Stratasys First 3D-printed parts on UK passenger trains

Editor: Briggette Jaya

USA/UK – Stratasys together with Angel Trains, DB ESG and train operator, Chiltern Railways, have joined forces to trial the first 3D-printed parts in an in-service passenger train.

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The armrests were 3D-printed and installed on Chiltern Railways trains.
The armrests were 3D-printed and installed on Chiltern Railways trains.
(Source: Stratasys)

3D-printing leader Stratasys together with train-leasing company Angel Trains, DB ESG and Chiltern Railways have tried out the first 3D-printed parts within an in-service passenger train in the UK. The parts, which include four passenger armrests and seven grab handles, have been installed on Chiltern Railways trains. The trial’s success show how 3D printing can help train operators accelerate the replacement of obsolete parts, enabling them to get vehicles back into service quicker and better maintain their trains, thereby improving the quality of service for passengers as well.

Angel Trains noted that replacing only a few parts using traditional manufacturing methods is too costly, not to mention that the lead times can take months. To overcome these hurdles, using 3D printing to produce the exact number of parts fast is a solution. Using Stratasys FDM 3D printing, the final armrest can be produced within one week, which would have taken about four months with conventional methods.

DB ESG, an engineering consultancy, conducted comprehensive testing on a range of industrial-grade 3D-printing materials to ensure compliance to UK rail industry standard. The parts were 3D printed using Stratasys’ FDM-based Fortus 450mc Production 3D Printer in Ultem 9085 resin, which was certified to the rail industry’s fire, smoke and toxicity standards.