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The potential of 3D printing for the rail industry to be on display at Railtex

Posted: 29 April 2019 | | No comments yet

At Railtex 2019, Stratasys will demonstrate the power of 3D printing with its EN45545-2 certified materials for the transport industry.

3D printing

3D Printed grab handle produced by Angel Trains, DB ESG and Stratasys.

On its stand (Hall 3, 3a, Stand L51), Stratasys will showcase the latest advances in additive manufacturing technologies, software and materials that are enabling its customers to address the issue of obsolete parts, reduce whole life rolling stock costs and enable vehicles to remain in passenger service for longer. Through high-profile customer examples such as Siemens Mobility, Angel Trains and DB ESG, Stratasys will explain why these companies are already 3D printing ultra-realistic prototypes and customised replacement parts on-demand, quickly and cost-effectively.

Thanks to this capability, rail manufacturers are overhauling the traditional supply chain and adopting new business models based on on-demand manufacturing. Two such customers who are pioneering this approach are Angel Trains and DB ESG. Together with Stratasys, the trio are working to advance the UK’s first 3D printing manufacturing solution for rail replacement parts. This has resulted in the production of four, fully-approved interior components, comprising an arm rest, grab handle and seat back table – all of which are now being trialled on in-service passenger trains in the UK.

Operating live on Stratasys’ stand will be one of the company’s most advanced FDM-based additive manufacturing solutions – the Fortus 450mc Production 3D Printer. Enabling manufacturers in the transport industry to produce complex parts for low-volume production applications, tooling and prototyping, the machine offers robust, engineering-grade thermoplastics to build strong, long-lasting and dimensionally stable parts. This includes, the new, high-performance Antero™ 800 NA, a PEKK-based thermoplastic. Antero 800 NA outperforms other high-performance thermoplastics with its superior chemical resistance, ultra-low outgassing, high-temperature resistance and exceptional wear properties. As part of the collaboration with Angel Trains and DB ESG, the two companies have tested this material to demonstrate they are capable of achieving compliance to the Rail Standard EN45545-2. On stand, Stratasys will also showcase ULTEM™ 9085 resin, which offers a high strength-to-weight ratio and flame, smoke and toxicity (FST) ratings.

Also on display will be applications showcasing the potential of the world’s only full-colour, multi-material 3D printer, the Stratasys J750, the first 3D printing technology officially designated as PANTONE Validated™. With the unique ability to simulate over 500,000 colour options, combining up to six materials in a single print, manufacturers and designers can 3D print the most complex prototypes that look, feel and function like the finished product. By combining several design steps in one, designers and manufacturers can optimise their part designs faster than ever before, accelerating the overall part development cycle.

3D printing

The Stratasys Fortus 450mc has enabled Siemens Mobility to reduce the manufacturing time for each replacement part by up to 95 per cent.

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