6 Available Now

We are pleased to announce that LightTools version 8.6 is now available. This release features the following major enhancements, along with other improvements:

  • New LightTools Tolerance Manager
  •  Ray data source support for backward simulations
  • Improvement for declaring optical contact
  • NURBS and interpolated curves added to the 2D Objects tools palette
  • Freeform design enhancements
  • Light Guide Designer enhancement
  • Windows 10 and high DPI monitor support
  • CATIA V5 installation change and support for R26


Software and License File Instructions

Direct-Sales Customers

Software and license key files for LightTools direct-sales customers are available on the Synopsys SolvNet website.

Distributor Customers

For customers working with distributors, you will continue to obtain your software and license keys from your local LightTools software distributor. See the Synopsys Optical Solutions Group Global Contacts page for contact information. If your country is not listed on the Distributors page referenced above, please contact us at for instructions.

Key New Features in LightTools 8.6


Tolerance analysis is the process of applying changes to the model based on errors introduced by the manufacturing process so that you can evaluate the resulting performance and then adjust the required precision to hold model parameters. This release introduces the LightTools Tolerance Manager, which provides tools for setting tolerance bounds on model parameters, defining performance measures for analysis, and performing sensitivity and Monte Carlo tolerance analyses. 

Ray Data Source Support for Backward Simulations

To address the frequent need to use measured ray data files in illumination design, LightTools now supports ray data sources for backward simulations. This improvement allows designers to perform more efficient luminance calculations made possible with these types of simulations.

Improvement for Declaring Optical Contact

In addition to the DeclareContact command, which allows you to define a relationship of optical contact between two selected surfaces, LightTools now provides an AutoDeclareContact command, which allows you to select entities and automatically define optical contact between all pairs of surfaces that have an area of overlap within a specified distance.

NURBS and Interpolated Curves Added to the 2D Objects Tools Palette

Extending its geometric modeling capability for creating wireframe entities, LightTools has added tools for creating native NURBS (Non-uniform rational basis spline) and interpolated curves. The new curves can be used for annotations like polylines and for swept light guides in place of imported geometry created in 3D CAD programs. The native curves are parametrized and available for optimization and tolerancing. 

Freeform Design Enhancements

LightTools 8.6 expands freeform design options with analysis support for extended sources.

Light Guide Designer Enhancement

The LightTools Light Guide Designer includes a new option to enable path angle optimization concurrently with spatial optimization, making the design process faster and more efficient, particularly for light guides with sources on one end.

Windows 10 and High DPI Monitor Support

LightTools now supports the Windows 10 operating system, in addition to Windows 7. For monitors with high resolution or high DPI (dots per inch), LightTools can now adjust the user interface to keep it readable (e.g., scaling elements like command text and button images so that they are legible).

CATIA V5 Installation Change and Support for R26

For the Setup Type in the LightTools installation wizard, the option that is selected by default is now the Complete option, which includes the CATIA V5 data exchange module. If you do not intend to license and use the CATIA V5 module, you can choose the Typical setup option to install all features except the CATIA V5 module, or select the Custom setup option, which allows you to manually control which features are installed.

For details about installing LightTools, see the LightTools Installation Guide

The CATIA V5 data exchange module now supports the import and export of CATIA V5 files up to and including version R26.

For More Information

The following resources are available on our Customer Support Portal:

 If you have any questions about features in this release, please contact

LightTools User Group Meetings

Join us for our annual LightTools User Group Meeting for lectures, discussions, and presentations developed by Synopsys Optical Solutions Group's technical support and engineering staff. The live, in-person meetings start at 9:00 a.m. and end at 4:30 p.m. Complimentary lunch, as well as morning and afternoon refreshments, will be provided. 

Attend a live meeting:

Sunnyvale, CA

Tuesday, September 18, 2018
Synopsys, Inc.
Kelvin Room
1030 West Maude Avenue
Sunnyvale, CA 94085

Atlanta, GA

Tuesday, September 25, 2018
DoubleTree by Hilton Atlanta - Buckhead
3342 Peachtree Road NE
Atlanta, GA 30326

Attend the Webinar Series

Can't make it to a live meeting? Register to attend the three-part webinar series:

Thursday, September 20, 2018
10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. PDT

Thursday, September 27, 2018
10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. PDT

Thursday, October 4, 2018
10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. PDT

Topics and registration will be available in the late Summer.

LightTools Training - Register Today

We are taking registrations for our upcoming LightTools training sessions. Visit our website for more information, and to register online today. Seats are limited, minimum enrollments apply. 

Introduction to Illumination Design Using LightTools

June 25-27, 2018
Synopsys, Inc.
Building 2, Shannon Room
445 North Mary Avenue
Sunnyvale, CA 94085

Introduction to Illumination Design Using LightTools

October 1-3, 2018
Synopsys, Inc.
Building 2, Shannon Room
445 North Mary Avenue
Sunnyvale, CA 94085

Selected Topics LightTools

November 5-7, 2018
Synopsys, Inc.
Building B
690 E. Middlefield Road
Mountain View, CA 94043

Customer Networking Luncheon at SPIE Optics + Photonics

Wednesday, August 22, 2018
12:00 – 2:00 p.m. 

Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina 
Bayside Pavilion Room 
333 W Harbor Dr.
San Diego, CA 92101

Synopsys' Optical Solutions Group cordially invites you to a luncheon reception at the SPIE Optics + Photonics conference in San Diego, CA. Join us for food and drinks, talk with our LightTools experts, share ideas with other users, and learn about our latest software innovations.

In addition, Donald O'Shea, Professor Emeritus of Georgia Institute of Technology, and Julie Bentley, Associate Professor of Optics at University of Rochester, will be available to sign copies of their new book to be published by SPIE Press, "Designing Optics Using CODE V." The book demonstrates how to design optical systems using CODE V, from lens definition to the description and evaluation of lens errors and onto the improvement of lens performance.

Please RSVP before August 15 if you plan to attend the reception. We hope to see you there!

Calendar of Events

For the latest event calendar, please go to our Events page.