Meta Has Acquired Luxexcel, Establishing a Foothold in the 3D Printing Sector
Meta, the parent company behind the Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram, announced a few days ago the acquisition of a company specialized in the manufacturing of 3D printed lenses, Belgian-Dutch Luxexcel. This business had already raised several million euros to market its ophthalmic lenses which they create using additive manufacturing. This acquisition was made discreetly, although it represents an important strategic step for the market, a further sign that companies are increasingly interested in 3D technologies. Meta is thus obtaining a foothold in the 3D printing sector while also clearly intending to develop its smart glasses offer thanks to this acquisition.
The year 2022 has been marked by numerous consolidations, notably through partnerships or mergers between 3D printing players, but that is not all. Indeed, we have seen companies from outside the market buy out leaders in the field – we can point for example to Nikon’s acquisition of SLM Solutions. And this announcement made by Meta last week confirms this identified trend. But why is the tech giant interested in a 3D printed lens manufacturer?
A Strategic Partnership Between Luxexcel and Meta
Let’s first recall that the collaboration between Luxexcel and Meta is not new, as the two companies already worked together on the Aria Project. These glasses are capable of capturing the video and audio of the wearer while tracking their vision in real time and their location information. It is based on augmented reality, Luxexcel having put its know-how in terms of ophthalmic lenses at the service of the American giant. Meta is taking another step forward by announcing the acquisition of the Belgian-Dutch company – the amount was not revealed.
Meta is thus getting the 3D printing technology developed by Luxexcel and its VisionPlatform™ system. This particular 3D printer uses material jetting to create a custom lens by photopolymerizing drops of resin deposited on the plate. We imagine that the technology will allow Meta to design more powerful augmented reality glasses, ideal for the famous metaverse imagined by Mark Zuckerberg. For now, the company remains quite discreet about this acquisition, with a spokesperson only commenting to Dutch newspaper De Tijd: “We’re excited that the Luxexcel team has joined Meta, deepening the existing partnership between the two companies.”
We can’t wait to discover Meta’s future projects around this 3D printing technology and see how it could influence the production of smart glasses. In the meantime, find out more about Luxexcel’s process HERE.
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*Cover Photo Credits: Luxexcel