VisionPlatform 7: Luxexcel relies on prescription smart glasses »3D Printing Media Network
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Despite the advances in smart eyewear over the past decade, some challenges have severely hampered adoption. For one, the question of making smart glasses for people who need prescription glasses (a significant part of the adult population) has not found a really innovative answer. On the other hand, smart glasses have not quite found their stylistic step and put technology before appearance. Based in the Netherlands, Luxexcel, a pioneer in 3D printing for eyeglass lenses, hopes to change that with its new bespoke solution for intelligent eyeglass lenses, VisionPlatform 7.
VisionPlatform 7 is designed to be used by smartglasses manufacturers to enable them to manufacture eyeglass lenses with embedded intelligent functions in-house. These 3D printed smart lenses are characterized by being light and thin, making them suitable for commercial frames – similar to traditional glasses.
Prior to Luxexcel’s technology – which we learned about earlier this year – smart prescription glasses solutions were bulky and simple as glue or other fastening techniques were used to combine the lens and smart hardware. The VisionPlatform 7 effectively dispenses with this assembly step and integrates the smart features directly into the lens. More specifically, the process integrates the hardware required for AR functionality – such as waveguides, holographic optical elements, and liquid crystal films – during the 3D printing process.
“With the introduction of VisionPlatform 7, a new era in the manufacture of intelligent prescription lenses is starting,” said Fabio Esposito, CEO of Luxexcel. “More than 75% of the world’s adult population today require prescription glasses. Luxexcel offers a breakthrough solution that seamlessly combines intelligent technology with prescription glasses, rather than adding prescription to the intelligent device. Luxexcel is accelerating the time-to-market of true consumer eyewear by enabling technology companies to manufacture smart prescription glasses from the comfort of their own homes. “
VisionPlatform 7 is technology agnostic, meaning smart eyewear manufacturers can incorporate different types of AR-enabled technologies into the 3D printed glasses. The lenses can also be tailored to the needs of the customer. The 3D printing process itself is an inkjet-based technology that produces eyeglass lenses without any assistance or post-processing. In the new platform, the 3D printing process has been optimized for smart lenses, with built-in air gaps for waveguides and other components. The new system also includes various adhesion promoters to ensure that the optical elements are well bonded to the prescription lenses.
“To manufacture a device that combines prescription and intelligent functions, you need a combination of skills in technology and optics,” commented Guido Groet, Chief Strategy Officer at Luxexcel. “We offer our customers a complete solution for manufacturing intelligent prescription glasses so that they can focus on developing the technology and content for the device. With VisionPlatform 7, smart glasses can be expanded to include other innovative functions and the only limitation is the designer’s imagination. “
The glasses manufactured with the VisionPlatform 7 meet the ISO, ANSI and FDA requirements for prescription glasses. Luxexcel also offers a range of lens materials compatible with various surfaces such as anti-reflective and water repellent coatings.