Luxexcel partners with Optiswiss to market 3D printed connected glasses

Specialist in 3D printing of corrective lenses Luxexcel announced a business partnership with another lens manufacturer Optiswiss.

As part of the deal, Optiswiss installed Luxexcel’s VisionPlatform 7 in its Swiss laboratory, enabling companies to deliver 3D printed lenses en masse to eyewear manufacturers, whether ordinary frames or glasses. ‘advanced’ smart ‘devices.

“In Optiswiss, we have found a partner who shares our vision of being at the forefront of innovation in the smart glasses industry,” explains Fabio Esposito, CEO of Luxexcel. “The combination of our technology and Optiswiss’ experience as a lens manufacturer ensures that smart eyeglass manufacturers can market smart devices that meet the needs of people with prescriptions. “

“This shared strategy will accelerate the delivery of ‘made in Switzerland’ corrective lenses that are ideal for smart eyeglass devices. “

Luxexcel’s VisionPlatform 7 installed at the Optiswiss site in Basel. Photo via Luxexcel.

Luxexcel optical reader

Based in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, Luxexcel specializes in manufacturing the machines, software and materials required for 3D printing of corrective lenses. The company’s systems are built around its proprietary ‘Vision Engine’ technology, which actually shoots tiny droplets of resin onto a build plate layer by layer, before UV curing them into a lens shape. .

Unlike conventional lenses, Luxexcel claims that those produced through its printers do not require grinding or polishing, removing around 30 steps from their manufacturing process. Thanks to the company’s technology, it is also possible to print directly onto glass or polymer, making it compatible with commercial frames, while the addition of films or LCD screens in these frames theirs. confers augmented reality (AR) capabilities.

Over the past six months, Luxexcel has made significant strides in its augmented reality offering, unveiling a partnership with WaveOptics in February, which allowed it to start 3D printing augmented reality prescription smart glasses. Since then, the company has launched VisionPlatform 7, a machine specially designed to allow the integration of 3D printed lenses directly into smart glasses, during the production process.

In terms of throughput, the company has also celebrated a number of recent milestones, reflecting the improved pace with which it is able to manufacture lenses. After reaching the milestone of 5,000 impressions per year in 2019, Luxexcel crossed the global milestone of 50,000 less than two years later. Thus, with its new Optiswiss agreement, the company now aims to better market its advanced technologies to frame manufacturers.

Luxexcel has now 3D printed over 50,000 prescription lenses using its proprietary VisionPlatform process.  Photo via Luxexcel.
Luxexcel has now 3D printed over 50,000 prescription lenses using its proprietary VisionPlatform technology. Photo via Luxexcel.

Marketing smart lenses

Already, the agreement of Luxexcel and Optiswiss has seen the latter install a VisionPlatform 7 in its ophthalmic plant in Basel. In the future, the machine is expected to be used by eyewear manufacturers as a production facility, with which they can create large-scale AR lenses and speed up the launch of their various smart optical devices.

According to Optiswiss, the simplicity of the platform makes it an attractive prospect, as it turns lens production into a ‘one-step’ process, while ‘efficiencies’ such as 3D printing of coatings could also emerge. prove to be beneficial for the quality of the product.

“We are delighted to join Luxexcel on its journey to provide prescription lenses for smart glasses,” said Samuel Frei, CEO of Optiswiss. “We now have a digital manufacturing platform to combine prescription glasses with smart technology today, including a clear path to high volume manufacturing of prescription smart glasses. “

For Luxexcel, the partnership sees its machine go into production at one of Europe’s largest optical manufacturing labs, which shipped 2.5 million lenses last year, putting its system to the test (and showcase) like never before.

“With Luxexcel, we will develop pioneering products and bring them to market quickly,” adds Frei. “By adopting innovative technologies such as VisionPlatform 7, we can provide our customers with solutions for prescription smart glasses, giving them an edge over the competition. ”

Only 150 pairs will be 3D printed and the glasses will cost $ 415.  Photo via Adidas.
In addition to producing lenses, 3D printing is increasingly being deployed to create bespoke eyeglass frames. Photo via Adidas.

Custom 3D printed glasses

The flexibility inherent in 3D printing opens up many possibilities for customization, so it potentially represents an ideal technology for the manufacture of bespoke eyeglass frames. Like Luxexcel, Materialize has also made inroads in optical 3D printing recently, having acquired the software developer Same to develop an online spectacle fitting service.

On a more sporty note, Adidas revealed last month that he had partnered with the Marcolin Group, to 3D print ‘3D CMPT’ sports sunglasses. Weighing only 20g, the design of the glasses features a unified nylon structure, which is supposed to provide users with breathability, while its integrated rubberized coating is designed to have a shock absorbing effect.

Formerly, the French brand of glasses MOREL also worked with a service provider INITIAL to 3D print glasses for large-scale consumers. Using SLS, in addition to a polyamide-based nylon and the common orthodontic material, beta-titanium, companies have since been able to produce frames with a unique velvety texture by the thousands.

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The image shown shows Luxexcel’s VisionPlatform 7 installed at Optiswiss’ facilities in Basel. Photo via Luxexcel.

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