Analyzing 3D Printing Patents – Latest 3D Printing Patent Examples (2024)
3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing (AM), direct digital manufacturing and solid freeform fabrication, is the process of making a three-dimensional object from a focused image by creating successive layers of material.
With 3D printing, you can create anything you can imagine. From consumer-level 3D printers to industrial machines so large they would fill an entire room, there’s a 3D printer that can fit your budget and help bring your ideas to life.
With the rate of innovation in 3D printing, we have a growing list of patents that we thought you’d be interested in. The past decade has produced many promising 3D printing inventions, but the future is even brighter. New patent applications are coming out frequently and many of them are groundbreaking.
3D Printing Tech Trends
One of the most exciting developments in the world of engineering is the 3D printing technology. This process uses digital light processing, stereolithography and electron beam melting to create physical objects that cannot be created by conventional means. The advantages of these methods are numerous and they are changing the way that companies and consumers do business.
The 3D printing industry is growing faster than ever before. The recent surge in patents and new technologies represent an attempt to streamline the process for specific industries and uses.
3D printing is not always appropriate for every situation, but it’s a great solution for small prototypes and individualized products.
While there are many different uses for ‘3D printing’, the primary goal remains to provide consumers with a way to get what they need without leaving their home or buying it online.
Solid modelling vs surface modelling
When you’re choosing between solid modeling and surface modeling, you may have a tough time making up your mind. Fortunately, both processes can give you a similar result. However, some people consider the surface model to be more aesthetically pleasing, while others believe that solid models have the advantage.
Solid modeling is a computational process used to create and design a three-dimensional object. It involves the use of mathematical principles and algorithms to build and simulate solid objects.
Surface modelling is a similar but more complex process. Rather than building a three-dimensional object from a series of points, it builds a virtual object based on the curvature of a surface. This type of modeling is used for computer-aided design (CAD) and engineering analysis.
Both processes allow for the creation of aesthetically pleasing 3D models. While the surface modeling process is relatively simple, it can be difficult to change a design. The process relies on the curvature of the surface and how it fits within the shape of the object.
A surface modeler creates the object by defining the curves and contours of a surface and stretching it over the shape. Rather than using points to define the shape, the surface is defined by UV curves.
Although both processes offer the same result, the best way to choose which to use is to take into account the purpose and desired results. For instance, surface modeling is often used for consumer good products. But it can also be used in engineering to show off a car’s exterior.
In contrast, solid modeling uses primitive shapes to produce 3D models. As a result, it can be more time consuming.
Stereolithography is a 3D printing process that utilizes light projection and photo-curable resin formulations to produce prints. It can produce concept models or finished products quickly and efficiently. The benefits include better surface quality and manufacturability.
Stereolithography can be applied to a wide variety of materials. Some of these include a range of cosmetic and medical-related applications.
Researchers at the University of Buffalo, USA have developed a three-dimensional printer that is capable of generating organ models in record time. This may be an important step toward developing organs that could save countless lives.
The technology allows researchers to make organs with live cells. These models, in turn, could help develop a variety of medical and surgical devices. But, as the size of the printed tissues increases, researchers will need to find ways to keep them viable.
In order to create these models, scientists at the University of Buffalo have refined their stereolithography process. Their findings are published in the Advanced Healthcare Materials journal. They hope their work will provide new insights into biomedical advance and lead to the development of new organ models.
Researchers at the University of Buffalo have fine-tuned their stereolithography process for three-dimensional printing of organ models. This approach, known as Digital Light Processing (DLP), is an inexpensive alternative to prototyping microfluidic geometries.
By printing tissue-laden hydrogel models, researchers hope to advance the field of tissue engineering. These porous structures are highly tunable, enabling the fabrication of scaffolds with optimized pore architecture.
For this project, researchers developed a two-stage printing process based on Formlabs Hi Temp resin and sacrificial, low-viscosity paraffin wax. After printing, the device was cured in a UV oven to ensure ultimate stability.
Digital light processing
Digital light processing for 3D printing is the process of generating an artificial 3D structure from a photo-curable precursor using a digital projector or laser. This process has significant potential in the realm of bio-printing.
DLP based 3D printing is a technology that can help develop medical models that mimic human organs and tissues. These in vivo medical devices can replace injured body parts and aid in healing.
The process has some limitations, however, such as the lack of a controllable layer thickness. It also has the potential to cause local volume shrinkage. However, its advantages outweigh its disadvantages.
DLP based 3D printing can be used to construct artificial tissues with high cell viability. Furthermore, the technology can be applied to fabricate customized drug delivery systems. In addition to medical applications, this technology can be used to create smart materials, such as wearable electronics.
The process is quite similar to SLA. However, it produces a more complex 3D model. One benefit is that it can be scaled to larger additive manufacturing volumes.
DLP based 3D printing has a number of applications, including the construction of complex vascularized tissue. Another benefit is that the process does not cause shear stress to the cells or material. Unlike inkjet printers, there are no temperatures to worry about.
Digital light processing for 3D printing has the potential to create an enormous range of smart materials. However, the process faces several challenges, such as regulatory approval and scaling up usage. Some recent advances in illumination technologies have significantly extended the capabilities of this technology.
Other notable aspects of the technology include the cost, speed, and efficiency of the production process. With recent developments, a smartphone can be used to create a 3D printed object.
Electron beam melting
Electron beam melting for 3D printing is a relatively new technology. It is designed to produce a part at a lower cost than metal-based additive-fabrication methods. This method can be used to create parts for aerospace, medical implants, jet engines, and motorsports.
