LightTools Enewsletter, March 2018

LightTools Enewsletter

March 2018

LightTools 8.6 Release Candidate (RC) Available Now

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

  • New LightTools Tolerance Manager
  • Windows 10 and high DPI monitor support
  • Ray data source support for backward simulations
  • Improvement for declaring optical contact
  • NURBS and interpolated curves added to the 2D Objects tools palette
  • CATIA V5 Installation Change and Support for R26

The LightTools 8.6 RC is a fully tested early version that we are making available to customers who would like to begin using its new capabilities now. If you encounter any issues with this release candidate, we encourage you to report them to Critical issues discovered during the release candidate period will be addressed in the final version of LightTools 8.6, scheduled to be released in a few months. 

Obtaining LightTools 8.6 RC Software

LightTools 8.6 RC is available only by download from the following link [provided only to customers].

Obtaining LightTools 8.6 RC License Files

Your LightTools 8.5.0 license file is valid to use for the LightTools 8.6 RC. If you do not have a LightTools 8.5.0 license file, you can obtain one from the Synopsys SolvNet site at For details about how to download a LightTools license file from SolvNet, see the Obtaining CODE V and LightTools Software and License Keys video from the Customer Support Portal. 

Key New Features in LightTools 8.6 RC


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. 

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). 

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 and hybrid 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. 

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

For additional details about the content of the LightTools 8.6 RC, see the LightTools 8.6 RC Release Notes. To see all the new feature videos for this release, visit the Customer Support Portal. If you have any questions about features in this release, please contact

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.


Learn more | Register Now


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