Ontology-based technology function matrix for patent analysis of additive manufacturing in the dental industry

Amy J.C. Trappey*, Charles V. Trappey, Tong Mei Wang, Mark Y.L. Tang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Additive manufacturing (AM) technologies have been developed and applied to many domains where product mass-customisation is critical to maintaining competitive advantage. For instance, AM has been adopted for use in the medical and dental manufacture of implants, prosthetics and orthodontics, where these devices must be made to match each patient's unique facial, dental or other body profiles. The research presented focuses on the technological and functional aspects of patent informatics to discover the innovation trends for materials, products, and processes. The research proposes a generic methodology incorporating patent text and data mining to create an ontology based technology function (TF) matrix for any technology domain. The TF matrix is applied to describe the distribution of global dental AM patents. The research compares the latest dental-related AM research initiatives in Taiwan with globally emerging patents. The patent based analytical approach enables R&D teams to benchmark their comparative advantages.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-82
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Manufacturing Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2017


  • AM
  • Additive manufacturing
  • Knowledge ontology
  • Patent analysis
  • Patent mining
  • Technology function matrix
  • Text mining

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