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.

Please fill out this form to get more information.


For photopia, our technical support is intended to answer any questions you may have about the use of the software.

Technical support is only avaliable if you have an active Annual Maintenance contract.

If your Annual Maintenance contract is expired, you can use these online resources. If you need assistance beyond these, you may renew your Annual Maintenance contract.

It is beyond the scope of standard technical support to assist you in creating optics or teaching you SOLIDWORKS or Rhino.

We offer training if you need a quick start, more detailed help, or assistance with a specific project.

Photopia for Rhino installs as an plug-in to Rhino 6 or Rhino 7.

Photopia for Solidworks installs as an add-in to SOLIDWORKS 2018-2021.

Requirements

SOLIDWORKS

Requirements

  • SOLIDWORKS 2018 - 2021
  • Windows 8.1 or 10
  • 64-bit Intel or AMD process (not ARM)
  • 8GB RAM
  • 600 MB disk space
  • No more than 63 CPU cores
  • Internet access

Not Supported

  • Windows 8 or older
  • Windows Server (any version)
  • ARM Processors
  • 32-bit processors
Rhino

Requirements

  • Rhino 6 or Rhino 7
  • Windows 8.1 or 10
  • 64-bit Intel or AMD processor (not ARM)
  • 8GB RAM
  • 600 MB disk space
  • No more than 63 CPU cores
  • Internet access

Not Supported

  • Windows 8 or older
  • Windows Server (any version)
  • ARM Processors
  • 32-bit processors

Install and Setup

PDM/Vault SetupSOLIDWORKS Only

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.

Beginning with Photopia 2020.1 released August 2020, Photopia uses an online licensing system.

my|photopia Users Guide
SOLIDWORKS

Analyses must be performed inside of Assembly files.

All project settings and raytrace results are stored inside of your Assembly file.

The orientation of the assembly model does not matter, Photopia for SOLIDWORKS has tools to set up the photometric test coordinates for your model.

Rhino

All project settings and raytrace results are stored inside of your 3DM Rhino file.

The orientation of the model does not matter, Photopia for Rhino has tools to set up the photometric test coordinates for your model.

Rhino - Nested Blocks

IGES or STEP files exported from a solid modeler assembly file will contain multiple parts and sub-assemblies. All of the parts will be contained within nested blocks, all on a single layer when first imported into Rhino. To avoid the tedium of exploding multiple times and moving parts to layers you manually create, Photopia for Rhino includes a tool that does all of that automatically. The tool produces a new layer for each block based on the part names and maintains sub-assembly structures of the original assembly by using sub-layers. Turning off a layer in Rhino that contains sub-layers turns off all sub-layers in one click, just like turning off the display of a sub-assembly in a feature tree.

Usage:

  1. Import the IGES or STEP file into a new Rhino model.
  2. Run the ExplodeBlocksToLayers command.
  3. Type "L" at the first prompt to set the option for a new layer per block. The default option will put all parts onto a single layer.
  4. Then select the imported block and press enter.

Lamps are special versions of SOLIDWORKS parts or Rhino blocks that have all of LTI Optics' detailed lamp model data incorporated in them. This means that when you run a raytrace you're using the full detailed lamp model, even if the display geometry is simplified. You will have accurate far and near field distribution, as well as full color data for our new color lamps. Rhino displays the exact 3D lamp model data. In SOLIDWORKS, there are two basic types of lamps you'll encounter.

Types

Full SOLIDWORKS

For new lamps and popular old lamps, we'll have a full SOLIDWORKS part that shows the 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

SOLIDWORKS
  1. In your assembly model, choose Add Lamp from the Photopia tab or menu.
  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. Solidworks Lamp Properties Page Solidworks Lamp Model Browser
  4. 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.
  5. Adjust lamp lumens and electrical information as necessary.
  6. You can pattern/mate/move/etc the lamp part just like any other Solidworks part.
Rhino
  1. In your model, choose Add Lamp from the Photopia menu or toolbar.
  2. Scroll thru the lamp list or type a keyword in the Search box.
  3. Rhino Add Lamp Dialog
  4. Click on your choosen lamp in the list.
  5. You may edit any of the Lamp Properties before you insert it.
  6. Click Add Lamp to begin placing the lamp.
  7. Either type in a coordiate at the command line or use the mouse to click the lamp into place.
  8. You may move/rotate/array/copy the lamp just as any other CAD item.

