Additive manufacturing and solid-state battery specialist Sakuu says it has successfully and consistently achieved 3D printing of fully functional batteries in custom shapes and sizes. The batteries were printed as patterned cells containing patterned openings for thermal management on Sakuu’s Silicon Valley battery pilot line—an important step in developing the company’s Kavian platform for the commercial-scale production of next-generation SwiftPrint batteries.
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—inherently wet processes that require significant energy to remove unwanted solvents and are susceptible to poor printing quality and unreliable production.”
Sakuu’s first printed batteries have demonstrated successful cycling performance at C/5, IC current rates, and the company expects to achieve energy density of 800-1,000 Wh/L.
Using a proprietary lithium metal battery chemistry, Sakuu’s printing process starts with raw material and ends with a ready-to-use patterned battery. According to the company, patterned battery printing enables a more effective use of battery cell volume with new pathways in thermal dynamic regulation. This allows integration of fixturing, sensors and thermal transport pathways, as well as regulation through the patterned design.
“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,” said Karl Littau, Chief Technology Officer at Sakuu. “Further, our printing process can allow for substantial gains in energy density for a completed battery. Finally, our platform can customize the form factor of the battery—whereby the battery itself can become part of product design via customized shapes and sizes.”
“We believe we have the only known solution for manufacturing solid-state batteries at scale with our novel Kavian platform,” said Sakuu founder and CEO Robert Bagheri. “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.”
Sakuu plans to sell its Kavian platform to other battery manufacturers as well as automakers. The company 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 Kavian manufacturing.