Luxexcel, the Dutch-based supplier of 3D-printed lenses, announced yesterday the launch of its new platform for the manufacturing of prescription lenses for smart glasses. The announcement comes only a few months after the company partnered with WaveOptics, a U.K-based supplier of waveguides.

Called Vision Platform 7, the new solution supplied by Luxexcel is aimed at providing technology companies with the capability to produce prescription smart eyewear, covering most common eyesight correction needs such as myopia or presbyopia, directly in their facilities. The platform includes the 3D-printing equipment and proprietary material – the company’s Vision Clear ink -, as well as the related software and processes.

The company’s 3D-printing process, which consists in the jetting of billions of tiny droplets, can be paused to insert the smart elements directly into the lens as explained during the joint presentation with WaveOptics last March. However, the new Vision Platform 7 solution is not specifically linked to any technology or material and can integrate a variety of objects into the prescription lenses such as waveguides, holographic optical elements or liquid crystal foils during the printing process.

A key feature of Luxexcel’s technology is that it allows the creation of a sealed air gap in which to fit the waveguide, allowing it to function properly. The solution also includes the integration of a printable hard coating in order to protect the embedded smart technologies. The lenses produced by Vision Platform 7 meet ISO, ANSI and FDA requirements for prescription eyewear.

Although the smart eyewear category has seen a series of innovations and spectacular announcements in recent years, from both high-tech players and lens manufacturers, it has not yet entered the larger consumer market. According to Luxexcel, smart eyewear manufacturers need to address prescription in their products in order to grow this market segment, as it is estimated that 75 percent of the adult population in the world requires prescription lenses.