Releases

Date Version Changes
2016-12-20 2017.1.0 added clean up buttons to remove Photopia attributes, fixed issues with spectral refractive materials, license server installation, candela plot updating, and saving of radiant watt setting
2016-10-12 2017.0.0 full support for Solidworks 2017, new polar plots, additional language support (German, Traditional and Simplified Chinese, Brazilian Portuguese, and French)
2016-5-12 2016.2.0 added Parametric Optical Design Tools,added anisotropic transmissive material support
2016-2-17 2016.1.0 fixed translation of luminous dimension, improved installation stability, added shortcut for License Server installation
2015-11-4 2016.0.1 Added button to show raytrace geometry, added EULUMDAT files, added material name to appearance browser, improved speed of raytrace pre-processing, fixed beam angle in axial symmetry, updated photometric report text, updated shaded illuminance plane display, fixed issue with SPD outside visible range
2015-4-14 2015.0.7.6773 added 3D rays, added button to show/hide illuminance planes, speed improvements, fixes for subassemblies
2015-1-28 2015.0.3.6612 fixes for lamps in patterns and subassemblies, display of shaded illuminance plane
2014-12-8 2015.0.1.6545 initial release

Known Issues And Limitations

  • When you save a project you may be prompted to update the lamp PRT file to the latest version. These files are Read Only. In the dialog after Save you can check a box to prevent saving of read only files. If you use the Save As command, you'll be prompted with this message "Older Version File: Saving will convert the following files to the current version". Hit Save here, hit OK on the next dialog ("This document was read only..."), then hit Cancel on the last dialog ("This file is being reference by"). This will still perform the Save as without changing the original lamp PRT file.
  • In Solidworks 2013, if you assign an appearance to a part at the component level and then wish to remove the appearance, you'll need to go to General Settings and enable the "Show Attributes" and then manually delete the attribute which assigns the appearance to that part.

You may email support inquiries to us at the follow address: support email

Should you need to call us, our support hours are 8 AM - 5 PM MST. Our technical support staff can be reached at 720-891-0030.

Photopia for SOLIDWORKS installs alongside a currently licensed Photopia 2014 and SOLIDWORKS 2012 SP5, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 or 2017.

Requirements

  • Windows 7 or greater
  • Licensed SOLIDWORKS 2012 SP5 - 2017 installation
  • Photopia 2014 Installation
  • 5GB free hard drive space
  • 8GB RAM
  • Multicore processor
  • SOLIDWORKS compatible graphics card
  • Internet access
  • Photopia 2014.1 is required to use the "Open Results In Photopia" Feature.
  • A current ADUP to be able to use all the lamps you see in the Lamps part library.
  • A License Server revision after 6024 is necessary in order to see the Solidworks Module listed properly.

Standalone

  1. Get the installation file from LTI Optics.
  2. Close SOLIDWORKS and Photopia if they are open.
  3. Double click to run the install file. You'll likely need to have administrator rights to perform the installation.
  4. Follow the installation prompts.
  5. Open SOLIDWORKS. You should see a Photopia tab and menu item.
  6. Choose Licensing from the Photopia menu.
  7. Request an Authorization Key for Photopia for SOLIDWORKS.
  8. Once you receive the Authorization Key enter it into the Licensing dialog.

Network

  1. The License Server must have a new Photopia License server installed (after revision 6024). This can be obtained from LTI Optics.
  2. Request a new Authorization Key for Photopia for SOLIDWORKS.
  3. Once you receive the Authorization Key enter it into the Licensing webpage.
  4. Follow the Standalone instructions above for installing Photopia for SOLIDWORKS on each client.
  5. In each client, in the Licensing dialog, choose Network and use the appropriate license server.

PDM/Vault Setup

Photopia for SOLIDWORKS has several library files that are installed locally. This includes:

  • Lamp and Material data files in %programdata%\LTI Optics\Library\
  • Lamp Part files in %programdata%\LTI Optics\Library\Solidworks\Library\Lamps\
  • Appearance files in %programdata%\LTI Optics\Library\Solidworks\Library\Photopia Appearances\

In order to ensure that Photopia for SOLIDWORKS functions correctly, all of the files in the above folder must remain in place.

