Luxexcel 3D printed the first pair of functional eyeglasses in 2009, and we’ve been following their progress as they prepare to begin shipping their 3D printing platform to ophthalmic labs across the world in the second half of 2017. The platform, which consists of industrial-grade 3D printers, lens design software and workflow integration tools, was introduced during Vision Expo East, which took place in New York from March 31 to April 2.
Shortly after introducing the platform, Belgium-based Luxexcel has announced that they have received $10 million in equity financing from a group of financial and strategic investors, including KLA-Tencor Corporation, which participated in this funding round both financially and through in-kind industrial cooperation with Luxexcel. Luxexcel’s existing investors, SET Ventures, Munich Venture Partners and PMV also contributed funds.
“This investment by a group of renowned investors combined with the strategic cooperation with KLA-Tencor is of key importance to our business development,” said Hans Streng, Chief Executive Officer of Luxexcel. “It enables us to bring high quality industrial 3D printers to the ophthalmic market and it shows great confidence in our business strategy. Ever since our focus on 3D printing of ophthalmic lenses we have experienced an exponentially increasing interest and market pull both from the ophthalmic market as well as related industries such as Virtual and Augmented Reality. The cooperation with KLA-Tencor and its global track record in the semiconductor-tooling industry gives a major boost to our smart-glasses roadmap. We are now ready to scale up, deliver and disrupt…exciting times.”
Times have been exciting indeed lately for Luxexcel, which holds the rights to some of the most advanced ophthalmic technology available. With Luxexcel’s technology, lenses can be 3D printed without the need for polishing, and it gives manufacturers design freedom allowing for entirely new lens shapes, or even embedded sensors or filters in the lenses. Through a series of partnerships, Luxexcel has also branched out to develop additional eyewear-related products such as LensCreator, a service that allows customers to design their own eyeglass lenses.
The Luxexcel 3D printing platform can be easily integrated into the workflow of a standard ophthalmic lab, and lenses produced with the platform are compatible with industry coatings and customary processes such as edging and framing. The $10 million investment is big news for Luxexcel; the company recently achieved ISO compliance for their lenses, meaning that they can begin shipping them to the ophthalmic market, and the funding will give them the means to do so.