We covered Luxexcel NV about one year ago. In that article, the author mainly talked about how this fast growing 3D print company printed transparent optical components, such as lenses, prisms, and other complex surfaces by collaborating with 3D modeling software producers at trinckle 3D.
Now, in order to ensure their products’ quality, Luxexcel NV and Automation and Robotics (A&R), the leading manufacturer of high-tech measurement equipment for optical labs, announce a technical collaboration on a quality control program to guarantee that 3D printed lenses will meet industry and user requirements. The program makes use of the Dual LensMapper manufactured by A&R.
“Together with A&R Automation and Robotics we have now started a quality control program which will allow us to assure that our 3D printed lenses will meet both industry and user requirements. Our continuous development efforts will bring us to imaging quality and we expect to be ready for certain applications in the course of 2017. The Dual LensMapper allows us to inspect the lenses in detail and take our quality control to the next level”. (Guido Groet, CMO of Luxexcel states)
To be honest, the first time I heard about 3D printed lenses, I was totally surprised. Surely we could imagine a 3D printed spectacle frames, which would not be too technically tricky to print. But a 3D printed lens does require a high level of precision in transparency, surface smoothness, etc.
So why do we still print lenses? Another author in our team has discussed this question before. Although layer by layer printing generates imperfections that cause the light to scatter, and we may need to do extensive polishing for smoother surface, it’s worth trying. This is because optics is such an important field in both science research and our daily life that any reduction in turnover time could create great value. For Luxexcel, they’ve realized this increasing need and have developed their own Printoptical © Technology to solve the problems mentioned before.
I’m glad to see their new move on this quality control program, which indicates their determination in bringing better lenses to the customers. In the future we can expect a world in which 3D printed lenses are available to everybody.
“The accurate and high resolution optical power error map provided by the Dual LensMapper evaluates the ability of the digital 3D manufacturing method to replicate the expected theoretical design. In parallel, it is possible to demonstrate that this ‘through’ power error is related to the lens thickness local variations, the most important aspect of the additive manufacturing process to be controlled for providing good quality lenses.” (Dr. Christian Laurent, R&D director at A&R)
Luxexcel is the world leader in 3D printing of optics. The company started in 2009 and initially started to 3D print optics for illumination applications. The unique and highly accurate technology allows to rapidly print fully transparent materials with smooth surfaces without any polishing. The technology has the potential to disrupt many industries, one of these industries is the ophthalmic industry.
About Automation and Robotics
A&R is the world leader for industrial automatic ophthalmic lens positioning and quality control. With its reference measurement systems like the Focovision and Dual LensMapper, and its lens quality and real time manufacturing process evaluation tools, A&R is a right partner of the Industry 4.0 lens manufacturers for providing better quality products at lower cost.
Feature Image: Luxexcel