Discover 3D printing as a digital manufacturing technology

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3D printing

Layer by layer, high-performance and safe.

Article: Discover 3D printing as a digital manufacturing technology


3D printing expertise for your company 

A timely supply of spare parts is a fundamental requirement for your vehicle availability. We have many years of experience in the production of safety-critical components. This allows us to deliver spare parts to you rapidly. We cover the entire value chain in cooperation with DB-certified partners, identifying which parts are 3D-printable, creating the required CAD data, carrying out the 3D printing and conducting comprehensive quality testing. With over 500 implemented applications and more than 30,000 printed parts made from a wide range of materials, we lead the rail sector and serve as your strong partner for parts and components made with additive manufacturing. Of course, we subject each component to intensive testing before release to ensure it meets operational requirements. 

We would also be glad to help you introduce the technology at your company, and we offer you our expertise in identifying components. For you, we are driving forward rail-relevant innovations in additive manufacturing through our network Mobility goes Additive. We initiated this network ourselves, and it is now the largest 3D printing network in Europe, with over 130 well-known partners and eight additional European railways. We are constantly expanding our portfolio of usable 3D printing technologies and materials for you.  

Our services for rail vehicles 

Examples of applications for 3D printing
  • Protective caps for brake systems 
  • Fan grilles for driver's cabs  
  • Mountings and casings for passenger displays  
  • Replacements for worn interior parts such as coat hooks, snap-in joints or casings  
  • Switch or simulation models for training or construction projects 
  • Large, safety-critical metal parts, such as connecting links and terminal boxes for the ICE 1/2  
  • Traction motor housing, axlebox covers 
  • Covers, fan guides, headrests, cable harness covers 

3D printing offers you many advantages 

High-performance vehicle maintenance is an important key to more customer comfort, reliability and safety in rail transport. Missing spare parts and delayed deliveries often hamper the core objective of ensuring the greatest possible availability of vehicles. This is where 3D printing has a critical contribution to make. As an alternative procurement channel for discontinued components and critical parts, 3D printing can be used to reduce system outages and vehicle downtimes and to shorten delivery and order times. This digital manufacturing process also offers the greatest possible safety, so your passengers can travel in the greatest possible comfort. The technology can also be faster, more resource-efficient and sometimes even cheaper than conventional manufacturing processes. With 3D printing, there are no minimum order quantities, having a digital warehouse lets you cut down on high holding costs, and you can often replace components partially, avoiding the need for expensive complete replacements.  

Use cases for 3D printable components 
  • Discontinued components 
  • Threats of availability bottlenecks 
  • Small quantities with high costs or minimum order quantities 
  • Accident repairs 
  • Special tools and aids 
  • Prototyping and simulation 
  • Partial replacement 

What can we do for you? 

We prepare components for you according to manufacturer specifications. We also reverse engineer optimal 3D-printed spare parts that are suitable for use, and we create sample parts, prototypes and models. All of this can now be achieved with a wide range of different 3D printing materials. We can use stainless steels, various plastics and elastomers (e.g. for seals), non-ferrous and precious metals such as copper, and even ceramics and concrete. 

We will work with you to conduct a potential analysis tailored to your company, help you identify suitable parts, develop a business case and even test technology.