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Monday, February 15, 2016

Irish researchers build 3D printed battery

By Nick Flaherty

Researchers at the AMBER materials science centre at Trinity College, Dublin, have won €2.5 million to build a battery that can be produced on a 3D printer using new nanomaterials.
The “3D2DPrint” project focuses on creating a new type of extremely long lasting battery – one that can be embedded in any shape or size and within any type of material - whether that’s clothing, a mobile phone, a car dashboard or even implanted inside the body as an Implanted Cardiac Device. The funding will enable  Prof. Valeria Nicolosi to establish a multidisciplinary research group to develop this new class of energy storage devices. 
The batteries also have a longer lifetime using energy harvesting sources, lasting 50 times longer than the normal battery life. They will be custom made and formulated for whatever specific application needed. They will be able to be used for general fitness (e.g. within a 3D Printed smart fitness watch), as well as being manufactured and fully integrated within a 3D printed Implanted Cardiac Device. These batteries will also, compared to the current Li-battery technology, be fully non-harmful and non-flammable.
The aim of this project is to develop a new energy storage technology using a unique combination of Prof. Nicolosi’s novel 2-Dimensional nanomaterials and 3D printing processes. It is hoped that this innovative approach will produce a range of energy storage devices by exploiting 3D printing to develop complex material shapes, which may offer further performance enhancement at low cost.

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