Deutsche Bahn has certified the Essentium HSE 3D printer and its flame-retardant materials for printing replacement railway parts using 3D technology.

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Time is of the Essence: Deutsche Bahn Turns to Essentium’s 3D Printing Technology for Rail Parts

In a bid to address supply chain challenges and raw material shortages, Germany’s national railway company, Deutsche Bahn (DB), has certified the High-Speed Extrusion (HSE) 3D printing platform and high-performance materials from Texas-based manufacturer Essentium, Inc. This certification means that Essentium’s additive manufacturing technology, along with its flame-retardant Essentium 9085 and HTN-CF25 thermoplastics, will be used to 3D print train parts and tools for DB.

Essentium claims that its offerings will not only enable DB to replace key components quickly and efficiently, but also increase the availability of its fleet. By utilizing the HSE 3D printer in Neumünster and the certified materials, DB aims to streamline its spare parts production process. The company plans to leverage its digital warehouse, which houses virtual technical drawings of 1,000 spare parts, to produce low-run parts on-demand.

By 2030, DB hopes to increase the number of virtual technical drawings to 10,000. This move will allow DB to limit storage space, increase delivery speeds, and cut costs, according to Essentium. In addition, the high-performance 3D printing materials from Essentium meet the demanding standards of the railway industry, particularly in terms of flame retardancy. Traditional thermoplastics often fall short in terms of mechanical properties and fire performance, making them unsuitable for rail applications.

Essentium’s high-temperature thermoplastics, capable of withstanding 180℃, are said to meet industry standards for reliability, repeatability, and performance. This enables DB to rapidly 3D print rail-worthy parts that meet the stringent requirements of the railway industry. This certification of Essentium’s technology by DB also serves as proof that additive manufacturing is ready for prime time, as stated by Essentium CEO Blake Teipel.

This is not the first time DB has turned to 3D printing to solve its spare parts supply issues. In 2019, the company integrated metal 3D printing technology from GEFERTEC to improve the availability of hard-to-procure spare parts. This metal 3D printing process allows for the rapid production of near-net-shaped metal blanks, offering a high build-up rate. DB utilized this technology to manufacture now obsolete parts for older locomotives.

DB is not alone in its use of additive manufacturing in the railway industry. Other companies, such as Kimya and France’s national railway company SNCF, have also embraced this technology. Kimya, the additive manufacturing materials arm of technology company ARMOR, 3D printed spare railway parts using custom PEKK filament. SNCF adopted Agile PLM software from 3D printing software developer 3YOURMIND to cut costs and streamline the production of on-demand spare parts.

Overall, Essentium’s certification by DB is a significant achievement, highlighting the increasing adoption of 3D printing in the railway industry. With its ability to address supply chain challenges, reduce costs, and improve operational efficiency, additive manufacturing offers a promising solution for the transportation sector. As more companies follow in the footsteps of DB, we can expect to see further advancements and innovations in the 3D printing industry.

Title: Taking the Express Lane: Empowering the Future of German Railways through Additive Manufacturing

Are you tired of the same old, mundane train rides? Have you ever wondered what goes into making your daily commute smoother and more efficient? Well, look no further because today, we’re diving into the fascinating world of 3D printing and its revolutionary impact on the German railway industry.

To begin our journey, let’s step aboard the Deutsche Bahn train and explore how this transportation giant has embraced additive manufacturing to enhance its operations. Picture yourself sitting comfortably in one of their state-of-the-art trains, and as you gaze out the window, it’s hard to imagine the intricate components that keep this massive machine running smoothly.

Traditionally, manufacturing these essential components would involve numerous steps, from designing and prototyping to casting and machining. However, with the advent of 3D printing, Deutsche Bahn has embraced a new era in manufacturing, bringing innovation and efficiency to the railway industry in ways we could have never imagined.

Imagine this – a critical component of a train breaks down, causing delays and inconvenience to countless passengers. In the past, resolving this issue would have taken days, if not weeks, as the manufacturing process would involve long lead times for ordering, producing, and shipping the replacement part. Now, thanks to 3D printing, Deutsche Bahn can simply create a digital blueprint of the damaged component and produce an exact replica within hours.

By employing advanced 3D printing technologies, Deutsche Bahn has not only reduced downtime and costs associated with maintenance but has also unlocked a whole new realm of possibilities. They can now design lighter, more durable, and even more aesthetically pleasing components that enhance the overall passenger experience. Innovative features such as ergonomic seating, personalized cabin designs, and improved acoustics are all made possible through the flexibility and agility of additive manufacturing.

However, Deutsche Bahn doesn’t stop at internal improvements. The company has also embarked on exciting collaborations with external partners, bringing together cutting-edge technologies and forward-thinking minds. These collaborations have pushed the boundaries of what is possible in the railway industry, ushering in a future where trains are not just modes of transportation but holistic experiences.

Additive manufacturing has also created new opportunities for aspiring professionals looking to join the additive manufacturing industry. If you’re intrigued by the world of 3D printing and passionate about shaping the future of transportation, 3D Printing Jobs might just be the place for you. With a wide range of available roles, you can kickstart your career and become a pioneer in this rapidly evolving field.

As we bring our journey to a close, we can’t help but marvel at the strides Deutsche Bahn has made in the additive manufacturing space. By embracing 3D printing, they have not only improved their operations but have also laid the foundation for a more sustainable and efficient future. So the next time you board a Deutsche Bahn train, remember the incredible work being done behind the scenes, driven by innovation and the power of additive manufacturing.

To stay up-to-date with the latest advancements in the industry, be sure to follow us on Twitter, like our Facebook page, and subscribe to the 3D Printing Industry Youtube channel. With access to exclusive content, you’ll be at the forefront of the additive manufacturing revolution.

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