Frequently Asked Questions

All about 3D printed lenses

3D printed lenses for eyewear are now possible!
Learn more about 3D printed lenses and their possibilities in this FAQ. 

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All about 3D printed lenses!
How is a 3D lens made?
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The Luxexcel technology is an inkjet-based 3D print technology which builds lenses droplet by droplet. From a liquid material, small droplets are jetted to build the required ophthalmic lens shape.

The 3D printing process obtains very smooth lens surfaces without any post-processes.

We are able to create very accurate lenses because we use extremely small droplets, and we are able to print rapidly because we jet many droplets at the same time.

Why 3D print lenses?
ophthalmic lenses - IFB
3D printed lenses bring the eyewear market an amazing capability: unique products and lens customization.

But why do they make sense?
In a nutshell: 3D printing allows for unique customized lens designs which is what prescription eyewear is all about. In addition with 3D printing you will be able to finally add "smart" to prescription lenses or add prescription to all these cool goggles that are coming out.
When are the lenses available commercially?
we print lenses - IFB quote

Today, Luxexcel VisionPlatforms in the USA and Europe, reached a maturity level where commercial lenses are being shipped to customers every day.

The Luxexcel VisionPlatform™ consists of industrial grade optical 3D-printers, lens-design software and workflow integration tools which enables customers to manufacture 3D printed ophthalmic quality lenses that meet all industry standards like ANSI, ISO & FDA requirements

How quickly can we print a lens?
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Faster than you might expect (see timelapse)

Traditional 3D printing technologies require hours to build an object with the detail and accuracy used by our process.

The Luxexcel technology for 3D printed lenses prints two pairs of lenses in one hour.

The lenses require no polishing after printing. After resting in our proprietary blue light cabinet, they can be coated and processed using standard lab procedures. 

3D printed lenses easily fit into the standard ophthalmic lens manufacturing process.

How do users design a 3D printed lens?
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Luxexcel’s VisionMaster™ enables users to customize the lens and allows experimenting with our beta designs to create lenses that do not exist today.

By utilizing VisionMaster™ one can enhance the lab’s product portfolio with custom 3D printed lenses. 

If your lab has a printer, VisionMaster™ will sent the lenses to your lab’s print queue. If your lab has a VirtualEngine™ ,the lens file is sent to a selected ophthalmic lab which has a VisionEngine™ installed on site. 

Who can 3D print a lens?
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Our technology  is designed for an ophthalmic lab and we solely print lenses for eyewear. We are interested in mutual projects, but do not offer prototyping services.

As a partner of Luxexcel, we provide a turnkey solution which includes: the VisionEngine™ hardware (printer), Luxexcel VisionClear™ print material, VisionMaster™ lens design software, lens designs, beta testing lens designs, service, training and maintenance.  
The site partner must have a clean room and dedicated space for our 15 ft, 5-ton printer. We provide the 3D printing technology and the optical lab provides their expertise in lens processing.

What material do you use?
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Luxexcel VisionClear™ is an ophthalmic quality, UV-curable acrylate monomer in an ink form. This material is optimized to be 3D printed by the Luxexcel VisionEngine ™.

Refractive Index 1.5225
Abbe value 45
Density 1.15 g/cm3


The material is compatible with ophthalmic industry coatings like Hard coatings, blue filters and tints.

 

Is the printer tabletop?
Luxexcel 3D printer - 3D printed lenses

 

The Luxexcel VisionPlatform™ is not exactly tabletop size. It is a commercial scale printer with the following dimensions:

  ft m
Height 8.53 ft 2.50 m
Width 15.75 ft 4.80 m
Depth 5.62 ft 1.72 m


Unlike industry standard processes, prefabricated lens blanks are not required. The lenses are fabricated by Luxexcel VisionEngine™ in a fully additive manner, based on a custom lens design file generated using Luxexcel VisionMaster™.

Are 3D printed lenses eco-friendly?
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In the traditional way of lens manufacturing, there is a lot of cutting away of material, which results in waste which can't be re-used. With 3D printing you start with a bottle of ink and you add material to build a lens. This significantly reduces the material waste of your lens. 

The Luxexcel VisionPlatform™ is fundamentally different from traditional ophthalmic lens fabrication methods, which begin with semifinished lens blanks then grind and polish the lens, producing a lot of waste material as a result.

Can you really print a lens?
blog.luxexcel.comhubfsLuxexcel01-1 Yes! What you need is a high end Luxexcel printer with optical quality print materials and special lens design software. The technology has been developed by Luxexcel and is currently used on a number of printer installations in Europe and the USA. It is really exciting to see a lens being printed right there in front of you without need of the usual inventory of semi finished lenses and grinders and polishers.
ALL ABOUT 3D PRINTED LENSES!
Does Luxexcel belong to a bigger group?
Luxexcel mindset
Luxexcel is an independent company. We have developed a globally unique technology to 3D print ophthalmic lenses. 

Our strength is the mindset of our people: “make the impossible possible!”
Top 3 benefits of the technology
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3D printing of ophthalmic lenses has numerous benefits:

  1.  Simplicity: by simply printing the lens a long supply chain is reduced to one printer, no inventories, no polishing and grinding, no sourcing semi-finished lenses from all over the world. 
  2. Design freedom: new lens designs by removing limits in the traditional technology, but also integrating smart technology into prescription lenses
  3. Eco friendly: 3D printing removes the significant waste which is usually associated with lens manufacturing. Reduced carbon footprint, energy, waste water, plastic waste, transport and toxic materials.
Can everybody print a lens?
Luxexcel 3D printer - 3D printed lenses
The technology today is meant for an ophthalmic lab. Luxexcel provides all that is necessary, hardware (printer), materials, software, recipies, service and maintenance. The idea is that Luxexcel deals with the technical printing challenges and the lab focusses on orders and coatings.
3D printed lenses of the future?
Luxexcel_electrochromic  Coming Soon

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