If you operate a PDM/Vault to store, version and share files among users, Photopia can work within this system.

You could create a shared Lamps folder that user's would pull from and copy our library to this folder, however this is not recommended for Photopia users. Since we do not have all lamps as Part files yet, the "Add Lamp" function in Photopia manages this and creates part files as necessary. If you were to just put the current Part files in a folder, your users would miss out on all of the other lamps in our library. Additionally, they would not be able to edit items like lumens, watts, and mating when adding, they would have to do that as a separate step.

Our recommendation is when your users check an assembly into the vault, they should also check-in the Lamp Model Part files that are being used in that assembly. These could be put in a Lamps directory if you wish, or just stored alongside the assembly. When another user checks out the assembly, they'll get a local copy of the lamp model in that checked out folder. For any users with Photopia installed, it will still run the raytrace properly since the data is included in the part file.

Once a lamp part is in an assembly, the name and location of the part file is not critical. User's may rename and/or move the part file anywhere they wish and the raytrace will still perform as long as they still have Photopia installed.

Photopia for SOLIDWORKS requires both a license for Photopia 2014 as well as a special license for Photopia for SOLIDWORKS.

Analyses must be performed inside of Assembly files. This is because both Lamps and Illuminance Planes are Part files. The orientation of the assembly model does not matter, Photopia for SOLIDWORKS has tools to set up the photometric test coordinates for your model.

Lamps are special versions of SOLIDWORKS parts that have all of LTI Optics' detailed lamp model data incorporated in them. This means that when you run a raytrace in SOLIDWORKS you're using the full detailed lamp model, the same model that's used in Photopia. You will have accurate far and near field distribution, as well as full color data for our new color lamps. There are two basic types of lamps you'll encounter in SOLIDWORKS.

Types

Full SOLIDWORKS

For new lamps and popular old lamps, we'll have full SOLIDWORKS parts that show the true geometry of the lamp. This geometry is just for illustration, we use much more detailed geometry during the raytrace.

Generic Placeholder Geometry

For older lamps we'll have a simple placeholder part so that you know where the lamp is, but you won't see detailed geometry. Don't worry, we still use the detailed geometry in the raytrace, we just don't have a SOLIDWORKS representation of it.

For these lamps, the Lamp center is set at the 0,0,0 point from Photopia, which is generally the Photometric Center or center of the luminous area of the lamp. This is typically:

  • Top center of the phosphor area for LEDs
  • Arc center for MH lamps
  • Center of tube for linear lamps

Adding A Lamp

  1. In your assembly model, choose Add Lamp from the Photopia tab.
  2. Use the drop down to pick the lamp based on its short code, or use the Browse Lamps button to use a sortable browser.
  3. You may select a coordinate system now to position the lamp, or use mates later to orient the lamp. The coordinate system -Z will correspond to photometric nadir of the lamp, and +Y corresponds to a horizontal angle of 0deg.
  4. Adjust lamp lumens and electrical information as necessary.

Updating A Lamp

  1. Right click on the Lamp part and choose Edit Lamp from the right click contextual menu.
  2. Adjust lamp lumens and electrical information as necessary.

Using an IES file for a lamp

If your luminaire uses LEDs with off the shelf secondary optics from companies such as Ledil, Carclo, Fraen, etc. and if those optics do not interact with other lenses or reflectors in close proximity, then they can be represented using a special set of lamp models in Photopia's library. The special lamp models consist of planar geometry and will emit light in a distribution driven by the IES file you assign to it. The light will be emitted uniformly from the front surface of the lamp geometry. We have created a range of models that can be used for various sized optics. You will see them in the lamp list with names that begin with "LEDLENS..." The rest of the name indicates the geometry of the source, with a single number indicating a diameter. Some of these lamp models also include several copies so you can work with multiple lens types in the same luminaire. In this case, the extra copies have numbers at the end of their name. Some of these models include:

  • LEDLENS20MM (This has a round emission area)
  • LEDLENS50MM (This has a round emission area)
  • LEDLENS75MM (This has a round emission area)
  • LEDLENS19x95MM (This has a rectangular emission area for symmetric beams. It is sized for the Ledil Florence product line.)
  • LEDLENS95x19MM (This has a rectangular emission area for asymmetric beams where the main throw is perpendicular to the long axis of the lens. It is sized for the Ledil Florence product line.)

