First-ever UK rails 3D printing its parts

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First-ever UK rails 3D printing its parts- Its story

Uk passenger trains
UK passenger railways running successfully with 3D printed parts. [src: digitalimagemakerworld.com]

3D printed trains set to run in the UK alliancing with Angel Trains, Stratasys, DB ESG and Chiltern Railways for the first time in the world. Why 3D printing came into the picture? As we all know that Railway parts and components are produced with short-term production and not for the long run. The procurement of small components such as armrests, seating tables and other breakable components of 3 decades older trains is quite challenging. Even if the railway department wants them to fix and wants to provide the passenger’s a comfortable journey there are lots of issues

  • Require a lesser number of components
  • Production of required components may be stopped
  • Takes lots of time
  • Traditional methods are costly when comes to produce a lesser number of components
  • Can’t provide the rail operator with latest technology parts
  • Lesser number of labor can cut the production cost to around 50%

Benefits of 3D printing for UK rail department

Rail components
3D printed rail components.

Deutsche Bahn Consultancy and Engineering service provider, Angel trains British rolling stock operating company, Stratasys is an American 3D printer manufacturer and lastly Chiltern Railways British train operating company their collaboration was first announced in December 2018 to produce 3D printed replacement parts for trains. UK has already announced of becoming a world leader in the additive manufacturing sector by 2025.

UK government has taken a step ahead by collaborating with these companies to manufacture passenger train components such as armrests and grab handles using  additive manufacturing 3D printing techniques and also, the company is looking for other applications, researching 3D printed seat tables and custom braille lettering  abnormal passenger’s

3D printing technology is well utilized in Rail companies for customization.  The 3D printed passenger train components are running successfully with seven grab handles were produced within a 2 an half months and cutting the cost down from  £15,000  and cost saving of 50% per part will be achievable.

The testing of other applications and research is carried out in 3D printed rail components to provide a better journey for the rail passenger’s in the future.

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