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Automating Optical System Design

BeamWise® is a set of software tools and related services for the design of biophotonic and other complex optical systems. BeamWise is implemented using Design++®, a knowledge-based engineering platform that significantly simplifies the capture of in-house engineering expertise and streamlines integration of legacy systems into design automation and product configuration solutions.

Augmenting CAD with Beam Intelligence

BeamWise fills the gap between the optical world and the mechanical world. Current tools, like AutoCAD and SolidWorks, do not have a model for the beam alignment requirements for optical components. BeamWise is a design automation system with design rules and a component library that augments AutoCAD or SolidWorks to guarantee that the alignment is always maintained as design changes are rippled through the beam path.

Cost and Time of Development Cycle

The cost and time of development cycle is a significant problem in optical system design; making sure the development is completed on time and budget while still meeting system specifications. The problem is a result of

BeamWise is developed to address these problems by automating the creation of 3D CAD model and design documentation (drawings and parts list) for optical system design. The underlying Design++ model supports exploration of design options with efficient change management making design iterations instantaneous.

Working with BeamWise

With BeamWise, an instrument developer can intuitively and concisely define an optical system; the software automatically produces a detailed system design, visualizes it in a 3D CAD model, and generates fully annotated and dimensioned 2D drawings and a parts list (bill of materials) for implementation using optomechanical components. Furthermore, BeamWise lets developers immediately review the design, before a sample is created, and any changes they want can be implemented instantly.

BeamWise as a Service

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Detail view of a flow cytometer design produced by BeamWise

BeamWise is also offered as a service engagement, which provides an easy, risk-free evaluation of its capabilities.

We start by working together on your optical system design to define input data for BeamWise using your:

Next, we will run BeamWise on your input data to automatically generate:

Finally, we will review BeamWise produced results together. Any changes are fed back to BeamWise to update the results instantly.


"We asked Kinetic River to develop a BeamWise model of a prototype instrument to help us scope and prioritize possible refinements to improve performance, robustness and cost. The Kinetic River team took our schematics and parts list and integrated these into BeamWise and LiveIdeas models of our system.

BeamWise provided a CAD model of the mechanical components of our system that could be used guide the design of a manufacturable version of our system. LiveIdeas provided a functional model that could be used to evaluate how various options for alternative light sources and optics might impact performance.

The BeamWise/LiveIdeas system should greatly increase the efficiency of future design revision for our systems."

-Dr. John P. Nolan of La Jolla Bioengineering Institute