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Ansys Zemax OpticStudio
Comprehensive Optical
Design Software

Get everything you need to simulate, optimize, and tolerance your optical designs. Design complex optical systems for a wide range of applications with advanced features, including structural and thermal analysis. 

Achieve on-time, on-budget optical design cycles

Discover new ways to turn innovative ideas into products that shape the world. OpticStudio is the standard for optical, illumination, and laser system design in leading companies throughout the optics industry and at universities around the world.

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    Analyze, optimize, tolerance
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    Global userbase
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    Leading industry standard
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    Built-in STOP analysis available
A machine manufacturing software

Quick Specs

Revolutionize optical design workflow allowing more time to work efficiently spending more time validating and optimizing your designs. Maximize efficiency and precision with our advanced API integration. Discover how the OpticStudio Enterprise edition can revolutionize your design process to quickly analyze the impacts of structural and thermal loads.

  • Industry-leading optical system design
  • Intuitive, easy-to-use UI
  • Dynamic CAD integrations (Premium)
  • STAR-enabled STOP analysis (Enterprise)
  • Robust, powerful ray tracing
  • Documentation and Reporting
  • Support and Training
  • Advanced Optimization Algorithms


What's New

With the 2024 R1 release, Ansys Zemax OpticStudio delivers a comprehensive suite of features enhancing the support for multiphysics simulation, the design for manufacturing real optical systems, and enhanced support for incorporating diffractive optics.

Expanded OpticStudio Workflow Capability
Expanded OpticStudio Workflow Capability

Enables you to use Ansys Zemax OpticStudio as part of your Ansys Multiphysics workflow. Load refractive index datasets from a wide range of sources, including computational fluid dynamics tools like Ansys Fluent.

Enhanced Straylight Analysis
Enhanced Straylight Analysis

New workflow for import of lens geometries and optical properties from Ansys Zemax OpticStudio into Ansys Speos, compatible with the physical camera sensor. Streamlined and comprehensive straylight analysis in optical systems, including both free- floating lenses and constrained/housed lens systems, completed with the physical camera sensor.

Metalens Simulation Advancements
Metalens Simulation Advancements

New metalens simulation and analysis capabilities in Ansys Zemax OpticStudio: MTF, PSF, multi-scale, and multi-lens/metalens systems, new operands for phase constraint optimization. Simulate whole metalens with HPC CPU cluster, or accelerate FDTD with GPU (FDTD express mode).


Autonomous Sensor Development

Autonomous Sensor Development

Comprehensive autonomous vehicle sensor simulation capability that includes lidar, radar, and camera design and development.

Autonomous System Validation

Autonomous System Validation

Model-based safety and cybersecurity solutions accelerate autonomous system development and certification.



Rapid and reliable innovation and testing of new cardiovascular medical devices and implants



Ansys Zemax OpticStudio is an optical design software tool, used to conceive imaging, illumination, laser systems, and more. OpticStudio’s user-friendly interface combines analysis, optimization and tolerancing tools to design for manufacturability. Extended customization options can tailor OpticStudio to your needs, or automate your work. Integrated Multiphysics workflows streamline the use of structural, thermal or fluid simulation results 

Ansys Zemax OpticStudio offers a variety of learning options.

  • The extensive knowledge base offers a wide range of tutorials from getting started to system-level how-to articles.
  • Our Zemax users community is also useful to engage with power users and learn tips and tricks.
  • The Ansys Learning Hub provides self-paced video courses that allow you to learn Ansys Zemax OpticStudio.

The STAR Multiphysics tools enable customers to do both STOP analysis (Structural, Thermal, Optical Performance) and Ansys-exclusive SOFT analysis (Structural Optical Fluids Thermal). Ansys Zemax OpticStudio allows you to easily and accurately load the needed data from external solvers. Users can then assess system performance with structural, optical, fluids, and thermal effects simultaneously.

Learn more in this webinar: STOP Analysis Using STAR with an Automated Transient Workflow (

Current customers can download Ansys Zemax OpticStudio from the Download Center in the Ansys Customer Portal. For those who are not current customers but are interested in trying OpticStudio , Ansys offers a free 30-day trial of OpticStudio. It comes with sample files and design templates. Our extensive knowledge base offers a wide range of tutorials, from getting started, to system -level how- to articles.

Ansys Zemax OpticStudio can use an ideal phase profile to model the metasurface and then optimize it using ray tracing capabilities. Ansys Lumerical can then quickly generate its response on the nano-structure level. Based on this information, the metalens can then be accurately set in OpticStudio on a user-defined surface. All ray-based tools are available to assess the performances of your system.

The advanced tolerancing tools from Ansys Zemax OpticStudio include an easy-to-use surface irregularities option. It leverages the composite surface capabilities and uses Zernike sag data to model the surface irregularities, including for complex base shapes such as aspherical or many types of freeform surfaces. All other manufacturing tolerances can be added in order to assess your as-built performance yield. 

