Ann- wow, pretty impressive. 1440 DPI and it fluidly flows to create optical quality surfaces. Its hard to imagine the complete elimination of the grinding/polishing steps for optics. The translucency you described with color capabilities reminds me of the very first amber crystal SLAs form the late 80's. The door is just cracked open a tiny bit on these capabilities.
3D printing is becoming applicable to many things but this to me represents an entirely new direction and is really promising. The potential for contact lenses is especially interesting, given that I have been wearing contacts for nearly 30 years and I would love to be able to print them myself...it would save me lots of money and hassle!
While LUXeXceL may have gone to all that length to satisfy the whims of a King and Queen, the potential for what they have shown to be possible is extensive. Pretty soon they might even render lens makers irrelevant; except maybe to only act as the sources of raw materials. Imagine having your specs replace without having to visit an eye specialist. On the downside, it will be a while before this really tricles down to the masses who really need the technology.
This level of "smooth"ness is remarkable. What resolution would we have to attain for a wearable contact lens? Wouldn't it be cool if your optometrist could give you a standard grapic of your eye curvature, together with the lens diopter and you could just go home and print your own contact lens?
Apple claims a "retinal" display. What kind of 3D printing resolution would be required for contact lenses? Any optometrists out there who could weigh in?
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