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3D-Printed Lithium-Ion Battery Is the Size of a Pinhead
7/9/2013

Harvard University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and visiting researchers from South Korea have demonstrated the ability to 3D print a pinhead-sized battery. These interlaced and stacked electrodes were printed layer by layer to create the working anode and cathode.(Source: Jennifer A. Lewis/Harvard University)
Harvard University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and visiting researchers from South Korea have demonstrated the ability to 3D print a pinhead-sized battery. These interlaced and stacked electrodes were printed layer by layer to create the working anode and cathode.
(Source: Jennifer A. Lewis/Harvard University)

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Charles Murray
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Re: 3D printing as a disruptive technology
Charles Murray   7/11/2013 5:58:16 PM
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Thanks for the info, vimulkumarp. When you say it could be used in implantable devices, I assume that pacemakers and implantable defibrillators would require too much energy for this technology, right?

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: 3D printing as a disruptive technology
Ann R. Thryft   7/11/2013 1:24:53 PM
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The scale is extremely small, but new barriers are being broken all the time in this field. According to the Harvard press release at the link you give, the team custom designed both the inks and the 3D printers and did so because thin-film battery electrode production methods didn't produce enough energy.



Elizabeth M
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Re: 3D printing as a disruptive technology
Elizabeth M   7/11/2013 6:19:30 AM
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I'm not really sure about that, Ann...I will have to get back to you on the 3D printing method used. I imagine it was pretty tricky printing something so small! Would some methods be more appropriate for this type of thing?

vimalkumarp
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Re: 3D printing as a disruptive technology
vimalkumarp   7/11/2013 6:16:15 AM
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powering the implantable medical device is a challenge and formfactor is a concern. This will boost the medical device implantable power segment.

Elizabeth M
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Re: 3D printing as a disruptive technology
Elizabeth M   7/11/2013 6:11:51 AM
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Thanks for your comment, vimalkumarp. It's good to know that this type of battery could be useful in real-world applications. Let's hope it makes it out of the lab and into these devices.

Elizabeth M
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Re: 3D printing as a disruptive technology
Elizabeth M   7/11/2013 6:08:28 AM
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I agree, shehan. It's getting into the realm of the ridiculous nearly when you think of all the things being 3D printed. NASA is even 3D printing things in space! Pretty incredible. Let's see what they think of next!

vimalkumarp
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Re: 3D printing as a disruptive technology
vimalkumarp   7/11/2013 1:32:14 AM
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This will be of great use in implantable medical devices like ICD or neurostimulators. Thanks a lot for sharing this info.

shehan
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Re: 3D printing as a disruptive technology
shehan   7/10/2013 7:57:34 PM
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@Elizabeth – I think now its high time for us to ask the question "What cant the 3D printer print?". I think this is one of the best innovations for the past decades. What more could we expect from technology. 

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: 3D printing as a disruptive technology
Ann R. Thryft   7/10/2013 12:36:30 PM
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This sounds like quite a breakthrough, Elizabeth. What are the 3D printing method and materials they used? The mention of "inks" sounds like it might be a thin-film printed electronics method, such as that used by Optomec in its conformal electronic printing.
http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1392&doc_id=265097

But that's printed 3D electronics, not 3D printing.

Elizabeth M
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Re: 3D printing as a disruptive technology
Elizabeth M   7/10/2013 4:45:15 AM
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I don't know offhand how many microamp hours it has, guys...here is the link to the press material about it: http://www.seas.harvard.edu/news/2013/06/printing-tiny-batteries


There is also a video. I'll email the researchers and try to find out.

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