Sakuu 3D prints patterned batteries

Sakuu 3D prints patterned batteries

Technology News |
By Nick Flaherty

Sakuu has successfully and consistently 3D printed fully functioning lithium metal batteries in custom shapes and sizes.

These batteries were printed as patterned cells containing patterned openings for thermal management, in a fully dry process, at Sakuu’ Silicon Valley battery pilot line.

This is a key step for the planned commercial-scale production of next-generation batteries which Sakuu calls SwiftPrint batteries, including solid-state versions. These will be printed on the company’s Kavian 3D printing platform in factories worldwide.

“Our development shows that the Kavian platform can enable commercial-scale, sustainable production of a wide range of battery technologies from lithium-ion to lithium metal to even solid-state batteries—whereas traditional methods of advanced cell manufacturing continually run into core impediments that prevent mass-scale production,” said Karl Littau, Chief Technology Officer at Sakuu.

“Our printing process can allow for substantial gains in energy density for a completed battery and we can customize the form factor of the battery so the battery itself can become part of product design via customized shapes and sizes. This is a profound moment with enormous implications for advanced battery manufacturing.”

Sakuu has invented a fully industrialized process for printing batteries using a proprietary multi-material, multi-layer approach in a parallel and dry process, instead of slow layer-on-layer printing or screen-printing. Those inherently wet processes require significant energy to remove unwanted solvents and are susceptible to poor printing quality and unreliable production.

The Sakuu 3D printing process can deliver low-cost high-speed manufacturing capability coupled with flexibility in shape and form. For example, Sakuu’s first printed batteries have demonstrated successful cycling performance at C/5, IC current rates, and expectations are to achieve high energy density at 800–1000 Wh/L.

Utilizing proprietary lithium metal battery chemistry, Sakuu’s printing process starts with raw material and ends with a ready-to-use patterned battery which enables a more effective use of battery cell volume with new pathways in thermal dynamic regulation.

This also allows integration of fixturing, sensors, and thermal transport pathways, as well as regulation through the patterned design, especially when thin sub-cell battery structures are stacked with identical patterned openings for thermal management in alignment.

“Collectively, our additive manufacturing and battery teams have accomplished what most thought impossible. 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,” said Robert Bagheri, CEO.

“This milestone advances integration between our Kavian platform and our commercial-scale battery production plans towards an energy output goal of 200GWh by 2030 via a network of global partner gigafactories.”

The Kavian platform will be sold to other battery manufacturers as well as automotive, e-mobility, and aerospace manufacturers. Those seeking to mass-produce batteries can shorten supply chain and gain key cell performance and safety attributes, as well as inherent material and energy savings, and sustainability benefits for maximum product design innovation.

Sakuu also plans on licensing its own battery chemistries, both Li-metal and solid-state, to be produced with either traditional roll-to-roll manufacturing or in gigafactories using the Kavian system.

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