META Acquires Luxexcel: What Does This Mean for 3D Printing?

By on January 3rd, 2023 in Corporate, news

Tags: , , , , ,

3D printed optical lens [Source: Luxexcel]

META recently purchased a well-known 3D print company, Luxexcel. What does this mean?

META is the holding company that owns Facebook, which you may have heard of. The corporate shift and name change to “META” was done a while ago in an attempt to move the company towards something they call the “Metaverse”. It’s an online universe where people can interact in a 3D world using VR goggles. It’s not clear how successful they have been in this strategy, but they’re pursuing it nevertheless.

Now we hear that META has acquired Luxexcel.

Luxexcel has been around for several years and specializes in the 3D printing of unusual optical lenses. They have offices in Europe and the USA. They explain what they do:

“Luxexcel is the pioneer in 3D printed lenses. We have developed a complete 3D printing solution and own many patents in this space. We focus on providing technology to 3D printing lenses, our customers use this technology to 3D print regular lenses, difficult lenses, lenses with active features included and smart glasses. The Luxexcel VisionPlatform™ includes the 3D printer, software and lens printing material which works together to create our lenses. Our technology is ideal for combining smart technology with lenses to create the eyewear of the future.”

In 2021 they announced VisionPlatform, which is designed to rapidly create perfectly-fit smart glasses. At the time, Luxexcel’s Chief Strategy Officer, Guido Groet, explained the importance of VisionPlatform 7:

“To manufacture a device that combines prescription and smart functions requires a combination of skills in technology and optics. It can be difficult to find this combination of skill sets in one team, so we offer this experience to our partners. We provide our customers with a complete solution to manufacture prescription smart lenses so that they can focus on developing the technologies and content for the device. With VisionPlatform™ 7, more innovative features can be added to smartglasses and the only limitation is the imagination of the designer.”

There is no announcement of this transaction on Luxexcel’s site, and in fact no official news at all since last March. Luxexcel has been quiet and it may be that this transaction has been secretly under discussion for many months.

Why buy Luxexcel? One thought is that META’s struggling Metaverse strategy needs a boost. By acquiring Luxexcel, it may be that META believes more effective VR goggles may be produced with the technology, and they wish to lock out others from using Luxexcel’s tech.

Goggles have been one of the challenges to the Metaverse strategy, as many people simply won’t wear them, and they’re often priced out of the market for many people. If META could find a way to break down those issues, they could be more successful.

What about the larger 3D print world?

I’m not sure this will affect much, since META’s likely use of Luxexcel technology is going to be quite focused. In fact, Luxexcel was already focused on a rather narrow market in 3D printing, so it may be that there will be little to no effect on the use of 3D printing.

That said, bringing an existing 3D print player into the META fold may expose some in that organization to 3D print concepts that may lead to something else in the future. It’s possible there eventually may be a way for META to physically produce virtual Metaverse objects, and that would certainly involve 3D print technology.

Via The Brussels Times (Hat tip to Sarah)

By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!

Leave a comment