FAQ / Frequently Asked Questions

Here we have summarized the most frequently asked questions about the software and update them continuously.


Short answer: Yes! BeamXpertDESIGNER only calculates the propagation of (partially) coherent radiation through optical systems. It cannot be used for calculating the propagation of incoherent radiation! For further details please have a look at the BeamXpertDESIGNER service specification!

No, BeamXpertDESIGNER is not a raytracing program in the conventional sense! Although the software uses so-called rays to determine the aberration properties of the laser optics, these are not the same as rays in raytracing programs. BeamXpertDESIGNER uses as rays Gauss-Schell beams, or Gauss-Schell beam bundles, which scan the optical system by simulating the beam source. Experience has shown that more than 10 * 10 rays are seldom required for a sufficient accuracy of the aberration determination. A significantly larger number unnecessarily increases the computing time and may lead to instabilities in the software flow.

BeamXpertDESIGNER only propagates Gaussian beams (paraxial approximation) in the first step of laser optics design, and bundles of Gaussian beam in the second step of laser optics design (check for aberrations) through the optical system. Accordingly, diffraction effects and scattering are not simulated. Other software is available on the market for this purpose, but it is more complex to operate and does not deliver (interactive) results as quickly.

In BeamXpertDESIGNER the gaussian intensity profile is only used for graphical representation. A gaussian profile is not mandatory for the algorithm used, since the algorithm does not "know what a beam profile is".

The beam model of BeamXpertDESIGNER is based on the propagation of second order moments. This allows only the prediction of the beam size (i.e. beam diameter, variance ellipse) in an optical system, but cannot predict the internal structure of beam profiles. This limitation is the reason why the propagation algorithm is fast enough to allow real-time calculations. In addition, it allows the definition of beam sources by a small set of input parameters (the beam propagation parameters based on second order moments as defined in ISO 11146). Otherwise, it would be necessary to define the two-dimensional complex electric field distribution (in the coherent case) or the four-dimensional Wigner distribution (in the more likely case of partial coherence) to represent your laser beam source. However, both distributions are generally very difficult to measure.

As is so often the case, what counts in the end is the speed at which you achieve a tangible result in the design of your laser optical setup! Our online survey of 40 BeamXpertDESIGNER beta testers showed that they saved more than 3 hours per month of working time on average compared to standard solutions. 82% of the testers particularly liked BeamXpertDESIGNER´s easy handling and short training period.

Once you have registered on our website, we will typically send you a download link within two business days to download the latest demo version of BeamXpertDESIGNER from our website. Please copy the installation file into an appropriate directory on your Windows PC and start the installation process by clicking on the .exe file in the selected directory. Now you have 28 days to test the software. In your directory you will also find sample files of set-ups that you can open. Attention: The demo version does not allow the saving of created set-ups.

The demo version, which you will receive from us by request, has a runtime of 28 days. It is not able to save designed set-ups, but contains numerous sample files to try out the essential functionalities. If you purchase the full version of BeamXpertDESIGNER, please uninstall the demo version from your computer first.

Currently BeamXpertDESIGNER is only running on Windows 7, 8 or 10 (32 bit and 64 bit versions). A release of BeamXpertDESIGNER for other operating systems is currently not foreseen. For the functionality of BeamXpertDESIGNER when using Windows emulators we can neither guarantee nor provide support.

We have provided a summary of the exact order process for you here.

The purchase of a license from BeamXpertDESIGNER entitles you to use the software for an unlimited period of time. However, the buyer of the license is only entitled to download and install updates of BeamXpertDESIGNER from the website of BeamXpert GmbH for 12 months. The component database will also no longer be updated after 12 months. Users who always want to use the latest version of the software and the component database will be offered a support and update package with a duration of one year starting in autumn 2019. The price will be approximately 30% of the license price.

Users who always want to use the latest version of BeamXpertDESIGNER and the component database will be offered a one-year support and update package starting in autumn 2019. The price will be about 30% of the license price.

BeamXpertDESIGNER tries to download a small text file from our download domain (www.beamxpert-download.com) using the HTTPS protocol (port 443) starting with version number 0.90.13 to check if a newer version than the currently installed one is available for download. Older software versions use the FTP protocol to download from the www.beamxpert.com domain. The current program version will then be downloaded in the same way if the software license has not yet expired. For this purpose it is essential that BeamXpertDESIGNER gets access to the Internet from your local network. Hence, if the update check does not take place, please contact your IT department to check whether BeamXpertDESIGNER has the required rights.

