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Deutsche Bahn to 3D print their spare parts

by • April 24, 2016 • No Comments

German national rail giant Deutsche Bahn is looking to print spare parts for its vast army of trains.

At the moment it is little additional than a feasibility study. But with 3D printing advancing swift and the aviation industry adopting it en masse, it’s complex to see how the German rail service won’t find a use for additive making in a few form or another.

Deutsche Bahn 3D printing

Government grants may assist

The German government can inevitably assist the move with a series of grants, as Deutsche Bahn is looking to form partnerships between the built masters of 3D printing and a series of start-ups. A contract to donate the rail network is obviously hot property and each additive printing company in the country can want a piece of this action.

Mobility goes Additive is the working group that can manufacture the decisions and it attended the 3D Printing for Automotive conference in Ettlingen not long ago. Stefanie Bricwede heads up the group and is concerned that the rail and car industries require to stake their own claim to the world of 3D printing and ensure that the aviation industry does not take all the on the market resources.

New materials on the way?

3D printing for the rail industry goes beyond the easy cost and efficiency savings on contribute of a network of printing equipment around the country making consumables and replacement parts on demand. Whilst DB can focus on metal parts to start with, it wants to investigate the future of replacing metal with additional durable plastics at a few point and 3D printing is the perfect way to create prototypes in a cost-effective manner.

There are issues, that include a lack of CAD data for a few of the trains that are additional than 40 years old. So the parts must be scanned and and so replicated, pretty than just printed of existing plans. This is all a part of the system, yet, and the extra work should pay off in the long run. Without scanning the parts there may be actually bigger issues anyway, as trying to replicate parts by traditional methods can cause high end issues.

The just debate is most likely to focus on whether 3D printing can match traditional production methods when it comes to the structural integrity of tracks and other items that are forced to endure huge abuse. A wave of testing should assuage those fears, yet, and 3D printing may soon take over approximately each part of the production system.

Big companies join the fray

A series of big names have signed up for the initiative, that include innovation giant Siemens and EOS, one of Germany’s largest manufacturers of 3D printing equipment. VDMA, that is effectively the German overseers for machine and plant createers, has in addition joined the working group and is now looking for international partners that can bring invaluable expertise and experience.

It is not a move anybody can take lightly, as lives literally depend on the integrity of the parts. We should take it as a glowing endorsement of 3D printing as a whole, yet, that the German rail giant is looking at via additive printing for such undertaking significant parts.

DB proudly flies the flag for Germany and is widely considered one of the finest rail networks in the world. If it can find efficiencies, improve the service and actually create advantageous trains with the assist of 3D printing, we can assume the rest of the world to follow in its tracks.

Deutsche Bahn vision called Mobility 4.0 (German just)


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