To set the lamp model's IES file, just rename your IES file to match the model name you want to use and put it into the following folder: C:\ProgramData\LTI Optics\Library\Lamps

Note that this folder is sometimes hidden by Windows, so if you don't see it in Windows Explorer then change your Folder Options to display all hidden folders and files.

Once you load the lamp into your assembly model, then you will set its lumens, LED watts and driver watts in the lamp properties screen to define the values appropriate for your LED, its running current, temperature and lens efficiency.

Assigning a lamp to your Part geometry

The following instructions describe how to create the solid part geometry for an existing Photopia lamp model.

  1. Import or construct the geometry of your lamp model in a new SW part file. Note that most lamp manufacturers post STEP files for their parts on their websites. The lamp model part can be in any units as long as it is the correct size.
  2. Move the lamp geometry so that it is centered around the part origin (0,0,0). Set up the geometry so that the center of the luminous area (the center of the chip faces for LEDs) is at 0,0,0. The geometry should be rotated so that the light emits toward the -Z direction and if you have a an array of LEDs along a PCB then orient its length along the Y axis. If you have a single emitter with geometry that isn't quadrilaterally symmetric, then load that LED into Photopia's standard CAD system and see how it is oriented with respect to Photopia's world coordinates and used that same orientation within SOLIDWORKS.
  3. Add a reference coordinate system and name it "Lamp orientation." This should be added at the origin of the part and match the part's XYZ axes. Do not mate this coordinate system to anything and it will insert at (0,0,0) by default.
  4. Set the name of the part to match the lamp model LDF file name. Note that lamp models that include reflective and/or refractive components, such as the dome lens on the Cree XM-L, will have a name that has "Core" added to what is shown in the Lamps.xls file. You can confirm the lamp model LDF name by loading the lamp in Photopia. The name will be shown in the LAMP layers and also as the text on the lamp axis layer.
  5. With the reference coordinate system selected, choose Add Lamp from the Photopia menu and pick the lamp model you are creating from the list to get that lamp's attributes added to this part.
  6. Save the part with a name that matches the lamp model LDF file name.
  7. Add this part file the following folder: C:\ProgramData\LTI Optics\SolidWorks\Library\Lamps

Photopia for SOLIDWORKS uses the SOLIDWORKS Appearance system to assign Photopia raytrace materials to parts. This allows you to assign materials to individual faces, entire bodies or parts, and lets you use the Appearance Manager to audit which surfaces have Photopia Materials assigned as well as Display States to maintain several configurations of your material assignment.

Appearances

There is a Photopia Appearances tab in the right side of SOLIDWORKS. This shows all of the materials in the Library that are available based on your license. You can search, filter, and sort this list to find the material you're looking for.

Assigning Materials

There are several ways to assign appearances (similar to all SOLIDWORKS appearances):

  • Appearances may be dragged into the model onto a face, body or part. This will be by default be an assignment to the part@assembly level in 2014, and the part level in 2013 and earlier.
  • Selecting a part in the model tree and then double clicking on the Photopia Appearance you wish to assign. This will prompt whether you want to assign the appearance to the part level or the part@assembly level.

Updating Materials

To update a material, choose the part/surface, delete all appearances and then select and drag the new appearance onto the part.

Checking Materials

In the Display Manager, you can see all of the appearances in the model. Photopia appearances are structured as follows: photopia + materialname. You can select each appearance to verify the parts that are assigned that appearance.

