The race to create a solid-state battery that could compete with today’s lithium-ion cells is heating up. Lithium-ion batteries are everywhere: in your phone, car, camera, and more. Since their debut in the 1990s, they’ve become a leader in energy storage. But they have one major flaw: safety. Lithium-ion batteries have a tendency to catch fire, especially when damaged or at high temperatures.
Solid-state batteries replace a flammable liquid electrolyte in lithium-ion batteries with a more stable solid one. They also could have more power, faster charging, and a longer lifespan. Right now, lots of startups are trying to get their first batteries out of the lab and into a factory and hope to prove that solid-state batteries can be commercially viable.
One of those companies is California-based startup Sakuú, and it’s taking on an even bigger task: 3D-printing these next-gen batteries. Sakuú claims that 3D printing allows it to fit more battery layers in the same amount of space, boosting the capacity of its batteries compared to those made by traditional manufacturing. In theory, the batteries could take on more customized shapes, which could change how batteries are integrated into product design. But the company has yet to 3D-print a full battery using its prototype. Check out our video to learn more about how this new technology could reinvent the way batteries are made.