SOFCs have attracted increasing attention over the last two decades due to high energy conversion efficiency, efficiency, fuel flexibility and low environmental impact, but the technology still has some challenges related to cost and durability before gaining entry at commercial markets. Some of those challenges might be solved using inkjet printers, both as a development tool to reduce the design-prototype-test cycle time for the development of new cell types, and as a manufacturing tool where entire SOFC stacks are printed using significantly smaller amounts of materials than traditional manufacturing processes.
Research on 3D-printing has been going on for some time, but recently a research team at DTU Energy Conversion, consisting of Christophe Gadea, Vincenzo Esposito, Johan Hjelm, Karsten Agersted, Qiang Hu, Søren Højgaard Jensen and Severine Ramousse, succeeded in modifying an ordinary HP 1000 ink jet printer, costing approx. 400 DKK, enabling it to print inexpensive fuel cells showing superior performances compared to fuel cells fabricated by traditional tape casting.
“We have developed a cheap and innovative technology that allows the printing of ceramic thin films (≈1µm), using an inkjet printer. A continuous and dense 1.2 micrometer yttria stabilized zirconia layer has been fabricated with this process and it improved the fuel cell performance. This process is flexible enough to be applicable for numerous materials for other applications involving thin layers as well”, explains Christophe Gadea, development engineer at DTU Energy Conversion….
Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!
Have you considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!
The Adafruit Learning System has dozens of great tools to get you well on your way to creating incredible works of engineering, interactive art, and design with your 3D printer! We also offer the LulzBot TAZ – Open source 3D Printer and the Printrbot Simple Metal 3D Printer in our store. If you’ve made a cool project that combines 3D printing and electronics, be sure to let us know, and we’ll feature it here!