3D-Printed Lenses Hit Milestone

The concept of making spec lenses on a 3D printer has gone from zero to 5,000 in three short years.

In 2016, Luxexcel announced it could make an ophthalmic-quality 3D-printed lens and was developing a platform that “might” make the printing viable on a large scale. Today, The Netherlands-based company has a U.S. headquarters and has placed its 3D-printing platforms in two U.S. optical labs—Quest Vision Care Specialty Lab Florida and IFB Solutions Lab in North Carolina.

In the past year, 5,000 lenses have been printed in the U.S. and Europe, bringing the technology to a level where commercial lenses are being shipped to customers every day.

 “By achieving this level of maturity we are ready to further grow the incredible potential of this technology and develop unique lenses both in ophthalmic and in smart eyewear,” notes Fabio Esposito, CEO of Luxexcel. “3D printing is uniquely positioned to bridge the gap between traditional lenses and the future of eyewear which resides in smart functionalities.” 

The Luxexcel VisionPlatform consists of industrial-grade 3D printers, lens design software, and workflow integration tools which enable labs to manufacture 3D-printed ophthalmic-quality lenses which meet industry standards—including all ANSI, ISO, and FDA requirements.

What kind of lens jobs are perfect for 3D-printing? Jobs that are time consuming on traditional lab equipment—channel prisms, quadrifocals, specialty vocational designs, lenses with unusual Rx requirements, and prescription lenses for smart eyewear. As Luxexcel Chief Commercial Officer Guido Groet explains to EB, complete custom creation made to measure is now possible with just a few clicks of a button.

Click here to see some videos of the 3D printing process in action.
Susan Tarrant