Illumination system designs using TracePro are often accomplished in an iterative manner with modifications between steps handled manually or through 2D and 3D optimization based on user-defined criteria:
TracePro models are created by importing lens design or CAD files, or by directly creating solid geometry within TracePro. You can modify imported or built geometry using move, rotate, and scale operations for solid objects and sweep and revolve operations for surfaces via the user-friendly, 3D CAD interface. Special tools allow you to insert primitive solids (tubes, blocks, cones, and spheres), and optical elements (lens elements, reflectors, and Fresnel lenses).
TracePro’s utilities allow interactive sketching to quickly enter 2D and 3D profiles and then extrude, revolve, and combine these profiles to create sophisticated geometry, like lightpipes and biconic reflectors, as well as free-form optics. Visualization options include solid rendering, silhouette, wireframe, hidden line views, and the ability to pan, rotate, and zoom, as well as other standard geometry manipulation techniques.
A wide range of material and surface properties are available to apply to objects and surfaces in the model. Optical properties that you can specify include index of refraction and absorption coefficient, aperture diffraction, reflectance and transmittance coefficients, surface absorption, surface and volume scatter, polarization, fluorescence, gradient index, and temperature distribution. You can create surfaces with random or periodic arrays of repeated structures using the RepTile™ feature. You can define custom properties or choose from TracePro’s database of commercially-available materials and coatings.
TracePro simulates the distribution of luminous intensity, irradiance/illuminance, and flux throughout a model or at selected surfaces by tracing rays using the Monte Carlo method. Light sources are modeled by emitting rays. Additionally, TracePro’s Surface Source Property Utility enables you to digitize angular and spectral information directly from a manufacturer’s datasheet.
You can define ray sets using any combination of three methods:
The TracePro ray tracing engine is known for both performance and accuracy.
TracePro provides a comprehensive set of tools to view and analyze results of the ray-trace including:
Map and plot output can be further controlled with Ray Sorting. For example, analysis results can be filtered to show only the rays intersecting a surface, rays of a certain wavelength, interaction type, or flux range.
TracePro offers sophisticated 2D (for axially or biaxially symmetric systems) and 3D (for asymmetric systems) optimization providing complete and interactive control of optimization parameters.
TracePro can generate a variety of ray trace and property reports. For example:
TracePro provides a comprehensive set of tools to view and analyze results of a
ray trace simulation, including:
Map and plot output can be further controlled with Ray Sorting. For example, analysis results can be filtered to show only the rays intersecting a surface,
rays of a certain wavelength, interaction type, or flux range.
TracePro can generate a variety of ray-trace and property reports, including:
SolidWorks is the most popular CAD system in use today for luminaire mechanical design.
Rayviz adds additional functionality to SOLIDWORKS by allowing you to do a simple raytrace to verify geometry, visualize rays traced from any surface, and check ray paths. Designers can significantly accelerate the development process without sacrificing performance or functionality by utilizing the easy-to-learn interface and minimal setup time in Rayviz.
Please note that RayViz is not a replacement for TracePro. RayViz complements TracePro and expands the capabilities of SOLIDWORKS by adding a database of optical properties and the ability to run raytraces directly in SOLIDWORKS. RayViz allows for the easy export of models to TracePro and the same model is used by both TracePro (for raytracing and optical analysis) and SOLIDWORKS (for mechanical design and applying optical properties) to ensure data integrity. The tools in TracePro can then be used for a full optical analysis of the model.
TracePro includes translators that enable import and export of CAD files in SAT (ACIS) format. Additional translators are available as optional add-ins that permit import and export of IGES and STEP files, and import of other popular CAD file formats.
TracePro includes translators to import lens design files from popular optical design programs, including OSLO, Code V, and Zemax.
Three editions of TracePro are available to cost-effectively accommodate your design needs. Please contact an applications engineer for assistance in selecting an edition of TracePro that best meets your specific requirements.
TracePro streamlines the prototype-to-manufacturing process for optical and illumination systems using 2D symmetric and 3D non-symmetric optimization. Different from traditional optimizers, TracePro’s Optimization Utilities offer
easy-to-use and unique capabilities to interactively monitor and control
the process every step of the way.
TracePro Optimization Utilities are non-sequential optimization modules that
use dynamic data exchange (DDE) and the Scheme programming language to transfer information back and forth between the utilities and TracePro.
The utilities consist of several components to step you through the design process.
First, you can use the sketch utility to digitize an idea using line, spline,
or conic segments to create an initial design. Then, establish a merit function using five different operand types, flux, CIE (x,y), CIE (u,v), irradiance profile,
and candela profile. Each operand can be used in combination with any other operand. The merit function uses weights to balance the multiple operands based on the desired targets.
You can also employ TracePro’s powerful Scheme language to control interaction with the created geometry, modify optical properties for each
surface and solid object, and control positioning of solid objects. The object function allows you to move objects and modify control points and segments into place using the drag-and-drop interface.
Each variable can be visually checked before, during, and after optimization. Lastly, the entire design can be verified and improved using an
interactive raytracer. Validating the final design iteration ensures
the product’s performance requirements can be met quickly and efficiently.