Get everything you need to simulate, optimize, and tolerance your optical designs

Ansys Zemax OpticStudio is the solution for designing components and subassemblies within complex, high-precision optical systems. Such systems address a variety of applications across several high-growth industries, from AR/VR to LIDAR, medical imaging to data communications, and more.



Key Features

  • Ray Tracing
  • Lens Design
  • Tolerance Analysis
  • Optimization
  • Interoperability
  • Multiphysics Simulation
  • User-friendly interface

Employs advanced ray tracing algorithms to simulate the behavior of light in optical systems, allowing engineers to analyze and optimize the performance of
lenses, mirrors, and other optical components.

Facilitates the design of complex optical systems, including the optimization of lens shapes, materials, and coatings to achieve desired imaging characteristics.

Engineers can perform tolerance analysis to assess the impact of manufacturing
variations on optical system performance, helping to ensure designs are robust and manufacturable.

Ansys Zemax OpticStudio includes optimization tools to adjust design parameters
automatically to meet specified performance criteria, helping engineers find the best
solution for their optical systems.

Ansys Zemax OpticStudio supports interoperability with other engineering tools, allowing seamless integration into the overall product design and development process.

Simulate multiple physics phenomena simultaneously, such as thermal effects on
optics, providing a more comprehensive understanding of real- world performance.

A user-friendly interface with a wide range of tools, wizards, and visualizations to assist engineers in the design and analysis process.

Ansys Zemax OpticStudio License

The Ansys Zemax OpticStudio is a powerful tool for optical engineers and designers to simulate, optimize, and validate their optical designs before physical prototypes are built. It helps save time and resources in the development of optical systems by allowing engineers to iterate and refine designs in a virtual environment.

To leverage the Ansys Zemax OpticStudio for multiphysics analysis requires the Ansys Zemax OpticStudio Enterprise license. The Ansys Zemax OpticStudio Enterprise license makes it simple to import structural, thermal, and refractive index data into OpticStudio workflows, yielding critical design insights, significant time savings, and new possibilities for system analysis. 

Product Packages

OPTICSOpticStudio ProOpticStudio PremiumOpticStudio Enterprise
Ansys Optics LauncherIncludedIncludedIncluded
Sequential Ray TracingIncludedIncludedIncluded
Monte Carlo Forward (Non-Sequential) Ray TracingIncludedIncludedIncluded
Multiple Configuration System ModelingIncludedIncludedIncluded
Number of Parallel Application Instances per License488
Polarization, Gradient Index, and Birefringence Ray TracingIncludedIncludedIncluded
Design Templates and Vendor Lens CatalogIncludedIncludedIncluded
Materials CatalogIncludedIncludedIncluded
Coatings CatalogIncludedIncludedIncluded
Robust Optimization MethodsIncludedIncludedIncluded
Sensitivity TolerancingIncludedIncludedIncluded
Monte Carlo TolerancingIncludedIncludedIncluded
Ray AimingIncludedIncludedIncluded
Aspheric OpticsIncludedIncludedIncluded
Freeform OpticsIncludedIncludedIncluded
Diffractive OpticsIncludedIncludedIncluded
Composite SurfaceIncludedIncludedIncluded
Image Quality Analysis (Geometric and Diffractive)IncludedIncludedIncluded
Gaussian BeamsIncludedIncludedIncluded
Physical Optics PropagationIncludedIncludedIncluded
Ghost Focus GeneratorIncludedIncludedIncluded
Ray Splitting and ScatteringIncludedIncludedIncluded
Importance SamplingIncludedIncludedIncluded
STAR Multiphysics Loading, Fitting, and Visualization tools (FEA, CFD)  Included
STAR Performance Analysis  Included
User-Defined Plugin for Surface, Objects, Sources, and Scatter Profiles IncludedIncluded
Workflow automation with ZOS-API and Script AutomationIncludedIncludedIncluded
Export Full Design or Reduced Order Model (ROM) to SpeosIncludedIncludedIncluded
Dynamic and Static Exchange with Lumerical Sub-Wavelength model (LSWM) plugin simulationIncludedIncludedIncluded
Lumerical Plugin for metalens simulation (Static Data Exchange) IncludedIncluded
Import and Export of STEP, IGES, SAT, STLIncludedIncludedIncluded
Dynamic Link to Creo Parametric and Autodesk Inventor IncludedIncluded


Featured Webinars


Case Studies

White Paper

Ansys logo on black background

Optimizing Performance in Ultra-Short Throw Projector Design with OpticStudio and OpticsBuilder

This paper walks you through the five stages of an Ansys Zemax-enabled ultra-short throw projector system design and analysis, showing how our integrated tools help reduce the time, required expertise, and risk of errors associated with incorporating optomechanical system analysis into ultra-short throw projector system design.

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