Technological trajectories provide valuable information on technological development as well as its potential impact. Using 3D printing technology as a case study, this paper maps the trajectory of technological development and explores the contribution of various knowledge sources (from both geographical and technological perspectives). Based on patent citation analysis, our results show that there was a main concentrated technological trajectory between 1998 and the early 2000s, indicating a technology lock-in situation. However, a great diversification can be observed after the mid-2000s. The U.S. and Japan were the pioneer countries to develop core 3DP technologies, while China and South Korea contributed relatively more to the recent core 3DP technologies. By tracking technology domains in the patents cited by 3DP technologies, we also detect contributions from different technology categories in the process of 3DP technology development. At a disaggregated level, this study provides insights on how technologies from various fields contributed to the development of 3D printing technology. The diversified knowledge contributions from different countries and different fields indicate not only a broader range of future business opportunities in various domains, but also a far-ranging social impact in various nations.
|Number of pages||12|
|Journal||Technological Forecasting and Social Change|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 2020|
- Technological trajectory
- Knowledge sources
- Three dimensional printing
- PATENT CITATIONS