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

FRED 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 FRED is right for you?


Feature highlights include:

  • 3D graphical interface for model rendering, construction and verification
  • Lens import from ZEMAX®, CODE V® and OSLO®
  • CAD Import / Export (IGES, STEP, OBJ)
  • Up-to-date vendor catalogs
  • Non-sequential and sequential raytracing
  • Coherent beam propagation
  • Multi-threading on up to 17 CPU threads
  • 64-bit architecture

FRED Optimum

Includes FRED features, plus:

  • Multi-variable optimization capability
  • Parameter Sensitivity Analysis
  • System Configurations Manager
  • Parameter Pickups
  • Distributed Computing
  • Multi-threading on up to 127 CPU threads


Includes FRED and FRED Optimum features, plus:

  • Up to 150x faster raytracing
  • GPU-enabled massively parallel computing
  • Linear scaling with number of GPUs
  • Distributed computing with GPU raytracing and analyses
  • 3D scene raytrace rendering