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3D Printing in Dental Industry

February 2017 | 181 pages | ID: 3A8AF2778F6EN
Sagacious Research Private Limited

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Industrial 3D Printing is at a tipping point and about to go main stream in a big way. It has been predicted that the industry will go through revolutionary changes when 3D Printing gets common and we aim to be among the ones making this revolution happen. Technology has moved well beyond prototyping, rapid tooling, trinkets and toys; Additive manufacturing is creating durable and safe products for sale to real customers in moderate to large quantities thereby impacting the economies of scale.

The beginnings of this revolution showed up in 2014, when through a survey of over a 100 manufacturing companies, 11% of them had already switched to volume production of 3D Printed parts or products; according to our analysis we call a particular technology to be mainstream when it reaches an adoption level of over 15%. Numerous companies in multiple industries are ramping up production and observing these developments and we opine that 3D Printing is ready to emerge from its nascent stage to becoming a viable alternative to conventional manufacturing in multiple industries for various applications. More companies will follow the major players and with this revolutionary shift, companies should start engaging strategically to see how they could improve their offerings, revisit their operations and the implications it could have on the commercial ecosystem as a whole.

Point to ponder: How fast this will happen?

The US hearing aid industry converted to 100% additive manufacturing in less than 500 days, according to one CEO and not a single company that held on to traditional manufacturing survived. Although it’s hard to imagine that this technology shall be replacing the traditional ways of manufacturing but the recent advances in this space suggest a drastic shift in industrial settings and showcase a global change in the days to come.

The dental industry has become an aggressive target for development of new 3D printing techniques. Dental technicians have already started using 3D printing methods to manufacture orthodontic equipment’s like dental implants, brackets, surgical tools, impression trays, etc. Innovations for 3D printing in dental were first filed in 1984. Thereafter, the innovations have achieved a good pace. For an R&D design prospects of 3D printing, there are several type of production methods including Fused Deposition Modeling, Laser sintering, Stereo lithography, Digital Light Processing, Electron-beam melting, Laminated object manufacturing, Direct Metal Laser Sintering , etc. Key players in 3D printing in dental industry are 3M, Mitsui Chemicals, Align technology, Dentsply Sirona, Bego medical as these own maximum innovations (patents) for 3D printing in dental industry. Innovations for 3D printing in dental industry have been originating from United States, China and Germany.

This research analyzes the potential impact of 3D printing on the global dental industry through a patent landscape analysis. It provides insights into the fundamentals of technologies, materials as well as the processes used in the industry now with an analysis on future applications. While dental equipment manufacturers, material suppliers, technology vendors have already started using it on a commercial level, we expect 3D Printing to have a tremendous impact on the supply chain of the entire industry and extend itself into numerous relative application areas.

This report intends to provide the state of the art in the domain of 3D printing in dental industry. The report provides insights into advantages, existing solutions, innovation trends, market trends and key participants in the innovation ecosystem in the 3D printing domain for dental industry.

The report is organized in to three sections as follows:

Section 1. Overall Innovation Trends

First part of this section useful for executives and top decision makers and provides trend of activity in the domain over the years (patent filing trend) and highlights the primary countries where research is being done, major geographies targeted by innovators as their markets, top players in the area, summary of research collaborations between companies and other research organizations, potential further collaboration opportunities, list of recent companies to enter the innovation space as well as companies from outside 3D printing and/or dental industry who are innovating in this space, etc.

The section further provides a list of key patents that players in this area must be aware of from legal as well as business perspective. It also gives out a list of most important inventors and service providers (like patent attorneys, etc) for ready reference of departments like Human Resources and procurement.

The section finally provides some pointers (like IPC classes) using which you can carry out your own further analytics to understand the domain better.

Section 2. Summary of inventions/technologies

This section is a bible for researchers and R&D strategists and gives them a complete summary of technical knowhow generated in the field. The section will come in handy for them to decide on their hypothesis as well as seek technical answers to problems they might be facing.

The section provides a complete summary of all materials inventors have tried for 3D printing in dental industry, all scanning techniques tried as well as production methods tried with their corresponding advantages and final use/application area.

Section 3. Drill Down of Top Players

This section provides an analysis of the major players in the domain and gives competitive insights by highlighting their research trends over the years, major research hubs, markets of their interest, technological focus and things they have tried over the years, partnerships and research collaborations and many other important parameters.

This section also provides a comparative analysis of various players in the domain to highlight the comparative strength of their corresponding research and patents in the domain as well as provides them insights in to commercial value of their patent portfolios as well as avenues for them to monetize the research they have done till date.

Unique Advantages of the report

Exclusive and extensive production methodology

A comprehensive dataset development methodology was adopted to ensure precise and high-quality analysis. The methodology includes multiple searches, in-depth review of thousands of patent and non-patent publications, and presentation of complex information into clear facts, trends, and risks.

