Batteries 3D-Printed Using Layers of Powder Use 40% Less Material, Charge in Minutes and Recycle Easier

​credit – Sakuu

It seems like a new Silicon Valley startup could change the face of the battery industry forever by utilizing 3D printers to print solid-state batteries.

Solid-state batteries have advantages over lithium-ion because they aren’t flammable, they’re more easily recycled, work in extreme cold, and have greater energy density.

Solid-state batteries have traditionally been difficult to machine manufacture. But by using 3D printing arrays filled with powder, Sakuu systems can make these batteries not only using 40% less material, but in almost any shape the customer might want.

An electric bike could be powered by a battery that hugs a section of the central chassis, or a smartphone’s battery could run all the way around the frame of a circuit board. These unorthodox shapes are just one of the many advantages that Sakuu believe they can offer.

“Many people have built cells in the lab, but they have not been able to scale,” Sakuu CEO and founder Robert Bagheri told Fast Company. “Our vision started with that scalability in mind.”

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The array, known as a Kavian, is much smaller than the traditional, “roll to roll” battery manufacturing methods, and because the powder loaded into the 3D printers can be extremely precise, there’s a 40% reduction in materials usage—a huge cost savings over competitors.

The batteries they print can be charged to 80% in just 15 minutes.

Because they can be printed in any shape, all kinds of clever innovations are possible, in all kinds of industries from e-mobility products to wearables and small devices. The company is even working with an aviation company that wants solid-state batteries for their aircraft with holes through the middle of it to help with heat management.

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Sakuu plans to sell micro-factories composed of all their technologies in sections of 400 square feet, which can be used to make 100 megawatt hours of batteries in a year. Older equipment takes up 16,000 square feet and can only produce 2.5 megawatt hours per year.

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