Solid Versions

For transmissive surfaces, you'll need to assign the Solid Model version of a material in order for a proper raytrace if you are assigning the material to the entire part. If you assign the non Solid Model version to the part, you'll account for the material twice, leading to lower efficiency and possibly more diffusion. The standard double sided transmissive materials (non-Solid Model versions) can be used if you assign them to a single surface. The "front side" of the surface will be the outside of the solid part. If you want the back side of the material to face the light source, then assign that to the surface of the solid that faces away from the lamps.

You can create any rectangular illuminance plane you wish by creating a face and then assigning an illuminance plane to it.

Create Illuminance Planes

Illuminance planes are defined by a planar face. Create a face the size you wish for your illuminance plane, then choose Add Illuminance Plane from the Photopia Beta menu. In the settings you will choose the lower left corner of the plane as well as the front side of the plane. Illuminance planes only collect light onto their front side.

Update Illuminance Planes

Select an illuminance plane and right click for a contextual menu and choose Edit Illuminance Plane. You can adjust the row and column count. The size is a function of the geometry, so to modify the size you must modify the underlying geometry.

View Illuminance Planes

Currently you can view illuminance planes by choosing Results and then the Illuminance Planes tab, or they will show up in the Model view.

First, it is easiest to insert a reference coordinate system based on the following convention: -Z is Vertical Angle = 0, +Y is Horizontal Zero. The origin of this coordinate system should be located at the center of the luminous opening of your fixture.

Then go into the Photometric Settings menu, set the horizontal and vertical angles based on your fixture type and symmetry. You'll see a wireframe sphere or hemisphere which shows the test region. The wireframe density indicates the location of the test data points. The shaded portion of the wireframe indicates the final output angles in the photometry based on your symmetry. After setting the angles, exit out of the dialog with the green check.

Insert a mate between the "Reference" coordinate system and the coordinate system you created. This will move and reorient the photometric coordinate system.

Ray Count

Specifies the number of rays for the raytrace. The default of 2.5 million is generally good. More rays will result in smoother illuminance planes and candela plots.

Reaction Count

Specifies the number of reactions for a ray. This should be high enough for all the light to exit the luminaire and hit the far field photometric sphere.

Ray Shadowing

Used for ray generation, this ensures that lamp parts which shadow the emission are taken into account. Leave checked for the most accurate results.

Minimum Ray Energy

If a ray's energy falls below this, it will be dropped. This helps speed up a raytrace by not continuing to trace rays that don't contribute much to the output.

Exclude Reactions

This allows you to limit the output to only light that has exited after the specified number of reactions. This can be useful for showing only reflected and not direct light for example.

Update Frequency

Specifies how often during the raytrace you will see updated output results.

SPD Raytrace

If you wish to compute advanced color metrics over the distribution, and require the complete SPD instead of color metrics like uv, set this to enable full SPD output.

Model Deviation

The Photopia raytrace engine uses a meshed model for the raytrace. This meshed model is the same model generated by SOLIDWORKS for the display of geometry. In order to display geometry quickly, SOLIDWORKS default display resolution for curves can often be quite coarse. If you ever see a circle or arc represented by straight line segments, this is also what the raytracer will see.

By default, this display resolution is often too coarse. If you have sensitive curves in your model and you see them represented by too few segments, you'll want to increase the display resolution of that curve.

To increase the resolution (and decrease the deviation of the mesh from the true geometry), go to Tools > Options > Document Properties > Image Quality and pull the "Shaded and draft quality HLR/HLV resolution" slider into the red zone.

Results can be viewed either in the SOLIDWORKS window or in a new window. This allows you to view several outputs at the same time.

Results are saved in the configuration they are run in, so you can maintain multiple saved results if you have multiple configurations in your model.

Currently we show the following results:

  • Photometric report, including efficiency, candela distribution, zonal lumens, beam angles, CUs and roadway typings
  • Candela Plot
  • Illuminance planes, including shaded, text and summary data which can be saved to a file
  • IES file which can be saved
  • Analysis Status

For additional output types that are in Photopia 2014 you can open the results in Photopia using the Open Results in Photopia button.

