How to use the Quick Adjust tool and Slider

The Quick Adjust tool is invaluable during early system setup, letting you easily adjust important surface data to achieve a variety of conditions. This article describes how to use it, and its related feature: the Slider.

Authored By Mark Nicholson


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Usually in the initial stages of optical design, there is a lot of variability in the system setup. Before performing a full optimization, you may want to analyze how varying the component setup affects analysis criterion such as spot size or wavefront error. OpticStudio provides two tools for this purpose: the Quick Adjust tool and the Slider. Using these tools, you can easily alter pieces of your system by hand to get an idea of what comonents will require the most optimization and tolerancing. In this article, we show you how to use each of these tools. 

The Quick Adjust tool

The Quick Adjust tool is invaluable in the early stages of a design. It allows you to adjust the radius of curvature or thickness of a surface to minimize the spot size, wavefront error, or angular deviation of a beam on any subsequent surface.

Imagine you were designing a beam compressor. Your starting design might look like this:

This file can be downloaded from the article attachments. We want the beam to come to focus on surface 4, and then to be collimated again on surface 7. We will use the Quick Adjust tool to get a starting point for subsequent optimization.

Click on the radius of surface 3, and then click Optimize...Quick Adjust.

The Quick Adjust tool opens, and is already set to adjust the radius of surface 3.  Set the Criterion to Spot Size Radial and the Evaluate Surface to surface 4, and press Adjust:

We now have an intermediate focus. Then set the tool to adjust the radius of surface 6, for smallest angular radius on surface 7:

We now have a starting point system, suitable for further optimization or analysis:

The Quick Adjust tool has many useful properties:

  • It remains open on the OpticStudio desktop while you enter data in the editors, open Analysis windows etc.
  • You can have more than one Quick Adjust tool open at a time.
  • It works in both focal and afocal modes.
  • It allows adjustment of radius of curvature and thickness only: other parameters, like aspheric adjustments etc. are not suitable for Quick Adjust and should be optimized instead.
  • You can add it to the toolbar for one-click access. Click on Setup tab...Project Preferences...Toolbar, search for Quick Adjust in the search bar and click on the add button:

The Slider

Let's say you were interested in how the wavefront of the beam compressor varies as the distance from the first lens to the intermediate surface varies. In other words, as we go out of focus on the intermediate focus, how does the collimated output change?

First open an OPD plot, and then click on the thickness of surface 3. Then click on Optimize...Slider, and set it up as follows:

You can enter start and stop values of the thickness of surface 3 (OpticStudio makes a reasonable guess as to what values you want) and then you can either use the slider to manually adjust the value within this range or press the Animate button to have OpticStudio loop through the values. The OPD plot will update automatically as the thickness of surface 3 changes. You can choose to update all open windows or just a nominated window as the parameter is varied.

The Slider is very useful for quick analysis of the sensitivity of a parameter to adjustment, or for a rough optimization by hand. Like the Quick Adjust tool, the Slider remains open while you adjust other data, open other windows etc, and you can have as many sliders open at one time as you wish.

Note that since the Slider and Quick Adjust tools are not Analysis windows, they are not saved when the file is saved.


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