Updating A Lamp

SOLIDWORKS
  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.
Rhino
  1. Select the lamp in the CAD model.
  2. Go to the Photopia Lamp panel.
  3. Adjust lamp properties.
  4. Click Modify selected lamp.

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. they may 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.

LIMITATIONS

Light is emitted uniformly from the planar emission area, which is an approximation.

If you have lenses or reflectors close to the emission areas, they may not perform as they really will.

Using Rayset Data

If you don't find your lamp model in our Library, one option is to obtain and use a Rayset file from the LED manufacturer.

Rayset files contain

Raysets can sometimes have confusing orientation and emission points, so it is always best to turn on 3D rays to be sure that the rayset is positioned correctly. To rotate or move the rayset, you'll just rotate and move the lamp you placed there.

LIMITATIONS

Rayset files contain the emission points of the rays.

There are many examples where the emission points in these files are not truly representative of the actual emission point.

Here is a summary of rayset limitations.

SOLIDWORKS

Photopia for SOLIDWORKS can use .rir formatted rayset data (grayscale based rayset data) as the emission source. To use this:

  1. Choose Add Lamp from the Command Manager.
  2. You'll need to pick a current lamp model, so choose something with similar geometry.
  3.  
  4. Expand the Options section to reveal additional options.
  5. Click Browse to find your .rir rayset file.
  6. Turn on 3D rays by going to Raytrace Settings.
  7. Run an analysis as usual.
  8. View 3D Rays by clicking Show/Hide 3D rays
  9. Rotate or move lamp as necessary to ensure proper ray emanation points.
Rhino

Rayset based lamp models are not currently supported in Rhino.

Assigning a lamp to your Part geometrySOLIDWORKS Only

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
  8. Next time you add this lamp to a project you should see your new geometry.
SOLIDWORKS

Photopia for SOLIDWORKS uses the SOLIDWORKS Appearance system to assign Photopia raytrace materials to parts. This allows you to assign materials to individual faces, features, 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.

Solidworks Appearance Hierarchy Guide

Rhino

Photopia materials in Rhino are managed via the Photopia panel . Photopia materials are separate/unique from the Rhino materials/finishes.

Photopia Appearances

There is a Photopia Appearances tab in the right side of SOLIDWORKS. This shows all of the materials in the Photopia 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, feature, body or part. When you drop onto an object, you'll get a flyout menu that allows you to select where the appearance should be applied. By this default be an assignment to the part@assembly level in 2014, and the part level in 2013 and earlier.
  • Selecting a face, feature, body or 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.

Appearance Hierarchy

Each face, feature, body or part can have appearances assigned in multiple ways and the Solidworks appearance hierarchy will determine which appearance is used during the ray-trace. This is also the same appearance that is used for the rendering.

The Display Manager will show the controlling appearance for each entity, so you can use this to verify that the Photopia appearance is going to be used during the ray-trace.

Controlling appearance order:

  1. Component Level Assignment (part@assembly level)
  2. Face Assignment
  3. Feature Assignment
  4. Body Assignment
  5. Part Assignment

Updating Materials

To update a material, choose the face, feature, body or part, delete all appearances, and then select and drag the new appearance onto the item.

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.

The Display Manager will show the appearance that will be used during the ray-trace.

Solid Versions

For transmissive surfaces, you'll need to assign the Solid Model version of a material in order for a proper ray-trace 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.

Anisotropic Materials

Anisotropic materials are materials where there is a grain or feature that create a scattering distribution that is a function of the horizontal incidence angle. Ribbed aluminum, linear prisms and elliptical diffusers are a few examples of anisotropic materials.

In the library anisotropic materials are identified by a (A) in the name and the word "anisotropic" in their description.

Just like other materials, the first step is to assign the appearance to the geometry using the same steps outlined above.

The next step is to orient the material. To do this:

  1. Select the face, feature, body or part you want to orient the material on.
  2. Choose "Edit Photopia Appearance" from the Photopia tab of the Command Manager.
  3. You should then see arrows across each polygon. These show the 0deg azimuthal plane of the material orientation, which is indicated in the material description.
  4. You can adjust the orientation of the 0deg plane by setting the values in the property page.

If the arrows don't display, try orbiting since sometimes they are rendered behind the surface.

Volumetric Scattering

Beginning with Photopia 2017, Photopia and Photopia for SOLIDWORKS support volumetric scattering refractive materials. This is for materials which scatter light within their volume, usually via pigment or diffusion particles. These are a special class of Refractive materials, and as such require the General Refractor Module or Photopia Premium. Volumetric scattering can also be used along with spectral material properties to model phosphor particles suspended in a clear material. With a volumetric scattering material, your geometry will impact the scattering (thicker part will scatter more).

