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Proceedings Paper

Making software get along: integrating optical and mechanical design programs
Author(s): Christie J. Shackelford; Randal B. Chinnock
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Paper Abstract

As modern optomechanical engineers, we have the good fortune of having very sophisticated software programs available to us. The current optical design, mechanical design, industrial design, and CAM programs are very powerful tools with some very desirable features. However, no one program can do everything necessary to complete an entire optomechanical system design. Each program has a unique set of features and benefits, and typically two or mo re will be used during the product development process. At a minimum, an optical design program and a mechanical CAD package will be employed. As we strive for efficient, cost-effective, and rapid progress in our development projects, we must use these programs to their full advantage, while keeping redundant tasks to a minimum. Together, these programs offer the promise of a `seamless' flow of data from concept all the way to the download of part designs directly to the machine shop for fabrication. In reality, transferring data from one software package to the next is often frustrating. Overcoming these problems takes some know-how, a bit of creativity, and a lot of persistence. This paper describes a complex optomechanical development effort in which a variety of software tools were used from the concept stage to prototyping. It will describe what software was used for each major design task, how we learned to use them together to best advantage, and how we overcame the frustrations of software that didn't get along.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 March 2001
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 4198, Optomechanical Engineering 2000, (6 March 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.417336
Show Author Affiliations
Christie J. Shackelford, Optimum Technologies Inc. (United States)
Randal B. Chinnock, Optimum Technologies Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4198:
Optomechanical Engineering 2000
Mark A. Kahan, Editor(s)

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