Parametric Optical Design Tools

Parametric Fresnel Lens Design

The Parametric Optical Design Tools within Photopia for Rhino® and Photopia for SOLIDWORKS® streamline the design process and help you create world class optical designs in a fraction of the time.

The PODT use profiles to drive the generatfion of 3D optical geometry. A profile is defined by key parameters like the light source location, the size, and the aiming of light. Then these profiles can be used to create a 3D part, using a simple extrusion or revolution, or by creating a complex lofting and linking of multiple reflector profiles.

Profiles can be adjusted via aiming angles (parabolic sections) or aiming points (elliptic sections) with either a weight equation for smooth transitions, or via individual weights on each aiming section for precise control.

The starting profile gets you well on your way to a final design, and all of the adjustment parameters allow you to quickly iterate to an optimal design without having to redraw or import CAD models.

Based on our experience and customer feedback, the Parametric Optical Design Tools can save you hundreds of hours on a design.

Solidworks PODT Reflector

Aim Light Where You Need

Our PODT allows you to create reflector and lens profiles based on where you want light to go, allowing you to specify aiming angles or points for each section of the optic. Our unique Weighting Equation creates a smooth transition driven by optically relevant data.

Aim by angle (direction)

Aim by Point

Relative Importance of Each Angle/Point

Equation Driven Option

Solidworks PODT TIR

Native 3D Solids

Your PODT profile is then turned into a 3D solid, natively in either SOLIDWORKS or Rhino. This allows you to continue to work with the solid just like any other part of your model, enabling all features of your CAD software, like unions, holes, etc.

Simple revolve

Simple Extrude

3D Lofted

Swept along path

Parametric Optical Design View Solidworks

Simple Iteration and Optimization

If you need to modify your optic to adjust the aiming, overall size, or construction parameters, we keep a tie between the profile and the solid, meaning when you update the profile, the solid is regenerated, and then in SOLIDWORKS any subsequent operations on the solid are performed again.

Parametric Optical Design View Solidworks

Automated Design Optimization

In Photopia for Rhino, you can use a genetic optimization function to automatically optimize an optic towards a specific goal, such as beam angle.

Solidworks PODT Fresnel

Manufacturing Parameters

Mechanical constraints impact the performace of your optic, so its helpful to consider these during the design process. Our PODT includes non-optical parameters related to the mechanical aspects of the optic.

Prism count and size


Draft Angle and Pull Direction

Minimum Thickness

Solidworks PODT Reflector
Solidworks PODT Lens
Type 3 Roadway Lens Design
CMH Reflector for street lighting