LightTools® is a unique optical engineering and design software product that features virtual prototyping, simulation, optimization, and photorealistic renderings of illumination applications. The software has adapted solid modeling technology to accommodate the inherent accuracy required to simulate ray paths of light as they traverse through and within optical elements and mechanical structures. LightTools is straightforward to use, accurate, has the most advanced capabilities commercially available, and supports the tasks of design and engineering iterations in addition to analysis.A Robust Design and Analysis Tool

LightTools' unique power lies in its complementary strengths of design and analysis. The analysis gives you the status of how well your design is working against spec. The design features help you quickly and efficiently improve the design, in both the initial concept phase and during engineering iterations and refinements. This coupling of benefits (design and analysis) makes LightTools really pay off in terms of productivity improvement, faster time to market, and better engineered products.

Build and Modify
While analysis requires only the initial creation or importing of geometry, practical design requires quick and simple geometry modifications. You can perform easy design modifications because LightTools' implementation of Boolean operations and trimming operations retains the parametric information about how the geometry was created. Surface and material properties are also maintained as you edit the model, allowing quick analysis of multiple design forms.

LightTools' basic 3D solid primitives, sphere, ellipse, toroid, block, cylinder (including cone), extrusion and rotationally swept polyline, can be parametrically edited and inserted with any size, in any location, and at any angle. Complex objects previously defined using Boolean operations can be edited at any time (even after the object is complete). Each solid can be combined with any other solid (native or imported) using the Boolean operations, union, intersection, and subtraction. This allows the creation of complex, as-fabricated, models, such as segmented reflectors and multifaceted lightpipes. Note that the complex elements can be optical, mechanical, or structural components. And of course, LightTools can also import and export CAD data in several standard and product-specific formats.

Create Complex 3D Objects Quickly and Easily
LightTools' "skinned solids" feature allows you to build extremely complex 3D objects simply by specifying their transverse cross sections, available in various shapes, at two or more points. The software then automatically constructs the longitudinal structure between these shapes. Furthermore, you can specify the longitudinal surface profile to be straight lines, cubic splines, or even Bezier curves. The precise shape of the skinned solids can then be adjusted automatically using the LightTools optimizer.

Point-and-Shoot Ray Tracing
Your understanding of the optical behavior of a complex illumination system is greatly enhanced because you can graphically start and aim rays from any point in your model, even from inside parts. Rays are displayed visually and automatically update as the model is changed, and rays can be moved or rotated interactively to probe the behavior of a model.
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