The process involves the use of an electric beam and powder. The high-velocity electrons are focused into a narrow beam and directed toward the workpiece. As the electron beam melts the metal powder, the electrical charges create a reaction.
Electron beam melting for 3D printing is usually used for metallic parts. These include alloys such as chromium-cobalt, titanium, and Inconel 718. They are a good choice for strong, high-strength parts.
In order to print a part with EBM, a CAD model must be prepared. The design is created in a 3D modeling program and then processed by slicing software. Once a part is ready, printing instructions are sent to a printer.
Before the first layer is printed, the build platform is heated to the proper temperature. Each layer of powder is then pre-sintered.
During the heating phase, a vacuum is maintained to prevent the powder from oxidizing. After the part is finished, it is cooled in a helium flow. Unsintered powder can be reused in future prints.
The Electron Beam Melting method is a cost-effective way to create complex metal components. However, it requires post-processing and does not provide as smooth a surface finish as DMLS or SLM.
Electron beam melting is a reliable production technique that is used in a wide variety of industries. The technique is especially suitable for proof-of-concept verification of complex geometries. Besides producing parts with properties close to wrought materials, it provides a cost advantage over other printing methods.
3D printing has a range of uses in the electronics industry. It can reduce the size and weight of devices, as well as improve energy efficiency. However, a key concern in the field is reliability. This is because printed electronics must undergo the same kind of rigorous testing as other chips.
During the past decade, printed electronics have emerged from a research and development phase to become a viable alternative to conventional production methods. As a result, the market is experiencing rapid growth.
A key driver of the market is the rising demand for wearables and the growing use of eco-friendly products. Printed electronics are also used in a number of other applications, including product packaging and supply chain monitoring.
The technology can be applied to a wide range of materials, from plastic to metal. Compared to conventional manufacturing, 3D printing enables manufacturers to produce custom parts in a fraction of the time. Moreover, it can help in creating complex shapes.
Several companies are collaborating to push the boundaries of electronics manufacturing. Among them, Nano Dimension and Harris Corporation have announced a partnership. They plan to develop technology processing solutions for OEMs.
Another partner is ISORG SA. These companies will work together to develop 3D printed materials for radio frequency space systems. Despite the early stages of development, these companies are confident of a competitive advantage.
Printed electronics with conductive ink are gaining steam. Chipmakers are now looking to commercialize the technology. Some labs even use aerosol inkjet to print electronics.
With the increase in sensor integration in electronic devices, the pressure to embed sensors is translating into manufacturing challenges. Companies are investing in technologies to reduce costs and boost efficiency.
It is believed that this will result in the manufacturing of more sophisticated products using 3D printers and a boom in product development. The market is growing.
In the last quarter of 2017, there was an upsurge of 3D printing patents over patents from the same period in 2016, according to our research.
While it is true that there are many patents for different 3D printing materials, the future of 3D printing lies in developing low cost materials for consumer and B2C markets as well as high-end materials for B2B applications.
Continuing the trend of patents being granted for 3D printing, we have seen a huge uptick in the number of patents being issued to inventors and manufacturers of 3D printers. As the technology continues to grow in popularity and expand into a wide range of industries, it is no surprise that more companies would want to capitalize on this fertile ground by patenting innovations.
We saw the rise of personal 3D printers, but now it seems that the industry is moving beyond the desk. This emerging patent tells us that the technology is set to become even more widely utilized by large businesses. That is why tech startups must be ready to protect this intellectual property and patent their innovation before they hit the market.
The future of 3D printing lies in smart materials, programmable materials and bioprinting, where we can even involve inventions and patents of nanotechnology into the mix. These are the technologies that will enable our industry to make meaningful changes to peoples’ lives, whether it’s enabling people with disabilities to regain lost capabilities, or creating better prosthetic limbs for service members injured on the battlefield.
3D Printing Patent Trends
Reasons behind the Upsurge of Patents in 3D Printing
3D printing patents have increased as interest in the technology and its potential applications has grown. Over the past five years, information about patents for this technology has grown exponentially, making it a popular subject for research.
There has been a significant increase in the number of patents being filed in the field of 3D printing in recent years. Some of the key areas in which patents are being filed include 3D printing materials, 3D printing processes, 3D printing machines and 3D printing applications. Companies such as Stratasys, 3D Systems, and HP have been some of the most active filers of patents in this space. Additionally, there has also been a rise in the number of patents being filed by smaller companies and startups.
This is due to the improvement of both technology and interest in applying it to practical problems.
The technology behind the 3D printers is a patent protected product, which means it is hard to reproduce. This has caused the upsurge of patents issued for the technology and other methods.
It has been found that 3D printing is not a new technology that can only be patented, but its recent take-off over the past few years can be attributed to several factors: the development of new materials, growing consumer awareness and the falling costs of printers.
But what does this mean for the future of 3D printing?
The World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) has released a study on 3D printing, revealing that patent applications in this field have risen steadily.
While the US holds many of the patents, other countries are catching up with growing interest in the area.
In order to ensure growth in domestic and international markets, the future of 3D printing will require better materials that support quality production and innovation. As a matter of fact, when it comes to 3D printing, the future is unwritten. R&D developments open up a realm of endless possibilities and unrelenting excitement — but there’s no telling which new inventions will change our lives first.
Some specific areas of focus of patents in 3D printing include aerospace and medical applications, material development, and use of AI and other advanced technologies. The trend of 3D printing technology is expected to continue growing in the future as it has potentials to revolutionize the manufacturing industry and other sectors as well.