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A new 3D-printed battery prototype from the aptly named company Graphene 3D lab embeds "nanoplatelets" of graphene in polymer filaments for 3D printing.

Batteries

New 3D-Printed Battery Packs Graphene Punch

A new 3D-printed battery prototype from the aptly named company Graphene 3D lab embeds “nanoplatelets” of graphene in polymer filaments for 3D printing.

According to Forbes, a married couple is the force behind the new 3D-printed graphene battery from Graphene 3D Lab. A spinoff of the similarly named company Graphene Laboratories, Inc., Graphene 3D Lab was formed to develop new high tech graphene based materials for 3D printing.

So, who cares who is married to whom? Being as how graphene is the nanomaterial of the new millenium, and 3D printing is the best thing to ever happen next to sliced bread, all we care about is whether or not the 3D-printed graphene battery prototype will pan out.

Graphene 3D Lab 3D-printed graphene 1

Graphene-enabled, 3D-printable devices (screenshot) courtesy of Graphene 3D Lab.

What’s Behind The 3D-Printed Graphene Battery

According to Graphene 3D’s technology page, the new battery is composed of “nanoplatelets” of graphene added to polymers, which is fancyspeak for spiking your plastic 3D-printed thingamajig with tiny shots of graphene.

As frequently discussed here at CleanTechnica and our sister sites PlanetSave and Gas2.org, graphene is a form of carbon that possesses unique electronic properties as well as superhero strength. That makes it ideal for batteries, supercapacitors, photovoltaic cells, and any number of other clean tech applications.

Recently adding to graphene’s mystique, for example, is its appearance as an ingredient in Tesla’s rumored “500-mile” EV battery.

 

Here’s how Graphene 3D describes their souped-up 3D printing sauce:

…in the form of nanoplatelets, graphene affects materials in extraordinary ways. After the addition of graphene, materials then share many of the phenomenal properties of the graphene itself. They become mechanically strong and their thermal and electrical conductivity are greatly improved.

Graphene 3D Lab 3d-printed graphene (slide)

Courtesy of Graphene 3D Lab (screenshot).

Next Steps

The 3D-printed graphene battery prototype was introduced last week at the aptly named Inside 3D Printing Conference in Santa Clara, California.

Judging by press materials from Graphene 3D Lab, the really cool thing about this battery is that it can be integrated into another 3D-printed object while that object is still being built.

According to Graphene 3D, that degree of precise customization provides the battery with enhanced performance potential compared to non-integrated batteries.

The same technique can be applied to supercapacitors and other electrochemical devices, btw.

Meanwhile, keep in mind that the battery is still in prototype phase. To get it to the next step, last month Graphene 3D announced a partnership with Stony Brook University in Long Island, NY, for a round of quality control testing.

The one-year agreement calls for Graphene 3D to pay under $140,000 to the Research Foundation for SUNY (the State University of New York, which includes the Stony Brook campus) in exchange for analytical services.

As for why Stony Brook, which a number of you may not have seen in connection with advanced graphene research before, the campus has something called the Stony Brook Center for Advanced Sensor Technology.

That lab is part of New York State’s CAT program, which consists of a network of 15 Centers for Advanced Technology (CAT) aimed at attracted A-list research talent to the state and encourage collaboration between SUNY campuses and New York industries.

Sensor CAT, as the Stony Brook lab is affectionately known, will run Graphene 3D’s graphene filaments through their paces, examining both functional and mechanical capabilities.

Speaking of collaboration, several laboratories at Sensor CAT are managed by a co-founder of Graphene 3D, Professor Mikhail Gouzman. The agreement with Graphene 3D also engages Stony Brook students in the analytic process, with the aim of readying them for career with Graphene 3D or other high tech ventures.

We’ll check back in with Graphene 3D and Sensor CAT whenever an update is available, so stay tuned.

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Written By

Tina specializes in military and corporate sustainability, advanced technology, emerging materials, biofuels, and water and wastewater issues. Views expressed are her own. Follow her on Twitter @TinaMCasey and Google+.

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