Optics Directly from a CAD File

Computer-aided design (CAD) is the use of a personal computer to support the creation, modification, analysis, or optimization of a given optics design. Powerful optical CAD software is used to increase the productivity of the optics designer, improve the quality of the design, improve communications, and to create a database for manufacturing.

Optics from a CAD file

CAD software for optical design uses either vector-based graphics to depict the objects of traditional drafting, or raster graphics showing the overall appearance of the designed lens part. However, as designing optics involves more than just shapes, vector-based graphics (solids) are preferred to avoid resolution losses in further processing and manufacture.

Direct ‘CAD-to-Optic’ Manufacture

CAD files are an important industrial way of designing optics for use in many different applications, including general lighting, automotive lighting, defense and aerospace industries, industrial lighting and architectural lighting design, and many more.

Like in the manual drafting of technical and engineering drawings, the output of CAD contains detailed information, such as optical print materials, process capabilities, dimensions, and tolerances.

At Luximprint, we prefer working with .ST(E)P, .IG(E)S and .SLDPRT (SolidWorks) files. .STL, a common format in the 3D printing landscape, is not preferred for resolution and accuracy reasons.