The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has authorized Luxexcel for their new 3D printed optical lenses. Luxexcel is headquartered in Belgium and they created 3D printed optical lenses by making use of their Printoptical technology. The lenses produced do not need any polishing and decrease the amount of waste products linked with traditional lens manufacturing.
The company told that “around 80% of used materials is wasted in the cutting (grinding) process.” And as they addressed this problem, Luxexcel consider view themselves as “the only company in the world which can 3D print ophthalmic lenses.”
Besides, the ability to 3D print lenses on-demand eradicates the requirement for the opticians to carry large stocks and therefore, could decrease lead times significantly. A fundamental value proposition of 3D printing is its knack to create individual custom parts, this makes production of optical lenses a fascinating prospect. One major reason for 3D printing to be such an important application in the medical history is its ability create bespoke medical devices, personalized to an individual’s specific anatomy. An example of this would be the use of ‘3D printing to create custom dental implants’. 3D printing is being applied by Luxexcel to the ophthalmic industry.
This ISO improvement implies that glasses wearers are now closer than ever to 3D printing their own glasses. It has been witnessed lately how 3D printing can be deployed to develop frames through ‘MyMiniFactory’s ‘Design it Wright’ competition’. The contestants of this competition were instructed to design and 3D print their own frames for legendary footballer and glasses wearer, Ian Wright. As a result of Luxexcel’s development, it may not be long before 3D printed frames can be coupled with 3D printed optical lenses specific to the user.
Materialise, a Belgian 3D printing company, proclaimed entry into the eyewear industry last year. Materialise worked with Hoya Vision Care to create the Yuniku ‘3D Tailored Eyewear’. Wilfried Vancraen, Materialise’s CEO, credited the partnership as a reason for enhancing revenue.
Furthermore, Materialise also assisted Luxexcel to create their manufacturing software for the Printoptical process and last year, Materialise collaborated with Luxexcel to develop ‘a build processor’.
While explaining what 3D printing means, Luxexcel stated:
“Each lens is built from very small droplets of material which are merged together to create the lens. The material is acrylic in nature similar to typical materials used in ophthalmic lenses.”
Luxexcel CEO, Hans Streng, told that the news “opens up business opportunities for ophthalmic labs to manufacture a wide range of speciality lenses with our technology.” 3D printing can be used to make monofocals, bifocals, and trifocals. Importantly for the company, “the quality, straight out of the printer, is at industry required ISO quality level.”
The 3D printed lenses of Luxexcel were examined by Colt Laboratories in California in order to meet ISO compliance and the 3D printed lenses attained ISO 8980-1:2004 Focal Power standard. Shipping of the lenses to ophthalmic labs will start later this year.