The Gigafactory sounds like the DeLorean production line. But instead of the home of the DMC-12, it is in fact the first in a line of Tesla lithium-ion battery factories, turning out thousands of batteries for all things Tesla.
As we edge toward a battery powered transport network, Elon Musk, Tesla Motors CEO, has recognised the very real need to boost production of the physical batteries, whilst equally investing in the future of battery powered transportation.
Bought a portable device in the past decade? It likely features a lithium-based battery. Lithium cells have become the portable power-source of choice for several reasons: low-cost, high energy density and multiple recharges to name but a few.
The evolution of electric vehicles into a commercially viable transportation method comes with a requirement for a more efficient, more powerful battery. The evolution of the lithium-based battery comes to the precipice of the ‘next big thing:’ Lithium-Air.
It stands to reason that alongside all of these outstanding material resources, our expectations and desires would see us consider printed electronics. Certainly for rapid protyping, small product designs and home-enthusiasts the development of a conductive 3D printer filament will truly begin a manufacturing decentralisation process that could alter our relationships with home electronics.