Additive Manufacturing: Re-thinking Battery Design


C.L. Cobb and C.C. Ho, “Additive Manufacturing: Re-thinking Battery Design,” ECS Interface. Vol. 25, No. 1, Spring 2016.


Two major trends are changing the way batteries are designed. First, small portable electronic devices have steadily evolved towards compact and thin form factors while retaining high levels of device functionality. As a result of this trend, batteries have become an ever-increasing fraction of the total device volume. Secondly, the advent of truly manufacturable and scalable flexible electronics has lifted the dimensional limitations of device design. However, this has in turn introduced new design complexities for integration, processing, and reliability. Connecting and integrating a battery, which oftentimes is the largest component in an electronic device, poses complex manufacturing, cost, and reliability issues. These technology progressions have motivated a shift in energy storage design and manufacturing to accommodate novel materials, new device geometries, and non-traditional fabrication methods. Additive manufacturing (AM) is a suite of manufacturing processes that is currently changing the way we design and manufacture products. AM technology will lead to a revolution in the way energy storage components are designed, integrated, and utilized in electronic devices. In this article we focus on recent advances in additive manufacturing for batteries and highlight current and future research directions for battery design, manufacturing, and integration for small, portable and wearable electronics.

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