Nicole Ducouer, IFB Solutions Senior Director of Corporate Communications and Programs
336-685-2393 |



WHAT: Nearly 20 local schoolchildren will receive a free pair of eyeglasses as local nonprofit IFB Solutions and technology developer Luxexcel celebrate one year of partnership. The eyeglasses will feature lenses made with IFB’s 3D printer developed by Luxexcel. It is the world’s first commercial 3D printer of ophthalmic lenses.

For several of the children, this will be their first pair of eyeglasses and something both IFB and Luxexcel hope will help them in the classroom. According to Prevent Blindness America, one in four school-age children have vision problems that, if left untreated, can affect learning ability, personality and adjustment in school.

“One of our biggest challenges in public education is meeting all the needs of children. Their medical, health, and physical needs happen beyond the classroom, but those needs are critically important to a child’s educational success. That’s why we are so grateful to have community partners like IFB and Luxexcel. Their gift of eyeglasses gives these students the gift of vision, something we could never do alone. At school and at home, vision is a vital part of a child’s overall well-being,” said Michael Pesce, WS/FCS Director of Social Work.

Prior to receiving their eyeglasses, most of the children were seen at IFB’s optical center to determine their current vision and select the frame of their choice. (Photos from exam day are attached and included at end of alert.)

IFB and Luxexcel have been partners in bringing 3D printing to the optical industry. Luxexcel spent several years optimizing the technology for the ophthalmic market with IFB coming on board in late 2017 to install the first commercial equipment in its optical lab. IFB uses the technology to help service its optical contracts with the Dept. of Veterans Affairs. IFB’s optical lab, staffed primarily by individuals who are blind, averages nearly 1,200 pairs of eyeglasses per day with the majority going to military veterans and their families.

“The children will now be able to see what is happening on the board and have greater clarity when they are reading,” said Dan Kelly, Chief Operating Officer for IFB Solutions. “Plus, they will have bragging rights that their lenses were printed with this very cool 3D technology.”

WHO: Dan Kelly, IFB Solutions; Guido Groet, Chief Commercial Officer for Luxexcel;
students and social workers from WS/FCS

WHEN: Thursday, March 7, 2019, 12 noon – 1:00 p.m.
Official cake-cutting ceremony at 12:15 p.m.

WHERE: IFB Solutions, 7730 North Point Drive, Winston-Salem, NC 27106
Enter at the Community Low Vision Center on the left wing of building with blue awning

Local student receives eye exam prior to getting her free glasses from IFB and Luxexcel  Local student chooses a favorite pair of frames for his free eyeglasses from IFB and Luxexcel Local student gets an eye exam before picking up his free glasses from IFB and Luxexcel

MORE: IFB Solutions is a nonprofit corporation founded in 1936 that provides employment, training and services for people who are blind or visually impaired. As the largest employer of people who are blind in the United States, IFB operates manufacturing facilities in Winston-Salem, N.C., Asheville, N.C., and Little Rock, Ark., in addition to more than 40 office supply stores and optical centers across the country. IFB Solutions funds employee training and services as well as community programs through grants and private donations, making possible the Community Low Vision Centers across North Carolina and in Little Rock, Ark., and Tracy’s Little Red Schoolhouse based in Winston-Salem.

Luxexcel is the only company in the world with technology which can 3D print custom ophthalmic lenses. The company has optimized its 3D printing technology for prescription lenses allowing the ability to create customized ophthalmic products and to provide a prescription for smart eyeglasses. Along with eliminating operational inefficiencies and providing an eco-friendly solution.