Onsite User Visit: Reinventing the Prescription Lens

Nightmare scenario for those who wear contact lenses or glasses: lost contacts/broken frames away from home with no backup. Driving home would be an adventure. To add insult to injury, just getting work done would be near impossible if you’re dependent on eyewear. That’s where a product like Adlens comes in handy and concepts such as “why reinvent the wheel” and “if it ain’t broke, don’t fit it” disappear.


How is this possible? Adlens has taken the centuries-old static lens design and developed it into an adjustable solution with help from SOLIDWORKS and SOLIDWORKS Plastics. So the next time you lose a contact or break your glasses, you pop on a pair of Adlens and adjust them to your specifications thanks to fluid-injection or sliding polycarbonate plates (depending on the type of frame).


How do the glasses work? With Alvarez lenses, two wave-shaped polycarbonate plates are adjusted by a knob on your frame. Moving the plates results in adjusting negative and positive power. In the case of fluid-injection, turning a knob releases fluid into the lens causing it to bow, which changes the lens’ power. Think of sitting in an optometrist chair testing lenses as they slide across your line of sight. In essence, Adlens is like administering you own vision exam.


Last month, I was fortunate enough to visit the company’s research and development facility in Oxford, UK. Here, I was able to experience first-hand the amazing work that the Adlens team is undertaking to transform lens technology. Like many of our customers in the medical field, Adlens must connect engineers and doctors. At its research lab, teams work closely with optometrists to accelerate the speed of innovation in an industry past due for a breakthrough.


While a broken pair of glasses may seem like a nightmare scenario, Adlens is truly out to solve chronic problems, such as fluctuating vision issues resulting from diabetes and cataracts. The company also recognizes the need for vision in developing nations. The ability to adjust lenses to fit specific needs is a huge benefit to those without access to medical professionals. They also take a philanthropic approach to business. When customers purchase certain eyewear, the company donates a second pair to someone in need.


Adlens was just one of many users I was able to visit during my recent European customer tour. Along the way, I connected with all kinds of companies ranging from structural design specialists and medical device developers to multinational electronics and engineering firms. While they may be different in scope, size and industry, our customers are united under one common trait: creating solutions that solve problems both large and small. It doesn’t matter if you’re working in a one person shop or a massive multi-galactic corporation, we understand that you need the best tools to complete work that you can be proud of on time and on the money. That is not changing any time soon. Working to create the best tools has been an expectation built over the last twenty years and you’ll experience this commitment in ALL of our products for the foreseeable future. Who knows, maybe it will help you reinvent the wheel.






Gian Paolo Bassi

Gian Paolo Bassi

Gian Paolo Bassi is senior vice president of 3DEXPERIENCE Works.