EssilorLuxottica has been granted a patent for a method of manufacturing ophthalmic lenses with additive manufacturing. The method involves depositing predetermined volume elements on a build support to create a complementary optical element that provides part of the lens’s optical function. The build support also includes added value or adhesive to provide additional functions to the lens. The patent also covers the ophthalmic lens itself, which includes the build support and complementary optical element. GlobalData’s report on EssilorLuxottica gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s company profile on EssilorLuxottica, opthalmic lenses 3D Printing was a key innovation area identified from patents. EssilorLuxottica's grant share as of September 2023 was 60%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Method of manufacturing ophthalmic lens with complementary optical element

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: EssilorLuxottica SA

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11772322B2) describes a method for manufacturing ophthalmic lenses with specific optical functions. The method involves additively manufacturing a complementary optical element by depositing predetermined volume elements on a build support. This complementary optical element contributes to the optical function of the lens. The build support, which remains on the complementary optical element during assembly, also provides additional functions to the lens.

The shape and optical power of the complementary optical element are determined based on the desired optical function of the lens. After assembly, the build support can be removed to obtain a lens free of the support material. The method may also involve a gluing step, where a gluing element with adhesion properties is applied to the complementary optical element, the starting optical system, or the build support.

Before assembly, an added value can be added to the external surface of the build support. This added value remains on the complementary optical element if the build support is removed. The build support itself can be a film and is designed to transfer the added value to the complementary optical element upon contact.

The added functions provided by the build support can include polarization or tinting filters, hard-coat functions, anti-reflective functions, protective coatings, and surface quality functions.

The patent also covers the resulting ophthalmic lenses manufactured using this method. These lenses consist of a build support and a complementary optical element obtained through additive manufacturing. The build support is positioned as an external layer of the lens, with the complementary optical element situated between the build support and the starting optical system. The build support provides at least one added value, which contributes to the lens's additional functions.

In summary, this patent describes a method for manufacturing ophthalmic lenses with specific optical functions using additive manufacturing techniques. The lenses produced through this method have a build support that not only provides structural support but also contributes to the lens's additional functions. This innovation has the potential to enhance the performance and functionality of ophthalmic lenses.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.