Photopia uses a specific XML formatted file for defining the material properties. For Volumetric Scattering, the scattering is described by the Beer-Lambert Law. Photopia accounts for the extinction coefficient within the clear base material, the scattering coefficient (likelihood to scatter), the absorption of the scatter reaction, as well as the distribution and energy conversion of the scatter reaction.

Current Library materials with Volumetric Scattering are:

  • Evonik Acrylite LED EndLighten 0E011 L - for 12-24" wide sheets
  • Evonik Acrylite LED EndLighten 0E012 XL - for 24-48" wide sheets
  • Evonik Acrylite LED EndLighten 0E013 XXL - for 48-72" wide sheets
  • Generic 3000K phosphor particle in liquid silicone
  • Generic 3000K phosphor particle in acrylic

Full details are provided in this Volumetric Scattering Documentation.

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

Photopia can also record onto 3D surfaces, see information on that feature below.

Create Illuminance/Recording Planes

Illuminance/Recording planes are defined by a planar face. Create a face the size you wish for your illuminance/recording plane, then choose Add Illuminance Plane from the menu or command manager. 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/Recording 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 turning on their display in the Model view.

3D Surface Recorders

3D surface recorders allow you to view the light interacting with a 3D surface in your model. This surface must be optically active, so it needs to have a reflective, transmissive or refractive material assigned to it. If you don't want this surface to impact the light in your model, you can assign the CLEAR001 transmissive material.

SOLIDWORKS
  1. Select one or more faces or objects in your model. It is important that you select the same level of geometry to which the Photopia appearance was assigned. So if the appearance was assigned to a face, then select the face, not the full part that includes the face.
  2. Click "Add Illuminance Plane" from the Photopia CommandManager tab. Note that if the face is flat, Photopia will default to a standard illuminance plane, not a 3D Surface recorder. If you want a flat surface to be a 3D surface reorder, then choose it along with other non-flat surfaces and it will then be treated as a 3D surface recorder.
  3. After a raytrace is complete, click on the "Show/Hide Illuminance Planes" button in the Photopia CommandManager to display the Illuminance Planes and 3D Surface Recorders.
  4. The "Illuminance surface display settings" button on the Photopia CommandManager tab allows you to specify the way the recorders are displayed. See information below for more details.

The recorder mesh resolution is set by default by the Image Quality settings in SW, under Settings / Document Properties. Slide the top bar labeled "Shaded and draft quality HLR/HLV resolution" into the red zone for a finer mesh. More detailed options are available in SW2018 and later by adding "mesh body" features to your part geometry. This is done in your part by choosing "Insert / Surface / Convert to Mesh Body…" You are then prompted to select a body from the part. If a body represents a solid, then a single mesh will be made that represents all faces of the solid. If you want to create separate meshes for each face, which is helpful when viewing surface statistics (max, min, average, ...) in the recorder report, then you should build the model geometry from surfaces rather than solids. You can then select the surfaces from the list of bodies to convert to a mesh. Be sure that you also assign the Photopia appearance to the mesh feature and select the mesh feature before clicking the "Add illuminance plane" button.

Rhino
  1. Select one or more objects/surfaces in your model.
  2. Assign a Photopia material if you have not done so already.
  3. In the Photopia Settings panel , click the "Photopia object settings button." Find your object/surface and check the "Record" box. If you first select your object in the CAD view, then it will be isolated in the list.
  4. After a raytrace is complete, click on the "Show/Hide recording surfaces" button on the Photopia toolbar to toggle the display of the recording surfaces.
  5. The "Recorder display settings" button in the Photopia Settings panel allows you to specify the way the recorders are displayed. See information below for more details.
  6. The surface recorder mesh resolution is set with the "Mesh parameters" button on the Photopia toolbar.

Recorder Display Settings

SOLIDWORKS
Recorder Display Settings in Solidworks
Rhino
Recorder Display Settings in Rhino

Render Script Presets: Render Script Presets allow you to select from a default set of display settings, including: false color, true color, grayscale, spectral shifts for non-visible wavelengths and Delta u'v' for color uniformity.

Custom Render Script: Once a preset render script is selected, then the render script will be displayed in a separate box. All values of that render script can then be edited to manipulate the recorder display even further.

Global Max: By default, all planes will be scaled to the global max value found on all planes. The global max is automatically found when the "Global scale max" parameter is set to 0 in Rhino. You can enter any other value there if you prefer.

