Birefringent Material Creator

This knowledge base article describes a FRED script that can be used to create a birefringent material from any two materials found in the “Materials” folder of a FRED document.

The Custom catalog contains a large number of birefringent materials with information about the ordinary and extraordinary indices, but they are listed as separate materials (e.g. CaCO3 and CaCO3_extraordinary). As of FRED 20.01 there is no quick way to convert those Custom catalog materials into usable birefringent materials of the type “Sampled Birefringent and/or Optically Active Material”. The attached FRED script “birefringentMaterialCreator.frs” uses a BASIC Dialog box (see image below ) to get user inputs including the materials to use for the ordinary and extraordinary indices, the wavelength range, crystal axis orientation, and the new birefringent material name. It then assigns the indices of the two materials as the ordinary and extraordinary indices of a new birefringent material for the specified wavelength range. This provides a quick and easy way to create usable birefringent materials from any two existing materials.

To use the tool:

  1. Add a material to FRED that describes the ordinary index of the final birefringent material.
  2. Add a material to FRED that describes the extraordinary index of the final birefringent material.
  3. Open the script file provided at the end of this KB article and go to Script > Run
  4. The GUI shown below will open up.  In this example, I have added Quartz from FRED's Custom material catalog and Quartz_extraordinary from FRED's Custom material catalog.  These two materials are chosen in the "Ordinary axis material" and "Extraordinary axis material" columns of the dialog.  On the right hand side I choose the desired wavelength range and number of samples to be used in the final birefringent material definition.  The orientation of the crystal axis vector is specified on the bottom right and, lastly, the name of the final material is given as "Birefringent Quartz".
  5. After pressing OK on the dialog, a new material called "Birefringent Quartz" will appear in the Materials folder of the FRED tree.

FRED Script File: birefringentMaterialCreator_catalogmaterials.frs

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