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LTI Optics Photopia Logo

light guide and light pipe optical design software

including SOLIDWORKS® add-in

light pipe Overview

Light Pipe and Light Guide Optical Design Software

Photopia optical design software is well suited to designing, analyzing and optimizing light guides and light pipes, commonly used for illumination, backlighting, indicators and consumer devices.

Photopia's direct integration into SOLIDWORKS makes it simple to create light pipe geometry as part of your mechanical model and test its optical performance.

The source and material library is filled with over 2000 items, so you'll find a complete full-color model of the LED you're using along with material properties measured with care in our in-house lab. No more guessing or needing to create your own source and material models, we've done the hard work for you.

LED indicator light pipes

Display backlight light guides

Automotive forward and tail lighting

Consumer electronics

light guide ringlight guide ring with 3d rays

clear light guidescattering light guide

Visual Output

In Photopia you can view the light interacting with any 3D surface, allowing you to see what a light pipe will look like. This allows you to optimize your light pipe surface texture, material particle density and geometry to improve uniformity and extraction.

The images to the left show light pipe with a blue LED as either a clear or scattering material and how that improves the extraction of light along the entire circumference of the ring.

rendering of material scatter geometry simulated in Photopia

Surface Texture

Light guides commonly use a surface texture to extract light in specific regions. These textures are often small and complex, which can be difficult and time consuming to raytrace. Photopia comes with a virtual Material Lab, which allows you to generate full BRDF/BTDF/BSDF data for any material geometry you can draw or scan from a physical part.

particle scattering simulation in Photopia

Particle Scattering

Light pipes will often use a low density of scattering particles to mix and uniformly extract light over the emission region. These particles could be other plastic or glass beads, color pigments, or even energy converting phosphor particles.

Photopia's raytracer allows for full control over these types of reactions, giving you control over the following properties:

Base Material Index and Attenuation

Scattering Particle Density

Scatter Distribution from Particle

Spectral Transformation at Particle

Particle Absorption

More details about all of the features of Photopia are on our general Photopia page.


The first step to evaluating if Photopia is a good fit for your company is to schedule an online demonstration where one of our expert optical engineers will discuss your projects and give you a walkthrough of the software. After the online demo, we're happy to provide a 1 week trial license so that you can use the software on your own projects or show it to others in your office.

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Trial Version

After the online demo, we're happy to provide a 2 week trial license so that you can use the software on your own projects or show it to others in your office.


We sell direct and through a network of international representative.

In order to provide a quote please contact us and we'll either provide one or put you in contact with the correct representative.

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Copyright 2020 by LTI Optics, LLC, all rights reserved.

SOLIDWORKS® is a registered trademark of Dassault Systémes SOLIDWORKS Corporation.

LTI Optics provides Photopia, the industries leading optical design software and optical analysis software for designing and analyzing illumination optical systems. Photopia optical design software works alone or is an add-in to SOLIDWORKS, allowing full opto-mechanical integration.

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