A completely functional 3D printable graphene battery — one based on graphene nanoplatelet functionalized 3D printing filament — was recently developed by researchers at Graphene 3D Lab.
The new prototype 3D printable graphene battery was unveiled at the recent Inside 3D Printing Conference that took place in Santa Clara, California.
As of right now, the process for the creation of the 3D-printed graphene battery prototype relies on the individual printing of the different components — anode, cathode, electrolyte, etc. Eventually, though, the use of a “true multi-material 3D printer” would allow for the printing of the whole battery all at once.
The company recently submitted a provisional patent application to the US Patent and Trademark Office — one for “recent innovations in the materials and methods of 3D printable batteries.”
“The application filed by Graphene 3D has the potential to play an important role in achieving the ability to print electronic devices due to the necessity of providing a power source. Expanding our IP portfolio in this area is an important step in keeping with Graphene 3D’s primary goal of creating an ecosystem for 3D printing functional devices with advanced materials,” stated CEO Daniel Stolyarov.
Green Car Congress provides some details:
The graphene-enhanced materials that have been developed by the company allow the 3D printing process to be used to fabricate a functioning battery which may be incorporated into a 3D printed object during the build process. The prototype currently reaches the same voltage as a commercially available AA battery.
The company says that its 3D printed graphene battery potentially could outperform a conventional battery because the shape, size and specifications can be freely adjusted to fit the particular design of a device. Graphene 3D envisions printing batteries on demand and in remote locations, using the technology to 3D print supercapacitors that can be recharged much faster than the conventional battery, or printing batteries that are incorporated in the body of car.
Researchers in Sweden are exploring the use of carbon fiber as an active electrode in a multifunctional structural Li-ion battery in an electric car; ie, electrical storage is incorporated into the body of the car. Carbon fiber material is a good candidate for structural electrodes since it has high specific tensile stiffness and ultimate tensile strength as well as high lithium (Li)-intercalation capability.
Exciting. Unsurprisingly, the technology/concept has previously caught the attention of a number of important actors in the industry — including Volvo Cars, and the US Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy (which has gifted $8.75 million in funding research projects focused on it).
Graphene 3D currently has 3 US patent applications pending.
Image Credit: Graphene 3D
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