A typical CIM architecture consists of several standalone software applications which are integrated to provide a complete automated manufacturing environment. An essential component of CIM is a geometrical database that contains the models of systems and their components. All the individual applications must interface with that database, and direct interface to other software tools is an advantage. Traditional major components of this environment include a CAD/CAE system and a CAM system. The relationship between the two is clear, the CAD/CAE component produces a design which is transferred to the CAM component for production. An optical system contains two types of elements, optical and mechanical, with disparate design and manufacturing methods. The paper discusses the optical CIM environment and the basic components that it requires.