Researchers at Harvard University and the University of Illinois used a 3D printer to make linthium-ion microbatteries that are smaller than a grain of sand, and can fit into tiny devices that had previously stumped engineers looking to power them for longer periods. They were constructed from interlaced stacks of tiny battery electrodes, which conduct electricity. Continue reading for a video and more information.

In the past, engineers developed miniaturized electronic devices, like nano-sized medical implants, insect-like flying robots and audio / visual recorders that can fit on a pair of glasses. These gadgets were previously powered by ultra-thin films of solid materials to build the electrodes, which didn’t provide enough power. This group of scientists realized they could pack more energy on a small scale if they could create stacks of interlaced, ultra-thin electrodes built from plane.