Software Serves Nonexperts
Stephanie A. Weiss, Executive Editor
As the market for photonics has spread into new and varied applications, the number of optical engineers has not kept pace.
A growing number of manufacturers are finding themselves dependent on the promise of photonics but without the optical expertise to make it work. This means it's not unusual for an electrical or mechanical engineer to find that ideal solutions involve optics.
The development of optical design software now allows engineers to "drag and drop" standardized optical elements or systems into mechanical structures from traditional computer-aided design (CAD) packages. The trend toward simplifying the design process for a growing number of non-experts who just need a quick, basic solution to their optics problems.