Quick Start Guide: Installing Zemax's OpticStudio in Windows (2019 releases)

    Acknowledging CMC Microsystems

    If your research benefits from products and services provided by CMC Microsystems, please acknowledge this support in any publications about your work. For more information, please visit: http://www.cmc.ca/en/WhatWeOffer/AcknowledgeCMC.aspx.



    Licensing Requirements and Restrictions

    Usage terms and conditions apply to this software, which can be found under Licensing Requirements and Restrictions at:


    This quick start guide provides instructions for installing OpticStudio Professional 19.x from Zemax LLC on a Windows 10 system using CMC Microsystem’s CADpass to access shared licenses on the CMC License Management System (LMS).


    Note: Zemax LLC released OpticStudio 19.4 SP1 on May 29, 2019. This version is compatible with CMC Microsystems' current Zemax licence file, and this update may be performed within the CAD tool itself.



    Table of Contents



    Required Resources

    • Valid subscription
    • Administrator privileges for the workstation(s) on which you install the software


    System Requirements


    Optimum hardware specifications and compatible operating systems are listed on the company's website. A PDF reader is required to open some of the tutorials and manuals included with the OpticStudio CAD program.


    Installing CADpass

    If you do not have CADpass with the AppGate Client installed, follow the instructions in the CADpass Quick Start Guide, which can be downloaded from:




    OpticStudio does use a tunnelling driver as part of CADpass. Ensure that you have this driver installed on your computer at this point. Consult the CADpass Quick Start Guide for more information about its installation. For other questions regarding software requirements, contact licensing@cmc.ca.


    Installing OpticStudio for the First Time

    1. Download the OpticStudio installer to a temporary location.
    2. Click the installer executable to launch it.
    3. When the installer opens, click Next > (see Figure 1).


    Figure 1: OpticStudio Setup Wizard


    A window is displayed where you may accept to the terms of the Zemax user agreement. If you are uncertain what your obligations are, review this agreement now. Contact licensing@cmc.ca if you have questions about its wording.

    1. To continue, select I accept the agreement and click Next >, as shown in Figure 2.


    Figure 2: License Agreement

    1. Close any instances of the program if you are running them and click Next >, as shown in Figure 3.


    Figure 3: Close Instances of the Program

    1. Select a directory for the CAD program in the Select Destination Location window and the folder/icons that you want to associate with it in the Select Start Menu Folder and the Select Additional Tasks windows. Click Next > after making these selections and click Install to proceed. The installation begins (see Figure 4).


    Figure 4: Extracting Files and Installing/Updating Pre-requisites

    When the executable file has finished installing, an Information message is displayed (see Figure 5).




    Figure 5: Installer Confirmation Message


    1. Click Next >. The final window then appears, and to close it click Finish. When the software is successfully installed, a Desktop icon, a Start Menu entry, a Quick Start icon, or some combination of these icons are displayed, depending upon the selections that you made during the installation. The Desktop icon for OpticStudio 17.5 is shown in Figure 6.


    Figure 6: Desktop Icon for OpticStudio 17


    1. Open a Text Editor and copy the contents of Appendix A into it.
    2. Name this file sntlconfig.xml.
    3. Save the file sntlconfig.xml in the main OpticStudio directory, where the application OpticStudio.exe is located.
    4. Start CADpass by clicking the icon CADpass on your desktop or by launching the program from the CMC website.
    5. Click the icon Zemax in the CADpass window to select a license.

    When it is active, a green checkmark is displayed on the icon, as shown in Figure 7.



    Figure 7: Selecting a Zemax License


    1. Start OpticStudio by clicking its Desktop/Quick Start icon, or by selecting the tool from your Start Menu, as shown in Figure 8. The OpticStudio executable may copy additional data files to your designated user data folder. Click OK to proceed.


    Figure 8: OpticStudio in the Start Menu


    Note: If the tool finds an available license, the main window opens, as shown in Figure 9. If your installation is fine, but there are no free licenses on the CMC server, a pop-up window displays a message saying that the program cannot find a licence. Refer to Troubleshooting OpticStudio for help.



