The Luxexcel lens creator, a perfect use case for our customizing software

In Case Studies by Karim Hamdi

Luxexcel is a leading innovator in the production of optical components, even developing their own 3D printing method. The patented “Printoptical Technology” is the only 3D printing method so far capable of producing transparent objects with well defined optical properties.
Now Luxexcel is introducing two new lens customizers powered by our trinckle 3D Customizing Cloud Engine, allowing  customers to order custom-made lenses in a few seconds – without requiring professional design skills.

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“Luxexcel is a great partner and a perfect use case for our software, because the automated creation of custom-made lens models is an obvious and essential add-on to their cutting-edge production technology.”Florian Reichle, CEO trinckle 3D

Prototyping optical components

In recent years, the development of LEDs has accelerated, with new and better LEDs being released every week. This has increased the demand in the lighting industry for quick and affordable prototyping methods for optical components.

There are two standard manufacturing methods for the production of optical components: injection molding and diamond turning. While both methods produce high quality results, they fall short when it comes to prototyping and small batches. Injection molding is very expensive, the molds need for this method do not come cheap and are time consuming to make. On the other hand diamond turning machines require a specific skill set to operate and have high setup costs. To top it off both methods come with serious design restrictions.

Luxexcel, the story

Having worked in the lighting industry for more than 15 years, president and founder Richard Van De Vrie was well aware of the lighting industry’s prototyping difficulties. In 2009, he and several senior lighting experts founded Luxexcel to tackle the problem.

Together they managed to develop the only 3D printing process to date to produce smooth transparent components with the specifications necessary for optical application.
Thanks to Luxexcel the lighting industry could finally reap the benefits of additive manufacturing and create prototypes in a time and cost-effective way.

The lens creator

So far customers can order lenses by uploading their 3D models to the Luxexcel website. Unfortunately, designing 3D models is costly and time consuming. This is a major issue for 3D printing applications in general, as the cost of 3D modelling comes on top of the production costs of each individual item, i.e. every prototype. Learning to professionally design 3D models is also no easy task, with many hours of practice, usually in the course of academic studies.

This is where trinckle 3D and it’s Customizing Cloud Engine comes in to play.

“With our new design tool we want to take the next step in opening up the world of optical development. Lowering the bar to make use of optimized optics for its application, and taking away the limitations of standard stock products will be a game changer for many designers that use optics in their products. The trinckle 3D customization software supports this development”Peter Paul Cornelissen, Head of Marketing & Online Business Development Luxexcel

In cooperation with the Luxexcel team, the “Lens Creator – Plano Convex Lens” and the “Lens Creator – Plano Concave Lens” were developed.

Lens creator - Plano concave lens
Individualized lenses perfectly illustrate the power of our Customizing Cloud Engine. The basic requirements for their creation – the physics behind lenses and the optical properties of transparent materials – are fully understood, and this information can be straightforwardly inputted into a customizer.

The automated creation of lens models offers obvious benefits to Luxexcel’s customers. They not only save considerable amounts of time and money for each individual design iteration, but also receive a reliable 3D model of each lens for free.

Currently, the modelling tool is only available for these two lenses, but after initial testing Luxexcel will roll out more lens types.

“…, product customization could be extremely important for every B2B or B2C company that tries to meet case-specific product requirements or the individual taste of a customer.”Florian Reichle, CEO trinckle 3D

The Printoptical Technology

Printoptical Technology is an additive manufacturing technology that merges droplets of photo active resin before curing. The end result is a smooth, transparent, and precise end-product. Since layering is not visible, no post processing is required and the printed products are usable straight from the printer.

Images courtesy of Luxexcel

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About the Author

Karim Hamdi

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As founder of FABBEO, the 3D printing marketplace, I've been active in the 3D printing community since 2012. I've co-organized the Make Munich and am founding member of the Munich Maker Lab.