Sakuu announces successful 3D printing of fully functional high-performance patterned batteries
16 February 2023
Sakuu Corporation (earlier post) has successfully and consistently 3D-printed fully functional high-performance batteries in custom shapes and sizes since December 2022. These batteries were printed as patterned cells containing patterned openings for thermal management, in a fully dry process, at Sakuu’s Silicon Valley battery pilot line facility.
This marks a first-of-its-kind manufacturing achievement and is an important step towards Sakuu’s planned commercial-scale production of next-generation SwiftPrint batteries, including solid-state batteries, from its Kavian platform in gigafactories worldwide, the company said.
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.
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. This is a profound moment with enormous implications for advanced battery manufacturing.—Karl Littau, Chief Technology Officer at Sakuu
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.
The Sakuu invention can deliver low-cost high-speed manufacturing capability coupled with flexibility in shape and form, while also delivering batteries in core categories that matter most to clients and customers alike.
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. The achievement of 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—especially when thin sub-cell battery structures are stacked with identical in alignment.
Sakuu’s Kavian platform will be sold to other battery manufacturers as well as leading 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.
In addition, Sakuu 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 utilizing Kavian manufacturing.