TracePro’s 2D and 3D optimizers use the Downhill Simplex, also known as Nelder-Mead, method for optimization. The Downhill Simplex method is a
local optimizer that converges to the local minimum solution closest to
the starting point. During an optimization, you have complete control of
the process and can monitor the interim solutions. You can stop the optimizer
and change the initial starting parameters, then re-start the optimization.
This allows you to control the process and test for better solutions in less time.
TracePro 2D and 3D Optimizers can be used for a variety of applications, including:
TracePro’s ray tracing engine is fast and accurate, while giving designers complete control over parameters to achieve simulation results quickly with no compromise in accuracy. Ray tracing features include:
Analysis Mode ray tracing, unique to TracePro, allows you to interactively examine raytrace results for any surface in your model. It is very powerful for setting up and proving out your model, or determining the feasibility of your design. For detailed, accurate simulations of your final design requiring millions of rays, use Simulation Mode to obtain analysis results for selected surfaces.
TracePro sets itself apart from other optical and illumination design
software solutions with its uniquely friendly and intuitive graphical user interface. Mechanical engineers and others familiar with CAD software will experience the shortest learning curve with TracePro.
TracePro is a standard Windows application that uses a menu bar,
icon-based toolbars, drop-down menus, and a system tree. The working area,
called the Model View, is where users will add and manipulate models they want to simulate and optimize. Properties, utilities, and other features appear in windows, drop-down menus, dialog boxes, property sheets, etc.
In the Model View and with certain utilities, you can move objects and modify control points and segments into place using the drag-and-drop interface. Rotate, scale, and orientation can also be manipulated in the Model View
or by using commands in the menu bar.
Measure distance from:
Creating geometries within TracePro is extremely simple. You can add
primitive solids, such as blocks, cylinders, cones, tori, spheres, and thin sheets.
Boolean operations enable you to intersect, subtract, and unite overlapping
primitive bodies to create more complex models. Almost any surface can be extruded or revolved any number of times to create complex lightpipes,
lenses or reflector shapes. TracePro also includes allows you to create lenses, Fresnel lenses, reflectors, tubes, and baffle vanes.
2D and 3D Optimizers - TracePro’s optimizer utilities allow interactive sketching to quickly enter 2D and 3D profiles and then extrude, revolve, and combine
these profiles to create sophisticated geometry, like lightpipes and
biconic reflectors, as well as free-form optics. Visualization options include
solid rendering, silhouette, wireframe, hidden line views, and the ability to pan, rotate, and zoom, as well as other standard geometry manipulation techniques. A merit function can be created, with interactively-defined geometric parameters as variables, and targets based on Irradiance/Illuminance maps, candela plots, efficiency, and/or color. The optimizers will optimize the design, while allowing
interactive control of the optimization process.
Bitmap Source Utility – reads an image (e.g. jpeg) and creates a Ray File with rays emitted by the image that can be inserted into a TracePro model.
Solar Utility – analyzes solar collector systems using dialogs to specify geographical location, period of sun travel with uniaxial tracking, and
user defined irradiance for both direct and indirect sun contribution.
Analysis output includes irradiance and candela maps, with total flux and efficiency over time on the target.
Surface Source Property Utility – enables the TracePro surface source property to be set up quickly and accurately. The utility allows you to digitize angular and spectral information directly from a manufacturer’s datasheet. While useful
for LEDs, this tool can also be used to generate a surface source property for
any type of light source.
Fluorescence Property Utility for White LED Design – optimizes
down-converting of phosphor formulations and excitation LEDs selection in
white LED design. The utility also facilitates the creation of the fluorescence
material property in the TracePro model. It allows you to digitize the excitation, absorption, and emission spectra of the material and the relative spectral power distribution of the excitation LED from the manufacturer’s datasheet. While useful for white LED design, this utility can also be used to generate a
fluorescence property for any type of energy-converting material.
IES/LDT Analysis Utility – imports photometric data in ANSI/IESNA standard electronic file formats and directly from TracePro’s candela plot and
creates TracePro Surface Source and File Source Properties. The utility has
a large reporting capability to create customized reports and or use premade reports to output roadway, interior, and exterior data for automotive and street lighting users. The IES Import Utility adheres to the most recently published standards from the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA).
RepTile™ Texture Optimization Utility – defines and creates repetitive microstructures on any planar surface. The utility is commonly used to
optimize structured Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) backlight components,
including Brightness Enhancement Films (BEFs), Turning Films, Edge-Lit TVs, and
extraction features in light guides. With a TracePro model of a backlight,
the RepTile utility generates and optimizes a distribution of scattering dots to
achieve a target irradiance or illuminance distribution. While useful for optimizing structured backlight components, this tool can also be used to optimize Digital Micromirror Display (DMD) chips commonly used in
DLP projection displays as well as aspheric lens arrays.
BSDF Conversion Utility – provides an easy way to transform measured
BSDF (light scattering) data into a TracePro Surface Property file. Once the measurement data is imported, the utility will automatically compute the
best-fit A, B, and g value to create a mathematical model of the BSDF for
each incident direction. The utility also allows manual adjustments of
the A, B, and g values with real-time updating of the graphical display of the BSDF. Users can also select the export type of the surface property file,
either ABg model or Asymmetric Table BSDF.