dbOptic Optical Design Software

dbOptic Software Tutorial

Copyright © 1999 - 2016 Sky Scientific Press

Spend a few hours with this tutorial and you will become well-acquainted with most of the features of dbOptic. It is suggested that you print this document so that you can make notes as you go and have easy reference to the tutorial steps. It is recommended that you step through this tutorial before making new or importing additional designs to the dbOptic database.


Syntax for this tutorial is as follows:

Menu Commands are shown within <   > symbols. For example, <File><Print>  means "go to the File Menu Command and select the 'Print' sub command" shown there.  Other controls on the form are identified by the identifying label next to the  control, displayed between square brackets. For example, the "Object Medium" Textbox in the tutorial steps would be identified as [Object Medium].

Keyboard commands and data entry are displayed within single quotes. 'ENTER' means that you are to press the "Enter" Key.  '1.25' means to key in the value only, without the apostrophe marks.  'Dn' and 'Up' refer to the "Down" and "Up" cursor keys on the keyboard near the 'CTRL' key (not the arrow keys on the numeric keypad).

LESSON #1. The purpose of this lesson is to gain familiarity with features and controls on the primary design screen of the program.

Informational notes:
Upon starting the program, an optical prescription (referred to as an "Rx") is displayed in the Graphics Window. The Rx displayed will always be the Rx that was open at the time the program was last shut down. The Rx displayed is called the "Current Rx".  Surface data do not appear on opening, but can be displayed after clicking [+].

dbOptic Main Optical Design Screen

Start dbOptic if the program is not already open.  After startup, the design screen with a design prescription in the Graphics window will be displayed.  Press the [+/-] key to "expand" the current design and show surface data for that design.  Your screen should appear similar to the above figure, but with a different design showing.

LESSON #2. The purpose of this lesson is to show how to create a new design and enter surface data.

LESSON #3. The purpose of this lesson is to learn about the design editing features available from the <Edit> Menu.

Note: if the background color of the Graphics Window changes from white to black, you may have inadvertently activated the <Trace> Menu.  If this occurs, simply select <dbView> from the <View> menu to restore to database view.

LESSON #4.  The purpose of this lesson is to perform some ray tracing and examine the trace results.

LESSON #5.  The purpose of this lesson is to show how the program generates spot diagrams and encircled energy plots.

LESSON #6.  The purpose of this lesson is to understand how tilted surfaces may be used in your designs.

LESSON #7.  In this lesson, we will change some defaults and settings for the application design.

LESSON #8.  In this lesson, we will create a design, evaluate it, and then use the XY Plot feature to improve the design.

LESSON #9. In this lesson we will retrieve another design from the database to further demonstrate the XY-Plot function as well as a review of the editing feature.

LESSON #10. In this lesson we will retrieve a different lens from the database and use it to demonstrate the meridional ray plots. For an interpretation of the shape of the curves, see the optical design primer.

LESSON #11.  In this lesson, we will explore spot diagrams for extended objects.  In the spot diagram feature of this software, we trace from 300 to 2,000 rays through an optical system from a single point source.  For the Double Star test, the source is two points separated by a specified distance.  In the case of extended objects, there may be several thousand point sources.  Naturally, a large number of object points will increase computation time.

LESSON #12.  This lesson will assist you in applying the filter features to the dbOptic database.  With only a few designs in the database, you will find little benefit from the filter capabilities, but as you add designs of your own or from the optional dbOptic Lens Library A (over 2,500 lenses, mirrors and systems from major optical suppliers) the benefits of the filter feature will become more apparent.  As an example, if you had a large lens database, you could filter it in search of all lenses that were 25mm in diameter and had a focal length of less than 100mm.

LESSON #13.  This lesson will demonstrate the use of the <File><Link> feature in dbOptic. The Full-Feature License Version of dbOptic is required to demonstrate this procedure.

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