How 3D printing is assisting Sakuu in the production of solid-state batteries
Sakuu opened a new battery printing and engineering facility in Silicon Valley in August, following the establishment of a battery pilot line facility. The company, which employs its own 3D printing platform, has also announced partnerships with NGK Spark Plugs and LiCAP Technologies.
The new battery printing and engineering facility will serve as the company’s flagship engineering hub, housing battery, engineering, material science R&D, and additive manufacturing teams. The structure will be the first of the company’s gigafactories.
“The new facility paves the way for Sakuu’s first 3D printing platform gigafactory,
dubbed Sakuu Gigafactory One,” said Arwed Niestroj,
Sakuu SVP of Customer Enablement.
The facility will enable teams to fine-tune all aspects of our battery printing technologies, allowing for the rapid deployment of our gigafactories.
Sakuu’s engineering hub will be housed in this facility. It will house several teams, including battery, engineering, material science, R&D, and additive manufacturing, and will be in charge of new gigafactory employee training and client product demos.”
Sakuu will be supplied with ceramic materials for the manufacture of its solid-state batteries as part of the partnership with NGK.
“NGK ceramic materials will play a key role in Sakuu’s proprietary ceramic battery components as we advance to commercialize our first SwiftPrint solid-state battery,”
Niestroj said of the MOU signed with NGK.
Sakuu’s Production Process
The companySakuu’s 3D printing method employs a 3D printing platform developed by a company called Kavian.
To print fully functional batteries at scale, the Kavian platform integrates multiple processes and materials.
“The Kavian platform can print fully functioning batteries at scale,” Niestroj said of the system’s capabilities.
Ceramics, glass, metals, and polymers can all be printed in the same layer on the Kavian platform. Binder jetting is used for larger areas, and distinct material jetting is used for finer details.
Traditional additive manufacturing processes perform each 3D printing step sequentially,
whereas Kavian performs all steps concurrently,
enabling a streamlined model that saves energy, cost, labour, materials, and time while also increasing quality and reliability.”
According to Niestroj,
the company developed its platform so that it could use only the materials required for battery production.
The Sakuu batteries, according to the SVP, address issues with electric vehicle batteries such as cost, performance, sustainability, and range.
“Greater mainstream adoption of electric vehicles will be especially encouraged by cost and performance improvements,” he added.
“Sakuu’s 3D printing technology has proven to be very advantageous in printing battery layers that are much thinner than would be possible in a conventional battery roll-to-roll manufacturing process,” Niestroj said of the benefits of using 3D printing for batteries. This reduces material consumption, increases energy density, and thus lowers costs.”