    Figure 9: Main Window of the OpticStudio CAD Tool



    Upgrading to OpticStudio from a Previous Version of Zemax


    Users with current installations may upgrade their software releases from within OpticStudio itself. The Zemax website provides instructions for updating your CAD version here.


    Troubleshooting OpticStudio


    On occasion, CADpass may be blocked because of anti-virus software on your workstation.


    For assistance with debugging, CMC Microsystems’ technical support staff can perform remote desktop login assistance. Use the support webpage to send in your request:




    Including version number, operating system and screen captures of error messages you see will help us to understand your problem.


    Do not use the Zemax License Manager to add licence information to your installation. It is part of the OpticStudio installation package, and is added to your system, as in Figure 10, but is not used to reach our licence server system in Kingston, Ontario.



    Figure 10. A copy of the Zemax License Manager is added to your Workstation during OpticStudio Installation.




    Other Training, Tutorials, and References


    • “Getting Started…” tutorial, manuals and links to Knowledge Base answers are available through the Help tab of the OpticStudio main window, as shown in Figure 11.


    Figure 11: Help tab of the Main OpticStudio Window


    Books/E-books with specific Zemax examples include:


    • Siew, Ronian, "Perspectives on Modern Optics and Imaging: With Practical Examples using Zemax OpticStudio", self-published, 2017.
    • Sokolova, Elena, "Optimisation Techniques for Diffraction Spectrometers," SPIE, 2015.
    • Lau, Lee, Premachandran and Aibin, "Advanced MEMS Packaging", McGraw-Hill, 2010.
    • Fainman, Psaltis and Yang, "Optofluidics: Fundamentals, Devices and Applications," McGraw-Hill, 2010.


    Books/E-books with general or older Zemax examples include:


      • Seward, George H., “Optical Engineering Fundamentals,” SPIE, 2010.
      • Smith, Warren J., "Modern Optical Engineering: The Design of Optical Systems," 4th Edition, McGraw-Hill, 2008.
      • Fischer, Tadic-Galeb and Yoder, ""Optical System Design", 2nd Edition, McGraw-Hill, 2008
      • Geary, Joseph M., “Introduction to Lens Design with Practical Zemax Examples,” 2nd edition, Willmann-Bell, 2007.
      • Hallock Smith, Gregory, “Practical Computer-Aided Lens Design,” Willmann-Bell, 1998.


    The Zemax website provides an extensive knowledge base at the following link:



    Other CAD Tools: Compatibility, Support, and Availability


    Zemax’s OpticStudio exports files in the following drawing formats:


    • *.IGES,
    • *.DXF, 2D and 3D


    These formats are solid modelling file formats that can be imported by tools such as Dassault Systemes’ SolidWorks and ANSYS’s DesignModeler or SpaceClaim. OpticStudio 17 and 18 can also export data in the MATLAB .MAT format.


    CMC Microsystems supplies SolidWorks, SpaceClaim, and other CAD tools to its subscribers. Contact CMC Microsystems for more information regarding bundling of tools to enhance your research and to complete your designs through thermal, solid body, and material optimisation simulations.


    Appendix A


    Appendix A


    The sntlconfig.xml file consists of the lines demarcated below. Note that the file you save must have a *.xml file extension, otherwise the CAD tool will not be able to recognise the file and read its contents.






    <!-- To discard the values set in this file, remove the comment signs from the following tag -->

    <!-- <ConfigDiscard/> -->

    <!-- Type any of the following constants between the Protocol tag:



    <Protocol> SP_TCP_PROTOCOL </Protocol>


    <!-- Type the workstation name/NetBEUI name/IP address/IPX address (of the

    system where the key is attached) or an access mode (as specified by your

    software vendor) between the AccessMode tag -->


    <AccessMode> SP_SERVER_MODE </AccessMode>




    <!-- Replace with the IP address of your keyserver -->

    <!-- This is usually the only change you need to make -->



    <!-- Type a value for the server port, the default port is 7001 -->

    <!-- This value does not usually have to be changed -->


    <ServerPort> 7001 </ServerPort>