Angel Trains 3D prints components as needed (SmartRailWorld)

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Siemens Mobility has already used Stratasys’ services3D printing, the highly versatile and adaptable technology that can quickly create exact replicas of three-dimensional components, is again being harnessed by the rail industry. One the UK’s largest train leasing companies is using the printing technology to produce parts for its rolling stock, manufacturing four interior components that include armrests, grab handles and seat tables. They will be trialled across its fleet next year.

The latest Angel Trains agreement has been made possible thanks to a collaboration with the 3D printing company, Stratasys, and engineering consultants, ESG Rail, a division of the DB Group.

The use of 3D printing is particularly suitable for the rail industry, due to the fact that the parts can be produced at very short notice and to exact specifications, improving lead times and keeping trains in service for longer. Also known as additive engineering, the printers are much more compact that than the traditional production presses that came before them, often inhibiting the same space as an office printer that opens the possibility of train operating companies (TOCs) housing them at their own depots.

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Written by Long Branch Mike