This paper discusses applications and implementation approaches used for integrated modeling of structural systems with optics over the past 30 years. While much of the development work focused on control system design, significant contributions were made in system modeling and computer-aided design (CAD) environments. Early work appended handmade line-of-sight models to traditional finite element models, such as the optical spacecraft concept from the ACOSS program. The IDEAS2 computational environment built in support of Space Station collected a wider variety of existing tools around a parametric database. Later, IMOS supported interferometer and large telescope mission studies at JPL with MATLAB modeling of structural dynamics, thermal analysis, and geometric optics. IMOS’s predecessor was a simple FORTRAN command line interpreter for LQG controller design with additional functions that built state-space finite element models. Specialized language systems such as CAESY were formulated and prototyped to provide more complex object-oriented functions suited to control-structure interaction. A more recent example of optical modeling directly in mechanical CAD is used to illustrate possible future directions. While the value of directly posing the optical metric in system dynamics terms is well understood today, the potential payoff is illustrated briefly via project-based examples. It is quite likely that integrated structure thermal optical performance (STOP) modeling could be accomplished in a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) tool set. The work flow could be adopted, for example, by a team developing a small high-performance optical or radio frequency (RF) instrument.