Cost Effective

This report is significantly cheaper than in-house or external alternatives. It alleviates building large internal skills for searching and analyzing. The relatively low cost of using patent information makes it a particularly attractive option for small and medium-sized enterprises, academic and independent researchers. This also ensures that your legal costs are minimized


As the entire domain is analyzed comprehensively, the report derives the trends and insights not possible otherwise.

Skilled Workforce and renowned authors

Our reports are prepared by highly specialized content experts who can efficiently and effectively mine the patent and non-patent literature. The authors have in-depth expertise and lot if industry experience in the domain for accurate analysis and extrapolations.

Save Time

This report helps you identify technology space's high-impact patents; history and geography of patenting activity; list of inventors, co-inventors and their organizational affiliations; industrial areas of inventive activity, competitive activities and more such insights quickly.

Make Money

This report gives all top companies detailed commercial insights in to value of their patent portfolio as well as possible avenue for licensing/commercialization.

Unbiased Analysis and Opinion

This report provides independent and unbiased analysis to be used by investors, senior management and other stakeholders to make strategic decisions.

Robust and Interactive Delivery Platform

We provide Tableau dashboard for customizing graphical charts by users to interpret insights on their own. User must have tableau server license to utilize this facility.

Training session

With the report we provide a one hour training session with a senior member of our team to help you learn using the delivery platform effectively and efficiently.

On Demand Customization

On demand customization including estimated effort of around 10-15 hours is provided free of cost in the report. Customization requiring more effort than the threshold would cost as per our hourly charges.

What data used to prepare this report

We use the information contained in published patent data as the primary data source for compiling our reports. It is widely accepted and known that patents data is a unique source of technical, business, and legal information and its intelligent exploitation can help decision makers in strategic, technical, and competitive decision making. What makes patent data further unique are the following:

1. Earliest Publication: Following In most countries a patent application is published 18 months after it is filed introducing a lag between invention and publication, however, patents are published well before a patented product is introduced in the market. So the publication of a patent application is the earliest moment when the relevant information becomes available to the public.
2. Detailed information: The patent document provides much more detailed information about a technology (including best mode of operation, examples of industrial applicability, etc) than any other type of scientific or technical publication.
3. Comprehensive Source: According to WIPO 90% to 95% of all the world's inventions in any technical domain can be found in patented documents. Out of this ~70% invention cannot be found anywhere else.

Apart from this we also use scientific literature data to comprehensively cover a given domain and validate/supplement findings from the patent data analysis. Sagacious also compiles data from other public disclosures made by individuals/companies to help one understand business dynamics of the domain.

Who will benefit from this report?

This report can help everyone associated with the domain of 3D printing by answering questions pertinent to them and enabling them to take key decisions. Some of the titles who can benefit from report include CEOs, Heads and members of R&D departments, Heads and members of IP/Strategy departments, Heads and members of HR departments, Heads and members of marketing departments, Academic researchers and scientists, Patent agents and/or attorneys, Investors and consultants operating in the domain of 3D printing or dental industry.

Research (Academic/Corporate)

For anyone involved in research activities, our reports bring more than just insight – they present an Innovation Roadmap. The information contained in Patents and scientific literature can be helpful in the following ways:
  • Solve your technical problems/hurdles by Identifying, implementing and improvising any of the existing technical solutions applied to a similar problem in the past
  • Identify other research groups working in the same domain – Collaborate/Compete efficiently
  • Identify other employers/sponsors - enterprises that could apply the University-generated breakthroughs into new products and services
  • Monitoring, identifying and forecasting technological activities and trends in the industry to adapt and prioritize your research accordingly
  • Find additional applications of your invention
  • Avoid reinventing the wheel and quickly answer the question pertaining to ‘Technology development Vs Technology acquisition’
  • Be aware of IP creation opportunities for your current research and findings
  • Get ideas for further innovation by identifying white spaces and technology discontinuities
  • Get involved with patent agents/attorneys in patent preparation process to create most defensible and enforceable patents quickly
Product development

For anyone involved in product development (and not in research directly), the information contained in Patents and scientific literature can be helpful in the following ways:
  • Identify existing patent filings that prevent you from operating freely
  • Explore ways to surpass the IP blocking your freedom-to-operate by identifying alternatives and/or challenging the validity of blocking IP
  • Decide between optimization path Vs innovation path
  • Identify optimum/better licensable technologies to make your product/product development process more efficient/cost effective
  • Monitor, identify and forecast technological activities and market demand to adapt products accordingly
  • Find additional applications of your products
  • Identify your real competitors, know their products/technologies and establish differentiation with respect to their products/technologies to position your products in the market
  • Find partners for marketing, large scale manufacturing, etc
Marketing and Business Development

