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Breault Research Organization


ASAP NextGen is a redefining moment in the history of the ASAP program

ASAP NextGen, a product of more than 30 years of continuous development, is not only the next step in the evolution of the ASAP program, but a complete re-imagining of the ASAP environment. ASAP NextGen offers engineers and product designers a host of new features making it the easiest to use ASAP ever and greatly improving on the unmatched capability, flexibility, speed and accuracy for which ASAP has long been known. ASAP NextGen is a new paradigm in optical simulation software for predicting the real-world performance of automotive lighting, imaging systems, luminaires, lightpipes, bio-optic systems, medical devices, displays and coherent systems.


ASAP NextGen Features

Optics Manager

A brand new easy-to-use interface presenting users with a familiar CAD-like tree structure. Using simple menus, context sensitive dialogs and the included ASAP Catalogs, users can create a variety of optical surface and geometric entities, import CAD geometry, add optical properties, add a light source, and setup ray tracing and analysis options. Components are shown as nodes in the tree, and the new persistent 3D viewer automatically updates to reflect changes in the system prescription. The as-defined system can be run with a single mouse click and saved for later use. And the new Optics Manager in ASAP NextGen functions without a single line of script!

Automatic Script Creation

Speaking of script…ASAP NextGen offers another industry first for optical design software. Once systems are constructed in the Optics Manager, ASAP NextGen will automatically create a working script from the complete system prescription. Users needing access to ASAP’s powerful scripting language can immediately modify and run these scripts to add multi-variable analysis or optimization using the new Optimization Manager to their design tasks.

Parallel + Remote Distributed Processing

Introducing another new paradigm for ray tracing speed and efficiency, ASAP NextGen with CoreMax technology will automatically run parallel processes on all cores on a local PC as well as all cores on up to (5) Remote licenses of ASAP installed on the LAN. In addition, users can control the number of cores accessed on each machine. This combination of parallel and remote distributed processing is another industry first and will make ASAP NextGen the fastest ray tracer with the highest level of computing power of any commercial optical design software.

Workflow Manager

Provides quick and easy access to command menus for those users less comfortable with but who still need scripting in ASAP NextGen. Commands can be found in the Search box or in the Workflow Manager tree which has been organized around the standard 4-step simulation process in ASAP…geometry, sources, ray tracing and analysis. Menus are clearly labeled to show the exact information needed to construct the command and ASAP Help is built in to the Workflow Manager dialog. Completed commands are then automatically inserted at the cursor location of the active script.

Alternate Scripting Languages

Newly added support for C# and Iron Python as alternate scripting languages with built-in code parsing and debugging. Enhanced support for Visual Basic. Provides extensible code base for these languages.

Major Improvements to Existing Features

Script Editor

New extensible Script Editor with an improved user interface and more control over script syntax, appearance, and keyboard shortcuts. Provides one-click access to new Optimization and Macro Managers and $SCR Editor.


New optimization interface integrated directly into the Script Editor. Automatically parses INR script to find defined variables for use as Design Variables, Constraints, or Merit Functions. Optimization conditions and visual output at run-time are visible within the INR script window.

Macro Manager

New feature that automatically parses ASAP Scripts to find macro code which is presented as a list. One-click access to the list allows direct editing of each macro and changes are automatically updated to the Script Editor.

$SCR Editor

New $SCR Editor acts as a simple two-way forms editor with one-click access to text, integer, and floating point input. Editor automatically generates corresponding ASAP script and updates to script are automatically seen in the $SCR form.


Additional Features Updated

  • New extensible, .NET compliant GUI with many new interface enhancements

  • New System Settings menu

  • New Preferences Menu

  • New Functions, User Data, and Variables Catalogs

  • Completely re-designed Media, Coatings, and Scatter Models Catalogs

  • New Lens Creator

  • New BSDF Fit Utility dialog

  • Updated Plot viewer

  • Updated Chart viewer

  • Improved Zemax translator

  • Improved CodeV translator

  • New photometric calculation tools including visual appearance

  • Completely re-written Help which is now fully integrated into the ASAP NextGen interface

  • Undockable tabs and windows can be placed anywhere on screen


APEX Optical Design Add-In for SOLIDWORKS

Available as an add-in to the industry-standard SolidWorks® 3D-modeling environment, and based on BRO's ASAP® kernel technology, APEX® has been developed for the design and analysis of optical and illumination systems using an easy-to-follow workflow. APEX delivers optical software tools in a true CAD interface.

With the full power and sophistication of SolidWorks in APEX, there is no need to translate, bridge or link between two separate programs. In APEX, you learn, create, design, and analyze in the same program environment, and that environment is all about ease of use. APEX seamlessly melds the worlds of computer-aided design and optical engineering, resulting in an "optics aware" design application.

In APEX, no CAD restrictions are placed on your optical components. Rather, APEX combines the power of SolidWorks geometry modeling with the rigor and precision needed for virtual prototyping of optical systems. Optical components created in APEX have optical tolerances and blend seamlessly into larger system models, including electrical, mechanical, and other system components.

APEX is an optical engineering application tailor-made to meet the requirements of today's product design teams, whether big or small, and is opening up new possibilities for the future of optics. Optical and mechanical engineers can finally work side-by-side on the same files. APEX files are SolidWorks files. Experimenting, evaluating, and innovating couldn't be easier. Welcome to APEX.

Ways to Optimize Systems in APEX

There are two ways to handle system creation for optical analysis in APEX:

1) Utilize the features of SOLIDWORKS and the APEX Add-In to both build the mechanical structures of a system and optimize optical performance (most common workflow preferred by SOLIDWORKS users).

2) Utilize the robust CAD interoperability features of SOLIDWORKS to import mechanical designs created in virtually any CAD program, and then optimize optical system performance (preferred by users of other CAD packages).

Following completion of optical analysis in APEX, the optimized optical system can be reimported into the CAD package of your choice to continue your product engineering workflow.

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