Three-dimensional (3D) printing enables products to be custom-designed and produced using additive manufacturing processes. This research develops a patent analysis approach to explore biomedical 3D printing technology trends. First, the method searches for related patents. Second, frequently appearing key terms in patents are extracted as a means to identify key concepts of inventions. Third, in order to structure the domain knowledge, the ontology is created by referring to the relevant key terms and literature. The key terms create indexes used to measure similarities for clustering the patents and sub-technologies. Based on the patent context and dynamic patent concept analysis maps, the evolutionary trends of technology development are depicted. Biomedical 3D printing R&D projects are used as case examples to compare against co-occurring patent evolutions. The proposed patent concept analysis is generalisable for critical decision support of R&D planning and evaluation in any market sector.
- Additive manufacturing
- biomedical 3D printing
- formal concept analysis
- ontology-based patent informatics