Luxexcel 3D printed prescription lenses feature in Vuzix Corp’s Blade AR smartglasses

Luxexcel has partnered with Vuzix Corp, a supplier of smartglasses and Augmented Reality (AR) technologies, to provide the company with 3D printed prescription lenses.

The lenses are inserted into the Vuzix Blade AR smartglasses. Blade has been designed for both enterprise and ‘prosumer’ users, and allows the user to leave their phone in their pocket as it connects and presents location-aware content through the smartglasses. Vuzix has cited retail and enterprise workers as potential beneficiaries of the product, which would enable them to scan barcodes, receive instructions, take pictures, and use two-way video streaming.

Wanting to make the smartglasses accessible to a wider audience, Vuzix sought the expertise of Luxexcel to additively manufacture prescription lenses for the Blade smartglasses. Using its VisionEngine 3D printer, Luxexcel 3D prints lenses by jetting a UV-curable resin onto the build plate, then curing by UV-light. The resin is deposited in several passes during the process, droplets flowing and merging when they hit the surface, creating the lens shape and features. Luxexcel can print four lenses within an hour, each of which will be immediately ready for coating without grinding or polishing.

The companies have partnered to take advantage of 3D printing’s design freedom capabilities and ability to embed smart functions into ophthalmic lenses. Luxexcel is confident 3D printed lenses represent the next revolution in eye correction, and can be of widespread use to the smart eyewear market.

“60% of the US population needs eye correction,” commented Hans Streng, CEO of Luxexcel. “Without custom prescription inserts, those people will not be able to fully enjoy the most advanced new augmented reality products. Luxexcel is thrilled to partner with Vuzix as the early adopter of 3D printed ophthalmic lens inserts. We see great synergy between the amazing innovations of Vuzix and the technology of Luxexcel.”

Paul Travers, President and CEO of Vuzix, added: “We are delighted that with the 3D printed prescription lenses provided by Luxexcel, a much broader audience can enjoy our unique new product, the Vuzix Blade.

“Vuzix Blade we believe arguably represents the most compact and sleek AR-enabled smartglasses available today. It enables a broad range of information display and computing in a pair of glasses that people would actually enjoy wearing either at work or at leisure.”

 3D Science Valley Review

According to the market research of 3D Science Valley, Luxexcel’s resin 3D printing technology not only has application potential in the field of AR smart glasses, but also has potential in the customed free-form correction lenses.

Traditional lenses are produced from semi-finished lens blanks that are factory-molded in mass quantity. Personalized free-form lenses hold the potential to free eyeglass wearers from the optical compromises of traditional, mass-produced lenses. Traditional personalized free-form lenses require expensive machinery … so that most people cannot afford it. Thus, most patients can’t achieve ideal vision correction and their eyesight keeps deteriorating.

A Micro/Nano 3D printing company-BMF from Shenzhen China is also developing 3D printing customed free-form lenses.Beijing Tongren Hospital has teamed up with BMF to produce low-cost personalized free-form lenses according to each individual’s prescription. The team has successfully designed and manufactured a sophisticated personalized lens.


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