3D printing is one of the most important technological advancement in additive manufacturing which has been implemented and recognized as a part of the modern industry. 3D printing has many advantages over conventional approach of which one of the most important factors which is time. 3D printing circuits is one of the strongly growing sectors of the 3D printing industry. Many researchers have published widely on the growing market opportunities available in this space. As 3D printing circuits are moving from concept to adoption, some companies are experimenting with this disruptive technology to take electronics to a new dimension.
We looked at the 12-month (April 2018– March 2019) patent filing in the technology space of 3D Printed Circuits. Based on the graphs listed below, it can be observed that patenting activity gained traction in the fused deposition modelling technology. In addition to that, Selective Laser Sintering patents also witnessed a high filing, which corresponded to the numerous applications of Laser Metal Sintering/Melting processes during the study period.
Top Technology areas are being pursued in the 3D printed circuits patent landscape
In study period the highest count of patent filled on Fused Deposition Modelling technology followed by Selective Laser Sintering and Stereolithography technology for printing Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) and other electronic equipment. FDM is preferred over other technologies owing to the durable materials it uses, the stability of their mechanical properties, and the quality of the parts. Copper owing to its high conductivity, durability and affordable cost was used in most of the patents followed by aluminium and gold.
Top assignees in the 3D printed circuits patent landscape
The technology landscape of 3D printed circuits is a mix of mature companies, start-ups and universities with Northrop Grumman Systems as the most active in patent filing followed by Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology and Phillips.