Legend: A legend is displayed when using global scaling and viewing gray scale or false color plots. If you uncheck the "Global scale enabled" box in Rhino or switch to local scaling in the SW Photopia general settings screen, then each recorder will be scaled according to its own max value. A legend can't be displayed in this case since the same colors will represent different magnitudes.

Global Recorder Smoothing: The "Global recorder smoothing" option determines whether or not the data on each patch is blended with neighboring patches. Smoothing the data makes a more realistic looking image of the light pattern. If you turn off the smoothing, then you see the raw data in each patch of the recorder.

Option/Channel: The Option/Channel allows you to view any of 4 data sets on the surfaces. The options are the incident light onto the front and back sides of the surfaces as well as the exitant (emitted) light from both the front and back sides. All 4 channels are available for object recorders, but only on the front incident light channel is available for illuminance/recording planes.

Delta u'v' from average: The "Delta u'v' from average" plot allows you to view quantitative color differences in the uniform u'v' color space. In this color space, a value of 0.001 is 1 MacAdam ellipse, which is a just perceptible color difference. Beam color uniformity requirements sometimes specify an allowable range in this color space, such as 0.004 or 4 MacAdam ellipses. In this plot, black is 0 and bright green is the highest delta u'v' value on the plane. This plot type supplements the true color plot when color differences in the light pattern are subtle, especially for tunable white lighting applications.

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.

This screen allows you to modify the parameters that control all aspects of the raytrace process. The following sections provide a description of each of the parameters.

SOLIDWORKS
Solidworks Aerospace Tutorial - Angle Conventions
Rhino
Solidworks Aerospace Tutorial - Angle Conventions

Ray Count

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

Each component of the results will resolve at a different number of rays. The more detailed the result the more rays need to be traced.

Below is the order in which items typically resolve.

  1. Optical Efficiency (~50,000 rays)
  2. Candela Distribution (~2,500,000 rays with 5deg resolution)
  3. Illuminance Planes (~5,000,000 rays at 100x100 grid size)
  4. Color Difference (~10,000,000+ rays)

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.

Mesh Resolution

The Photopia raytrace engine uses a meshed model for the raytrace. Rhino and Solidworks bodies are natively surfaces, not meshes, so they must be converted before raytracing. This conversion is handled automatically when you being a raytrace, but you may need to override the default meshing for parts with fine details.

For smooth lenses or detailed geometry, we recommend using the Maximum Angle and set it to 1 or 0.5deg.

For surface recorders, we recommend using the Maximum Element Size and Max/Min Edge Length to set a reasonable cell size.

SOLIDWORKS

In Solidworks, the default resolution will generally work well.

For any sensitive or small parts, the best approach is to create a Mesh Body from your Body (in Solidworks 2018 or newer).

Mesh Body

  1. Open the Part file, or edit the Part within the assembly.
  2. Choose Insert > Surface > Convert to Mesh Body ...
  3. Select the Body to convert
  4. Update the resoultion settings, we suggest setting the Maximum Angle Deviation and Maximum Element size.
  5. Solidworks Aerospace Tutorial - Angle Conventions
  6. Click check and you'll see the new mesh
  7. Assign the Photopia Appearance to this Mesh Body.

For Solidworks 2017 or older, you can control the resoution to some degree using the Image Quality settings. This method cannot generate a mesh as high resoution as the Mesh Body approach.

Image Quality

  1. This setting should be applied within a Part file.
  2. Choose Tools > Options > Document Properties > Image Quality
  3. Find the Shaded and draft quality HLR/HLV Resoultion section
  4. Pull the slider into the red zone.
Rhino

In Rhino, click on the Photoia Mesh Settings.

You can adjust any of the parameters and then click Preview to see the mesh for your model.

Any setting kept at 0 will be non-controlling.

Maximum edge length and Maximum Angle are the two most useful settings.

Solidworks Aerospace Tutorial - Angle Conventions

Results can be viewed either in the SOLIDWORKS window, Rhino panel or in Photopia Reports. 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 Solidworks 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

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 or Rhino.

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 unresponsive 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 + hyperthreaded cores. You may adjust the value higher or lower, but the default is optimal for most machines. If your machine is unresponsive during a raytrace, changing this to either the number of cores, or 1 less than the number of threads should make your system responsive during raytraces.

Automatic IES Export

Located under the Advanced section, this checkbox results in an IES file always be exported alongside the assembly model at each raytrace update.

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