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A market that requires innovation

Chief commercial officer of Luxexcel tells OT  why the company decided to focus on ophthalmic lenses

16 May 2019 by Andrew McClean

Luxexcel has narrowed its operations down to providing 3D printed ophthalmic lenses to lens manufacturers.

Chief commercial officer of Luxexcel, Guido Groet, told OT at Vision Expo East (21–24 March) that the 3D printing company had previously tried to address other market needs, but realised that the eyewear market provides the most opportunity.

“Eyewear is a big market and we feel it requires a lot of innovation because everyone is doing the same thing. That’s a sign that nobody is looking to do something new,” Mr Groet explained.

He said: “We saw that 3D printing can provide ultimate customisation. Every individual lens is different and with our technology we can make those lenses.”

Luxexcel is currently shipping ophthalmic lenses that range from +6 to -6 daily to its customers in North America and Europe.

“We want to pick out more difficult lenses that cannot be made in a regular lab with regular equipment, such as high prescription, prisms, special reading areas and special additions,” Mr Groet shared.

“We want to eventually bring smart technology to eyewear in the same way that smart technology was brought to phones,” he added.

Mr Groet explained that its software can print part of a lens and introduce the smart technology before printing the rest of the lens.

“We can get a prescription lens with smart technology that looks like a regular lens but does things that current lenses cannot do,” he said.

Luxexcel’s technology applies thousands of tiny droplets to a lens, with each one requiring around one billion droplets, producing four bespoke lenses an hour.

Speaking about the company’s next steps, Mr Groet said: “A lot of innovation struggles by not being selective. We’re not going to be everything to everybody and will instead pick clear targets and go step by step through the process.”

The company is working with lens manufacturers who have identified a problem that Luxexcel belives it can solve. Once Luxexcel is confident its technology can produce what the company needs, it ships its platform to the customer so that they can make lenses on site every day of the week.

Mr Groet said: “We’re not trying to be lens manufacturers ourselves. We work with people who make lenses and provide them with the technology. Our strength is technology. We’re trying to pick a specific path that the company wants us to solve.”

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