How to show exported rays in the CAD platform

OpticStudio exports ray information into IGES, STEP and SAT CAD file formats, however some CAD platform such as Autodesk Inventor does not read this information in by default. This article describes the necessary settings in order for to display the ray patterns exported from OpticStudio. 

Zemax LLC would like to thank George Eck from Universal Instruments Corp. for providing the Autodesk Inventor details found in this article.

Authored By Dan Hill


Oftentimes, the most difficult part of an optomechanical design is the communication between CAD programs. Luckily, OpticStudio makes it easy for users to work with other programs to promote a seamless design process. It may be the case that users want to export their system to another program. While exporting the system itself is fairly straightforward, there is an extra step that must be done in order to export and show the rays that interact with the system.

This article is an overview of the process of showing rays in the CAD platform such as Autodesk Inventor and Creo Parametric.

How to show rays in Autodesk Inventor

In order to show rays on a STEP file in Autodesk Inventor 2016, open the STEP file in Autodesk Inventor. After loading the STEP file, the Import options will appear. Under Object Filters, check Wires to ensure the rays are shown.


In order to show rays on a STEP file in Autodesk Inventor 2014, open Autodesk Inventor and click Options from the open screen. Simply check the Wires in the Entity Types to Import section, as shown below. This technique also works for Autodesk 2013, and possibly older versions as well.


How to show rays in Creo Parametric

When you import a STP file including the ray bundle in Creo Parametric using the default Automatic Profile setting, Creo Parametric will create a part for the rays in the Model tree as shown below:



If the rays are exported in a different layer than the lenses, rays layer can be customized in the "Layer Import Options" window (It can be accessed by selecting "Customize Layers" in the Options section of the "Import New Model".):


Was this article helpful?
0 out of 1 found this helpful



Please sign in to leave a comment.