The technology industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by the rapid emergence and widespread adoption of game-changing technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), internet of things (IoT), and mobility, as well as growing importance of technologies such as temperature sensors, optical sensors, and force and load sensors. The combination of these technologies enables additive manufacturing monitoring sensors to gather real-time data on various aspects of the printing process. In the last three years alone, there have been over 3.6 million patents filed and granted in the technology industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Technology Innovation: Additive manufacturing monitoring sensors. Buy the report here.

However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilising and reaching maturity.

Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have.

300+ innovations will shape the technology industry

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the technology industry using innovation intensity models built on over 2.5 million patents, there are 300+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, microphone beamforming, live betting games, and quantum dots are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Circuit design testing, smart contracts, and surround sound systems are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are vehicle platooning, PCI power management and wireless microphones, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for the technology industry

Additive manufacturing monitoring sensors is a key innovation area in technology

Additive manufacturing monitoring sensors are utilised to observe and evaluate the operational aspects of additive manufacturing processes, guaranteeing consistent precision and quality. These sensors are responsible for measuring diverse parameters, including temperature, pressure, and flow rate. By detecting irregularities that may compromise the integrity of a part or diminish the overall quality of the product, these sensors play a vital role in ensuring optimal performance. The data acquired from these sensors serves as a foundation for making necessary process adjustments, enhancing production efficiency, and upholding the reliability and superior quality of the final output.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 80+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established technology companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of additive manufacturing monitoring sensors.

Key players in additive manufacturing monitoring sensors – a disruptive innovation in the technology industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of different applications identified for each relevant patent and broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of different countries each relevant patent is registered in and reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.

Patent volumes related to additive manufacturing monitoring sensors

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
General Electric 261 Unlock Company Profile
Hewlett Packard Enterprise 149 Unlock Company Profile
Siemens 147 Unlock Company Profile
Divergent Technologies 99 Unlock Company Profile
Seurat Technologies 95 Unlock Company Profile
EOS 79 Unlock Company Profile
Velo3D 70 Unlock Company Profile
Raytheon Technologies 61 Unlock Company Profile
HP 56 Unlock Company Profile
Cl Schutzrechtsverwaltungs 49 Unlock Company Profile
Desktop Metal 45 Unlock Company Profile
Boeing 43 Unlock Company Profile
GE Additive 36 Unlock Company Profile
SLM Solutions Group 35 Unlock Company Profile
Renishaw 33 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Group 30 Unlock Company Profile
Kobe Steel 28 Unlock Company Profile
3D Systems 26 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Electric 25 Unlock Company Profile
MTU Aero Engines 23 Unlock Company Profile
AddUp 22 Unlock Company Profile
Moog 22 Unlock Company Profile
Rolls-Royce 22 Unlock Company Profile
Xerox 20 Unlock Company Profile
Nanotronics Imaging 18 Unlock Company Profile
Materialise 18 Unlock Company Profile
Trumpf 18 Unlock Company Profile
Ricoh 18 Unlock Company Profile
Honeywell International 16 Unlock Company Profile
Relativity Space 16 Unlock Company Profile
DMG Mori Seiki 16 Unlock Company Profile
Mcor Technologies 16 Unlock Company Profile
VulcanForms 15 Unlock Company Profile
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation 15 Unlock Company Profile
BAE Systems 15 Unlock Company Profile
EOS Electro Optical Systems 15 Unlock Company Profile
Hitachi 14 Unlock Company Profile
Smith & Nephew 14 Unlock Company Profile
Howmet Aerospace 14 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries 13 Unlock Company Profile
Sciaky Electric Welding Machines 13 Unlock Company Profile
Dassault Systemes 12 Unlock Company Profile
Compagnie Generale des Etablissements Michelin 12 Unlock Company Profile
Fujifilm 11 Unlock Company Profile
BeAM 11 Unlock Company Profile
3DEO 11 Unlock Company Profile
Seiko Epson 10 Unlock Company Profile
Matsuura Machinery 10 Unlock Company Profile
Scatec ASA 10 Unlock Company Profile
Safran 9 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

General Electric is one of the leading patents filers in additive manufacturing monitoring sensors. The company’s patents are aimed at methods and  systems of producing an alert during manufacturing  a part formed by a plurality of layers. The methods include determining the sensor data values at the working tool positions of each of the plurality of layers based on a correlation of the values of the sensor data relative to time and the working tool positions of each of the plurality of layers relative to time.  An alert is transmitted if the determined comparison measure of a layer is not within a defined range. A defined action is applied to the manufacturing process based on the transmitted alert.

Other prominent patent filers in the additive manufacturing monitoring sensors space include Hewlett Packard and Siemens.

In terms of geographic reach, Smith & Nephew leads the pack, followed by 3DEO and Additive Manufacturing Technologies. In terms of application diversity, Stryker holds the top position, followed by LightForce Orthodontics and Fanuc.

Additive manufacturing monitoring sensors deliver enhanced quality assurance, optimise processes, detect anomalies, enable real-time control, ensure traceability, and drive continuous improvement in additive manufacturing. By leveraging these sensors, manufacturers can achieve higher quality outputs, increase operational efficiency, reduce costs, and unlock the full potential of additive manufacturing technology.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the technology industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Technology.

Premium Insights


The gold standard of business intelligence.

Blending expert knowledge with cutting-edge technology, GlobalData’s unrivalled proprietary data will enable you to decode what’s happening in your market. You can make better informed decisions and gain a future-proof advantage over your competitors.


GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.