Design Reflector

The Parametric Optical Design Tools allow you to generate a reflector profile based on your desired aiming angles, and you can then use this profile to generate 3D geometry using SOLIDWORKS.

You'll generate the profile in a part document, and this part can then be inserted into your assembly.

For a reflector you'll want to create a new sketch, and in this sketch add a point (Insert > Reference Geometry > Point) to define the Lamp Center, a point to define the reflector start point, and a line to define the 0deg aiming angle.

Select Photopia > Design Reflector and properly fill out each of the boxes to create the reflector profile.

Reload - If you have already created a PODT reflector in this part, this list will allow you to select the properties of a previously created profile and load them for this new profile.

Lamp Center - Select a point that defines the lamp center. This is used to generate the reflector geometry in conjunction with your aiming angles.

Start Point - This defines the start point of the reflector.

Angular Extent - The reflector will start at the start point and then sweep this angular extent (in a counter clockwise positive convention). The reflector end point is a function of the aiming angles, but it will end on this line.

Edge for 0deg - Choose an edge that will define the 0deg aiming angle. Positive angles will be to the right and negative angles to the left of this edge.

Aiming String - This string identifies the angles or points that will be aimed to. If the type is "Aim by direction" the string is start-angle(angular-increment)end-angle. If the type is "Aim by point" the string is start-x, start-y(number of points)end-x, end-y.

Target Feature - Instead of just generating a profile, you can opt to have this profile replace the profile that is driving a current feature.

Open the PODT Window - This button will open the PODT window where you can adjust additional properties, including section by section properties.

Advanced - Identifies numerical values for the points of the reflector.

Design Lens

The Parametric Optical Design Tools allow you to generate a lens profile based on your desired aiming angles, and you can then use this profile to generate 3D geometry using SOLIDWORKS.

You'll generate the profile in a part document, and this part can then be inserted into your assembly.

For a lens you'll want to create a new sketch, and in this sketch add a point (Insert > Reference Geometry > Point) to define the Lamp Center, a base profile which the lens will be built from, and a line to define the 0deg aiming angle.

Select Photopia > Design Lens and properly fill out each of the boxes to create the lens profile.

Reload - If you have already created a PODT lens in this part, this list will allow you to select the properties of a previously created profile and load them for this new profile.

Lamp Center - Select a point that defines the lamp center. This is used to generate the lens geometry in conjunction with your aiming angles.

Base Profile - This defines the base profile that the lens will be mapped to. Think of this as the input surface of the lens. The base profile can be made from line, arc, and spline segments.

Prism Steps - By default the tool will first create a prismatic lens with this number of steps. In the PODT window you can switch to a smooth lens if you wish.

Index of refraction - The index of refraction that will be used to design the lens. This should match the appearance you assign to the lens part.

Minimum thickness - This defines the closest distance allowed between the inner and outer surfaces of the lens.

Edge for 0deg - Choose an edge that will define the 0deg aiming angle. Positive angles will be to the right and negative angles to the left of this edge.

Aiming String - This string identifies the angles or points that will be aimed to. If the type is "Aim by direction" the string is start-angle(angular-increment)end-angle. If the type is "Aim by point" the string is start-x, start-y(number of points)end-x, end-y.

Target Feature - Instead of just generating a profile, you can opt to have this profile replace the profile that is driving a current feature.

Open the PODT Window - This button will open the PODT window where you can adjust additional properties, including section by section properties.

Advanced - Identifies numerical values for the points of the lens.

PODT Window

The PODT window contains a left area for overall properties, a lower area with section properties, a plot of the weight factor and candela distribution in the upper left and the profile preview in the upper right.

Reflectors

Aim by angle - Specify a new start, end and angular increment to redefine the reflector or lens aiming. Click "Update Aiming" to apply the changes.

Aim by point - Specify a new start, end and number of points to redefine the reflector or lens aiming. Click "Update Aiming" to apply the changes.

Start X/Y - You can adjust the start point of the reflector or lens in the sketch plane coordinates.

