In the latest development in printing technology, Sakuu, a startup from Silicon Valley, is 3D printing solid-state batteries. This is a very, very big deal.
In February, Sakuu announced that it had successfully and consistently produced full-functioning batteries in custom shapes and sizes using 3D printing. These batteries could be used in everything from smartphones to household appliances to e-bikes.
As it currently stands, lithium-ion batteries are considered king. They store large amounts of energy and recharge quickly, but they also come with safety concerns and a huge environmental impact. It takes an estimated 500,000 gallons of water to mine just one metric ton (about 1.1 U.S. tons) of lithium.
Sakuu’s successful production of a solid-state battery could mean low-cost, high-speed manufacturing for a lithium-ion alternative.
”As far as our solid-state battery development, we are preparing to unveil a new category of rapid-printed batteries manufactured at scale using our additive manufacturing platform,” Sakuu CEO Robert Bagheri said in a press release. “The sustainability and supply chain implications of this pioneering development will be transformational.”
The stats behind Sakuu’s design are truly impressive. In an interview with CleanTechnica, the company said the production of its solid-state batteries produces less than 1% material waste. With that in mind, Sakuu anticipates a 69% reduction in manufacturing process steps and 33% lower manufacturing costs compared to traditional battery manufacturing.
“We believe we have the only known solution for manufacturing solid-state batteries at scale with our novel Kavian platform,” Bagheri said in a press release. “Collectively, our additive manufacturing and battery teams have accomplished what most thought impossible.”
Bagheri continued on to say, “Printing custom patterned batteries using a dry process that starts with raw material and concludes with a fully functional high-performance battery is a breakthrough that has the potential to transform how batteries of the future are manufactured for all industries.”
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