For the installation you need a standard PC with a Windows operating system (7, 8 or 10 (32 bit or 64 bit version)) with a USB port (type A, USB 2.0 upwards), the copy protection dongle, the mini CD with the (installation) software and a CD/DVD drive which can read the mini CD. As long as your update authorization is active, you can alternatively download the latest software version from our website with your order access data (if necessary, contact your in-house procurement office!). Additionally you need administrator rights on your computer to install the software. After inserting the mini CD (start .exe if necessary!) you will be guided through the installation process. We will keep you informed about BeamXpertDESIGNER updates via e-mail.

In the event of an (unlikely) defect in the copy protection dongle, we will replace it free of charge within the warranty period in accordance with the software license agreement (Item 3.2.), which is part of the purchase agreement. Replacement is guaranteed as long as the copy protection dongle was not manipulated and the serial number or label of the dongle clearly indicates BeamXpert GmbH. Should dongle malfunctions be brought to our attention outside the warranty period, reasonable charges for the replacement of the dongle will be incurred. The dispatch of a new copy protection dongle may only take place through exchange with the broken copy.

According to point 3.3. of the software license agreement, which is part of the purchase contract, the right to use the software BeamXpertDESIGNER expires if the copy protection dongle is lost. Accordingly, BeamXpert GmbH is not obliged to provide replacement. We therefore ask all users to ensure that their copy protection dongle is safe at all times.

BeamXpertDESIGNER is delivered with numerous sample files of optical set-ups for beam collimation, fiber coupling and generation of higher harmonics. We would be happy to learn of suggestions for further applications of BeamXpertDESIGNER and particularly about sample files, which we may make generally accessible.

The major advantage of BeamXpertDESIGNER is the low resource requirements, resulting from the underlying model of the simulation. Most computers purchased in the last ten years are sufficient for an efficient simulation process. This holds especially true for the graphics solution used in your PC. BeamXpertDESIGNER is rendered with OpenGL support and, to our knowledge, all commercially available onboard graphics solutions are sufficiently powerful for this.

Since the aim of BeamXpertDESIGNER's development was to achieve extensive compatibility with existing PC hardware right from the start, the software was of course also adapted to high-resolution graphics solutions and extensively tested. The display on UHD monitors additionally strengthens the CAD-like feeling when using BeamXpertDESIGNER and is therefore highly attractive for users.

First of all: this is very annoying and fortunately very rare, because we (including the beta testers) worked hard to identify and fix all bugs in the program over an extended period of time. Sometimes it's just a misunderstanding about the operation and the underlying concept of BeamXpertDESIGNER. Anyway: please contact us (support@beamxpert.com or Tel.: +49 30 40 366 97 21) to let us participate and give us the chance to help you and improve BeamXpertDESIGNER for all users. A detailed description of the error (what?, under what conditions?, reproducible? etc.) is extremely helpful!

We are pleased that you have been so intensively involved with BeamXpertDESIGNER that you are already developing new ideas! We would be even more pleased if you shared your thoughts with us. Simply contact us at support@beamxpert.com or give us a call: +49 30 40 366 97 21! But please understand that the implementation of additional functions takes time on the one hand and that on the other hand the functionality also has to fit into the (operating) concept of BeamXpertDESIGNER!

BeamXpertDESIGNER uses data from the manufacturers Heraus, Hikari, Hoyer, Ohara, Schott and Sumita to describe the glasses. This data is added by the data from the freely available database of https://refractiveindex.info.

Of course, BeamXpertDESIGNER allows you to create and save your own elements (or components not available in the database) by specifying the material (e.g. from the glass database) and the geometry.

For legal reasons, the complete transfer of data from component suppliers out of their online or offline catalogues is not possible. We therefore endeavour to enter into agreements with relevant manufacturers which, on the one hand, provide us with legal security and, on the other hand, offer the highest possible quality of component data for our common customers. Currently, we deliver the data of relevant optics of the companies asphericon, Bernhard Halle Nachfl., Eksma, Edmund Optics, Laser 2000, Newport, Qioptiq, Ross Optical and SigmaKoki in our component database. It currently contains 16,016 components. We are always pleased to receive information about other optical component suppliers relevant to you!

We try to follow the requirements and suggestions of our customers and have as essential new functionalities the export of CAD data and the output of energy and power densities on the optical components in view. At the same time, the scope of the component database is to be continuously expanded.

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