WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – IFB Solutions and Belgian technology developer, Luxexcel, unveiled the world’s first 3D printer of ophthalmic lenses.

The Winston-Salem company is the first optical lab in the world to have a 3D printer of its kind that will produce and deliver specialty lenses for veterans.

IFB solutions, the country’s largest employer of blind workers, produces nearly 1,200 pairs of specialty lenses per day for the Department of Veteran Affairs.

The 3D printer can produce four lenses in a matter of an hour, but more importantly, the Belgian technology allows for unusual and complicated lenses to be produced more efficiently.

Mayor Allen Joines served as a special guest and unveiled the equipment to the public.

“We are the city of the arts and innovation, so how much more innovative can this be to have the first laser printer of eyeglass material in the world right here in Winston-Salem,” Joines said during initial remarks.

Variety of sample ophthalmic lenses produced by the 3D printer.

According to Hans Streng, Luxexcel CEO, “3D printing of lenses enables you to print lenses in a traditional function […] but we can add something new to it.”

IFB Solutions Chief Operating Officer, Dan Kelly, said that this new technology “helps to protect jobs not only tomorrow for people who are blind, but looking forward into the future, what’s gonna happen 20 years from now and how do we make sure that we sustain that employment for the 70% of Americans who are blind looking for work.”

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