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Posts Tagged: "additive manufacturing"

‘Not a Field of Giants’: Trends in 3D Printing Tech Include Key Contributions from U.S., Small Companies

On July 13, the European Patent Office (EPO) published a landscaping study titled “Patents and additive manufacturing: Trends in 3D printing technologies”. The study highlighted current trends and identified industry leaders in additive manufacturing (AM), i.e. 3D printing. It noted that between 2015 and 2018 the number of AM patent applications increased at an average annual rate of 36%, with more than 4,000 AM patent applications filed in 2018 alone.

Patent Filings Increase for E-Cigarettes, 3-D Printing and Machine Learning

One interesting aspect of IFI CLAIMS’ most recent annual patent analysis is a list of eight areas of technology that have seen the fastest growing increases in patent applications between 2013 and 2017. To do this, IFI computed the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of patent applications for all Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) codes over the course of the study period to see which CPC codes were receiving the greatest number of patent applications. According to IFI’s analysis, the greatest growth in patent applications were for E-cigarettes and other technologies under the CPC code A24F for smokers’ requisites.

Government and 3D Printing: A New Line of Innovation to Protect

For the last 20 years, manufacturers have used 3D printing to build prototypes, but it was only recently that this industrial technology entered the mainstream.  The 3D printing of products can enable faster time-to-market, save money, mitigate risk and allow manufacturers to customize a component to suit customer needs. 3D printing can produce individual, specifically tailored parts on demand. Boeing printed an entire plane cabin in 2013 and Ford can manufacture vehicle parts in four days that would have taken four months using traditional methods.

Limitless range of 3D printing applications fuels rapid industry growth

There’s almost no limit to the range of practical items that could be created through 3D printing equipment. A team of chemical researchers working at the University of Illinois have created a 3D printer capable of creating small molecules less than 900 daltons in molecular weight for the manufacture of pharmaceutical agents. A similar project at Glasgow University in Scotland resulted in the development of a 3D printing process for creating a series of precise reacting chambers which could be injected with chemical reagent “inks,” also performed by the printer, for making complex molecules. Specialized 3D printing equipment has been created for fabricating dental devices such as permanent crowns and denture frames. There’s even a 3D printer designed to use filaments of graphene, an incredibly hyped substance which is essentially a two-dimensional lattice form of carbon.