What is FRED?

FRED Optical Engineering Software simulates the propagation of light through any optomechanical system by raytracing. Whether your design is imported from CAD, a lens design program, or constructed from within the software, FRED provides engineers with the essential tools for virtual prototyping of optical systems.


FRED is not restricted to any one class of problems. With the ability to propagate both coherent and incoherent light and assign realistic surface properties to every component in your system, FRED can be used for a diverse range of applications that include:

  • stray light
  • laser applications
  • illumination and non-imaging optics
  • imaging systems
  • multi-wavelength systems
  • thermal imaging

Key Features

  • Rapid virtual prototyping
  • Real-time visualization/editing of complex optical/mechanical systems.
  • Accurate simulation of virtually any light source, including include lasers, arc lamps, LED’s, ideal emitters, bulbs and user defined ray sets.
  • Advanced geometry, scatter, optimization, tolerancing, scripting and graphic tools.
  • No limit on surface definitions: including materials, thin film coatings, scatter models, etc.
  • Cost effective package: designed specifically for engineering professionals who face real world optical problems.

Which version is right for you?


Includes these features:

  • 3D graphical interface for model rendering, construction and verification
  • 25 surface types, 9 curve types and lens, mirror, prism elements
  • 15 primitive solids with boolean operation capability
  • Vendor catalogs for import of lenses, mirrors and prisms
  • IGES/STEP import and export
  • Lens import from ZEMAX®, CODE V® and OSLO®
  • Ability to array geometry in a rectilinear coordinate system
  • 7 coating types, including polarization and thickness variations
  • 12 surface scatter models and 2 volume scatter models
  • 6 importance sampling specifications for efficient scatter calculation
  • Catalog, GRIN, birefringent, formula and sampled materials definitions
  • Diffraction gratings with unlimited orders and efficiencies
  • Detailed source construction by control of ray position/direction, wavelength, coherence, polarization, and power
  • Spectra definition for sources and detector response functions as Gaussian, Blackbody or Sampled
  • Non-sequential AND sequential raytracing capability
  • Coherent beam propagation
  • Raytrace controls for specification of power, splitting and intersection
  • Ray manipulation utilities for export, import and filtering operations
  • 35+ default ray analysis utilities
  • Ability to perform analyses on planar surfaces and 3 types of non-planar surfaces
  • Volume Fluence Analysis
  • Photometric and radiometric units
  • Digitization tool for data extraction
  • BASIC scripting language
  • COM capability for server/client communication
  • Multi-threading on up to 4 CPU threads

FRED Optimum

Includes Regular features, plus:

  • 64-bit architecture for expanded memory access capability
  • Multi-variable optimization capability with multiple local and pseudo-global algorithms
  • Parameter Sensitivity Analysis
  • System Configurations Manager
  • Parameter Pickups
  • Distributed Computing
  • Multi-threading on up to 63 CPU threads