For anyone involved in product development, the information contained in Patents and scientific literature can be helpful in the following ways:
  • Identify major markets
  • Identify your competitors by markets/jurisdictions, know their current and pipeline products/technologies and establish differentiation with respect to their products/technologies to position your products in the market
  • Monitor, identify and forecast technological activities and market demand to adapt your product pitch/business development strategy accordingly
  • Find right partners for marketing in required jurisdictions
  • Monitor and Identify alternative industries having potential applications of your product
  • Identify existing collaboration
Licensing & Commercialization of IP

For anyone involved in monetization by licensing/commercialization of an organization’s intellectual assets to generate a new revenue streams, the information contained in Patents and scientific literature can be helpful in the following ways:
  • Know all the patents owned by one’s organizations in a given technology sector
  • Enable pre-emptive recognition and action on potential licensing opportunities
  • Identify competitors, their products and technologies and detect any infringements over your IP
  • Identify others operating in the domain of your patents to detect any opportunity of complementing their products using your technology
  • identify the direct/alternative commercial applications for your patents
  • Estimate the value/impact of your IP and gain access to widely used terms and condition for trading IP in the given technology segment/industry
Investment Decisions

For anyone involved in investing in a technology and/or research project, the information contained in Patents and scientific literature can be helpful in the following ways:
  • Identifying new investment opportunities in early-stages by observing rates of patenting activity in various sector
  • Developing strong cases for new R&D projects by observing competitive patenting activities
  • Confirm whether your innovation and investment payback models are valid
  • Improve your ROI by identifying right partners
  • Determine the risks and opportunities of participating in a given technology and/or product space
  • Have right investment targets by identifying high-impact patents in the industry and the inventor and assignee ecosystem associated with it
  • Identify green spaces
  • Revalidate your investment decisions by quickly identifying stage of technology - growth, development, maturity and decline based on patent data
  • Identify the right jurisdictions to make the invest in a given technology sector
Mergers and Acquisitions

For anyone involved in the process of identifying/evaluating M&A targets, the information contained in Patents and scientific literature can be helpful in the following ways:
  • Identify better targets for mergers and acquisitions
  • Understand the technical synergy possible between your company and the target by examining your company’s portfolio vis-à-vis competitor’s portfolio
  • Identify competitive advantages of a merger or acquisition
  • Valuate the intangible assets correctly
  • Understand the strength and commercialization potential of a patent portfolio that you plan to acquire
Hiring (Human Resource Management)

For anyone involved in the process of hiring employees/consultants/counsels, the information contained in Patents and scientific literature can be helpful in the following ways:
  • Gather intelligence on key industry experts and competitor employees and use this information in relation to hiring and identifying experts
  • Identify potential employees by looking at key inventors working independently and/or with academic institutes
  • Identify potential employees by looking at key examiners involved with a given technology domain
  • Identify consultant in relation to specific technical/business problem in a domain
  • Identify pertinent jurisdictions (states/countries) where researchers are abundant
  • Identify major law firms involved with filing and prosecution in a given technology sector as targets for external/in-house IP consultants
Legal/IP Counseling

For any attorney/patent agent involved in providing legal assistance/filing and prosecution support in matters related to patents in a given technology domain, the information contained in already published Patents and scientific literature can be helpful in the following ways:
  • Easily identify major IP stumbling blocks (dark spaces) in a technology domain of client’s operation
  • Identify industry segments where patent portfolio coverage of the client could be extended
  • Draft better patents (optimized scoped) and prosecute efficiently
  • Provide specific direction about whether to pursue a patent, defensively publish the idea as a technical publication, or keep the invention a trade secret
  • Determine patenting strategy of major players in a given domain (Jurisdictions, type of claims, patent maintenance, etc)
  • Identify major law firms/agents involved in the given domain
  • Understand who are the examiners and the art groups involved with the patents in given technology
  • Use citation (Examiner vs Applicant and Domestic Vs Foreign) and office action data to determine how do particular examiners operate in the doma
3D printing in Dental Industry
About this Report
Executive Summary
Analysis Overview


1.1 Patent Filing Trend
1.2 Products
1.3 Countries of Research
1.4 Market Geographies
1.5 Research Countries v/s Market Geographies
1.6 Key Inventors
1.7 Major Players
1.8 New Entrants
1.9 Academic Collaboration Opportunities: Top Universities/ Institutes
1.10 Independent Inventors
1.11 Patent Prosecution Law Firms in the Domain
1.12 Top IPCs
1.13 Key Patents
1.14 Free to Use Key Patents
1.15 Collaborations in the domain
1.16 Litigations


