The technology industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by the increasing demand for miniaturised components in various industries such as biomedical, electronics, and microfluidics, the ability to create intricate designs with high precision and resolution, and growing importance of technologies such as high-resolution digital light processing (DLP) and laser-based systems that can selectively solidify liquid photopolymer resins layer by layer to build the desired microstructures. 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: Microstereolithography. 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, communication, 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 and PCI power management, which are now well established in the industry.
Innovation S-curve for the technology industry
Microstereolithography is a key innovation area in technology
Microstereolithography is a type of 3D printing that employs a light-based process to solidify layers of liquid photopolymer material. This technique is utilised for manufacturing intricate components that exhibit precise details and smooth surface finishes. Microstereolithography is a valuable tool for research, prototyping, and manufacturing applications where miniaturisation and precision are critical factors.
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 30+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established technology companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of microstereolithography.
Key players in microstereolithography – 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 microstereolithography
|Company||Total patents (2010 - 2022)||Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies|
|ASML||86||Unlock Company Profile|
|Applied Materials||43||Unlock Company Profile|
|Kinpo Electronics||31||Unlock Company Profile|
|Beijing Electronics||30||Unlock Company Profile|
|XYZprinting||23||Unlock Company Profile|
|Carl Zeiss Stiftung||22||Unlock Company Profile|
|Eulitha||21||Unlock Company Profile|
|Nikon||19||Unlock Company Profile|
|BICO Group||19||Unlock Company Profile|
|Samsung Group||18||Unlock Company Profile|
|Nederlandse Organisatie voor Toegepast-Natuurwetenschappelijk Onderzoek||13||Unlock Company Profile|
|Toshiba||13||Unlock Company Profile|
|Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing||12||Unlock Company Profile|
|Mitsui Chemicals||12||Unlock Company Profile|
|Micronic Laser Systems||12||Unlock Company Profile|
|EssilorLuxottica||11||Unlock Company Profile|
|General Motors||11||Unlock Company Profile|
|Boeing||10||Unlock Company Profile|
|XYZ-Printing||10||Unlock Company Profile|
|Ushio||10||Unlock Company Profile|
|Sony Group||9||Unlock Company Profile|
|3D Systems||9||Unlock Company Profile|
|3M||9||Unlock Company Profile|
|Hitachi||8||Unlock Company Profile|
|3DFortify||7||Unlock Company Profile|
|General Electric||7||Unlock Company Profile|
|Tokyo Electron||7||Unlock Company Profile|
|Jabil||6||Unlock Company Profile|
|Shanghai Micro Electronics Equipment||6||Unlock Company Profile|
|Shimadzu||5||Unlock Company Profile|
|Rebus Biosystems||5||Unlock Company Profile|
|US Federal Government||5||Unlock Company Profile|
|Screen||5||Unlock Company Profile|
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
ASML is a leading patent filer in the microstereolithography space. One of the company’s patents describes a substrate holder for a lithographic apparatus that includes a main body with a thin-film stack on its surface. This thin-film stack contains an electronic or electric component such as an electrode, sensor, heater, transistor, or logic device, and has a top isolation layer. The thin-film stack or apertures within it feature multiple burls that serve as supports for a substrate. Other prominent patent filers in the space include Applied Materials and Kinpo Electronics.
By geographic reach, Mitsui Chemicals leads the pack, followed by General Motors and Shimadzu. In terms of application diversity, Rebus Biosystems holds the top position, followed by General Electric (GE) and XYZprinting.
Microstereolithography can produce intricate and highly detailed three-dimensional structures at a microscale level. The technology allows for the fabrication of complex parts with fine features and smooth surfaces, enabling advancements in various industries such as biomedical, electronics, and microfluidics. Microstereolithography offers precise control over the manufacturing process, resulting in high-resolution objects that are difficult to achieve with other manufacturing methods. To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the technology industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Technology.