Stratasys unveils Rail Industry Solution to keep trains running while reducing costs

Stratasys has unveiled its Rail Industry Solution that is aimed at helping passenger trains – from long-haul to urban metros – to run more frequently and potentially save on thousands of euros daily.

Spare parts can be produced on-demand with Stratasys Fortus Series utilizing FDM technology, with materials like ULTEM™ 9085 resin and Antero 800NA that meet strict government certification requirements for smoke, fire, and toxicity, and have attained the European Union’s Rail Standard, EN45545-2.

Customized 3D printed air vent system produced by Bombardier Transportation using Stratasys F900 3D Printer.
Customized 3D printed air vent system produced by Bombardier Transportation using Stratasys F900 3D Printer.

Current customers and partners that are benefitting from adopting this solution include Angel Trains, Bombardier Transportation, Chiltern Railways, DB ESG, and Siemens Mobility.

“In industry after industry, we continue to see organizations discover how additive manufacturing improves customer service, streamlines maintenance and operating costs, and helps engineer lighter, durable products. Rail is no exception,” said Stratasys EMEA President, Andreas Langfeld.

With additive manufacturing, train operators can get the parts they need within a day or two regardless of the uniqueness of the part and the train car age, minimizing time spent in a maintenance yard and dramatically reducing costs.

Part of Deutsche Bahn, DB ESG, based in Derby, U.K., helps train operators and rolling stock owners keep trains in service by reverse engineering obsolete components.

“EN45545-2-compliant materials enable us to reverse-engineer parts, such as interior grab handles, with freeform curves that traditionally could only be made with casting or injection molding, without the need for expensive tooling, and with a corresponding reduction in delivery times,” said Martin Stevens, Mechanical Engineering Manager at DB ESG.

German manufacturer Bombardier Transportation is using the Stratasys Rail Industry Solution to accelerate the development of new trains, including 3D printing interior and exterior train parts, such as air ducts, housings, and cable holders.

Posing in front of the Stratasys F900 3D Printer is André Bialoscek, Head of Vehicle Physical Integration Hennigsdorf at Bombardier, holding a 3D printed Air Duct, and Dominik Mueller, Strategic Account Manager at Stratasys.

“While accelerating production, we still need to ensure that total functionality, safety, and repeatability are upheld. With Stratasys’ Rail Solution, we are able to do all those things – it has been a game-changer for our department,” said André Bialoscek, Head of Vehicle Physical Integration for Bombardier.

Angel Trains, one of the U.K.’s leading train leasing companies, is using the Stratasys Rail Industry Solution to manufacture a range of direct replacement parts including passenger armrests, grab handles and equipment covers.

“We can now design and manufacture replacement parts quickly and reliably that meet all required railway standards. As such, we’re able to lower costs and lead times while reducing engineering time spent on managing obsolescence issues,” said James Brown, Data and Performance Engineer, Angel Trains.

3D printed armrests on a Chiltern Railways train in the U.K. – produced by Angel Trains and DB ESG using Stratasys' EN45545-2-compliant materials.
3D printed armrests on a Chiltern Railways train in the U.K. – produced by Angel Trains and DB ESG using Stratasys’ EN45545-2-compliant materials.

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