Curve Resolution - This is the resolution of the generated curve, which is interpolated from the true optical geometry (sections of parabolas and ellipses).

Angular Extent - From the start point, the reflector is swept for this angle in a CCW+ direction.

Number of Sections - The number of aiming sections. Can be updated by redefining aiming or adjusting this value.

Calculate Weight - Turns on the calculation of weight based on aiming angles or points.

Weight Exponent - Exponent in the calculated weight equation, smoothly increases or decreases the change of weight over angle.

Weight Minimum - Sets a minimum weight for the calculation to avoid small sections.

Weight Shift - Shifts the peak of the aiming, useful for applications where the light is directed to the side or up.




Lenses

Aim by angle - Specify a new start, end and angular increment to redefine the reflector or lens aiming. Click "Update Aiming" to apply the changes.

Aim by point - Specify a new start, end and number of points to redefine the reflector or lens aiming. Click "Update Aiming" to apply the changes.

Optical Center X/Y - You can adjust the optical center of the lens in the sketch plane coordinates.

Profile Type - Stepped creates a prismatic lens, Smooth creates a smooth lens.

Number of Sections - The number of aiming sections. Can be updated by redefining aiming or adjusting this value.

% Control Inside - Lenses may have all of the control on the outside surface, the inside surface, or a portion on each.

Number of Prisms - The number of prisms.

Use Pull Direction - Will adjust the prism riser steps for a pull direction.

Pull Direction X/Y - Defines a vector for the pull direction in the sketch coordinates.

Draft Angle - Additional adjustment of the pull direction by a draft angle.

Peak/Valley Fillet Radius - Specify a peak and valley fillet radius for prismatic lenses.

Fillet Resolution - The angular resolution of the fillet creation.

Outer/Inner Bulge - Specify a bulge extent to create rounded prisms.

Bulge Resolution - The angular resolution of the bulge creation.

Offset Style - The method by which the outer profile is placed.

Offset Distance - Distance from the base profile start point to the outer profile start point. This is controlled by the minimum thickness.

Offset Direction - Specifies if the offset profile is inside or outside of the base profile.

Minimum Thickness - Minimum distance between the inner and outer lens surfaces.

Calculate Weight - Turns on the calculation of weight based on aiming angles or points.

Weight Exponent - Exponent in the calculated weight equation, smoothly increases or decreases the change of weight over angle.

Weight Minimum - Sets a minimum weight for the calculation to avoid small sections.

Weight Shift - Shifts the peak of the aiming, useful for applications where the light is directed to the side or up.

Iterate on design

If you create an Extruded Boss/Base or a Revolved Boss/Base from your PODT profile, you can then click on that Feature, choose Photopia > Design Reflector/Lens and then it will recognize the PODT profile and you can open the PODT window to adjust aiming angles and other properties. Once you accept those changes, the profile will be regenerated and the feature will be updated with the new profile.

If you use the PODT profile to create another feature type (surfaces, lofted, swept, etc) our tool will not automatically replace the profile in the feature, but you can still generate a new profile with our PODT, and then in your feature replace the old profile with the new profile.

Weight Factor

Within the PODT window, there are a few properties (Weight Exponent, Weight Minimum, and Weight Shift) which are used in a special equation we have created to smoothly change the amount of reflector or lens that is directed to each aiming angle or point.

Display Attributes

This option enables the display of attributes in the Feature Manager Tree. This can be useful if you need to delete any Photopia items that have been added to your assembly.

Process Priority

Sets the priority of the raytrace process. Normal works well in most cases. With High and Aggressive your computer may become non-responsive during a raytrace.

Worker Count

This specifies the number of workers that process the raytrace. The default of 0 sets the number of workers equal to the number of physical cores. You may adjust the value higher or lower, but the default is optimal for most machines.

Beginner 1: LED TIR Collimator

Beginner 2: PODT Reflector

Beginner 3: PODT Lens

2x4 Fluorescent Troffer

Advanced: Daylight Device



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Copyright 2017 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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