2.1 Technological Evolution
  2.1.1 Summary
  2.1.2 Taxonomy and Patent Distribution
  2.1.3 Filing Trends
2.2 Technical Challenges analysis
  2.2.1 Top Technical Challenges faced
  2.2.2 Notable Research Literature:
  2.2.3 Technical Challenges Trend
  2.2.4 Technical Challenges Solved By Major Players
  2.2.5 Matrix of Technical Challenges Vs Research Country
  2.2.6 Matrix of Technical Challenges Vs Inventor
2.3 Products
  2.3.1 Products v/s Major Players (Based on Products)
  2.3.2 Products v/s Inventor
  2.3.3 Products v/s Research Country
  2.3.4 Products v/s Challenges
2.4 Production Methods
  2.4.1 Production Methods v/s Major Players (Based on Production Method)
  2.4.2 Production Methods v/s Inventors
  2.4.3 Production Methods v/s Research Countries
  2.4.4 Production Method v/s 3D Scanning Techniques
  2.4.5 Production Method v/s Products
  2.4.6 Production Method v/s Challenges
2.5 3D Scanning Techniques
  2.5.1 3D Scanning Technique v/s Major Players (Based on 3D Scanning Technique)
  2.5.2 3D Scanning Techniques v/s Inventor
  2.5.3 3D Scanning Techniques v/s Research Country
  2.5.4 3D Scanning Techniques v/s Material Used for 3D Printing
  2.5.5 3D Scanning Techniques v/s Challenges
2.6 Material used for 3D Printing
  2.6.1 Materials Used for 3D Printing v/s Major Players (Based on Materials Used for 3D Printing)
  2.6.2 Materials Used for 3D Printing v/s Inventors
  2.6.3 Materials Used for 3D Printing v/s Research Countries
  2.6.4 Materials Used for 3D Printing Technology Breakdown – Polymer
  2.6.5 Materials Used for 3D Printing Technology Breakdown – Ceramics
  2.6.6 Materials Used for 3D Printing Technology Breakdown – Metal
  2.6.7 Materials Used for 3D Printing Technology Breakdown – Metal Alloy
  2.6.8 Materials Used for 3D Printing v/s Products
  2.6.9 Materials Used for 3D Printing v/s Challenges


3.1 Major Players’ Trends
3.2 Major Players’ Last Five Years
3.3 Major Players’ Products
3.4 3M
  3.4.1 3M - Key Inventors with IPC
  3.4.2 3M – Technology Fencing
  3.4.3 3M – Products
3.5 Ivoclar Vivadent
  3.5.1 Ivoclar Vivadent - Key Inventors with IPC
  3.5.2 Ivoclar Vivadent – Technology Fencing
  3.5.3 Ivoclar Vivadent – Products
3.6 Mitsui Chemicals
  3.6.1 Mitsui Chemicals - Key Inventors with IPC
  3.6.2 Mitsui Chemical – Technology Fencing
  3.6.3 Mitsui Chemical – Products
3.7 Dentsply Sirona
  3.7.1 Dentsply Sirona - Key Inventors with IPC
  3.7.2 Dentsply Sirona – Technology Fencing
  3.7.3 Dentsply Sirona-Products
3.8 Bego Medical
  3.8.1 Bego Medical - Key Inventors with IPC
  3.8.2 Bego Medical – Technology Fencing
  3.8.3 Bego Medical – Products
3.9 Align Technology
  3.9.1 Align Technology - Key Inventors with IPC
  3.9.2 Align Technology – Technology Fencing
  3.9.3 Align Technology – Products
3.10 Zhejiang University of Technology
  3.10.1 Zhejiang University of Technology - Key Inventors with IPC
  3.10.2 Zhejiang University of Technology – Technology Fencing
3.11 Shenzhen Kangtaijian Dental Instrument
  3.11.1 Shenzhen Kangtaijian Dental Instrument - Key Inventors with IPC
  3.11.2 Shenzhen Kangtaijian Dental Instrument – Technology Fencing
3.12 Glidewell Laboratories
  3.12.1 Glidewell Laboratories - Key Inventors with IPC
  3.12.2 Glidewell Laboratories – Technology Fencing
  3.12.3 Glidewell Laboratories – Products
3.13 Straumann
  3.13.1 Straumann - Key Inventors with IPC
  3.13.2 Straumann – Technology Fencing
  3.13.3 Straumann Products
3.14 3Shape
  3.14.1 3Shape - Key Inventors with IPC
  3.14.2 3Shape – Technology Fencing
  3.14.3 3Shape – Products
3.15 Key Players’ IP Position Forward Citations
3.16 Key Players’ IP Position Backward Citations
3.17 Major Players’ Comparative Analysis – R&D
3.18 Major Players’ Portfolio Strength Analysis
3.19 Major Players’ Filing Strategy






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