3D Printed Battery Forms

What’s the worst thing that can happen when you are trying to show off a project? Dead batteries might not be the absolute worst thing, but it is pretty close to the top of the list. [KermMartian] has this problem every year at World Maker Faire with demos based around calculators. At first, he tried wedging power supply wires into the calculator using dead batteries to hold the wires in place. However, it didn’t take much wear and tear before the wires would pull out.

The solution? A 3D printed battery form that accepts metal hardware that can connect to the external power supply. The AAA-sized plastic batteries insert into the calculator’s battery compartment and the small machine screws and washers form the connection points.

Then again, you don’t have to get this fancy. We’ve seen people do the same with a piece of wood several times  (although we don’t recommend putting 5V into a 3V device). Still, the 3D printed forms might have some other interesting uses like embedding instrumentation or other goodies inside.

If you want to print working batteries, you’ll need to wait for some different printer technology (unless you count filling a plastic form with metal electrodes and electrolyte). However, the video below shows some Harvard research about printing tiny batteries with special printing techniques.

19 thoughts on “3D Printed Battery Forms

  1. The video does no justice to the scale involved here, simply amazing stuff.
    http://www.seas.harvard.edu/news/2013/06/printing-tiny-batteries/

    On the contrary, I think printing of batteries can be done with a peristaltic pump, or an airbrush on a reprap, its on the list of things to attempt once I nail down the materials.

    Al wrote another article about air arc carbon cutting. Which would be almost perfect for cutting out the charge carriers after they have been coated with the electrode materials. A laser would work too but here it is http://hackaday.com/2015/08/06/build-a-baby-plasma-cutter-right-now/

    Thanks Al you are a constant source of good ideas!

  2. This is pretty cool. I’ve had this idea kicking around but never had a rally good way of making one. I have yet to get myself a 3d printer. It’s on the list.

    This is very similar to the battery eliminator that were available back in the 80s. The problem with those were terrible strain relief so the wires would pull out and short fairly easily.

    1. with the shown parts, you can buy spare battery covers, file a slot into them and feed the wires through for more robust assembly. and sometimes the geometry of the battery compartment makes using clips or probe hooks unfeasible

  3. I’ve use double sided copper clad PCB board 1/32″. You can slip then in between the batter and the battery terminals. You can even use it to measure current draw, or bypass the batteries all together. Handy to have around.

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