LightTools Enewsletter

January 2016

LightTools User Group Meetings - Submit Your Topic Ideas

You have an opportunity to help determine the topics during the annual LightTools® User Group meetings.

What topics would you like to see discussed? What features in LightTools would you like to know more about? How could we help you be more productive in LightTools?

We welcome all ideas, and will take those into consideration as we plan for the user group meetings. Help us make the user group a truly worthwhile event for you. LightTools User Groups are currently planned for September 2016, to be held in Sunnyvale, CA, and Marlborough, MA.

Send your brilliant topic ideas to, or join our LightTools Group on LinkedIn to submit your ideas there. We look forward to hearing them!

Speak Up

LightTools Tip: Selecting Objects by Type

LightTools allows you to select objects using different filter types such as Solid, Primitive, Surface, etc. via the context menus in the 3D View or the System Navigator/Properties Dialog. But these selection filters do not include some object types such as reference geometry and dummy objects.

System Navigator/Properties Dialog

There are numerous cases where you use dummy objects to aid creation/modification of geometry in LightTools. One common example is the use of a dummy sphere (or a point/coordinate system object) as a specific reference point (also known as a tag point for selection) for complex objects that do not have a desirable reference point for selection. By selecting the dummy reference first, and then selecting the complex object(s), we can use our reference object as the selection point for commands like Copy, Move, Rectangular/Circular Array, etc. One undesirable effect of this approach is the creation of additional reference objects that can add clutter to the model. This tip highlights how to use the Data Access Helper utility to make the selection process easier for you in order to remove additional objects.

Consider the case where you want to create a circular array of LEDs using a base LED model, which does not have a desirable reference point for selection/arraying. By adding a dummy sphere as a reference point, we can create the array easily. The remaining issue is how to remove the additional dummy objects resulting from the array operation.

Base LED model

We end up with the picture shown below, after generating the Circular Array.

a.  Select dummy sphere
b.  Select the LED group (multi-select using CTRL or SHIFT)

Command: CircArray XYZ 0,0,0 1 XYZ 100,0,0 36

Circular Array

In order to remove all the extra dummy spheres you can do the following:

1. Hide all groups in the model.

        a.  Groups contain the source and the CAD geometry for the LED

        b.  You can use Tools > Utility Library > Miscellaneous > Data Access Helper utility

hide all groups

Enter “No” in the data value field and click “Set Value” button to execute the commands. This will hide all groups and leave only dummy spheres visible in the model. 

dummy spheres

2. Use the selection tools to select all the visible dummy spheres. “Inside” or “Outside” buttons can be used to select all objects. 

select all objects

3. Press Delete to remove the dummy objects.

4. From the Edit menu, select “Show All.” Select the original base LED model used for the array and delete it.

5. The picture below is the resulting model, after deleting dummy objects and the original base LED model used for the array. 

resulting model