Today, we have our final components produced by 3D printing service providers in order to cover the widest possible range of needs. Depending on the size of the component, material and specific quality requirements, batch size and the 3D printing process to be applied, both technical feasibility and economic viability are assessed individually. For prototypes and production aids, the railway already has its own FLM printers in the vehicle maintenance plants and partly also in the systems engineering department. Should you ever need such components quickly, we can already support you with a constantly growing internal network of printers.
Note: Since the end of 2018, you can purchase a low-cost FLM 3D printer as a starter kit via a negotiated framework agreement.
Deutsche Bahn AG is a founding member of the leading international 3D printing network MGA (Mobility goes Additive e.V.), initiated in 2016.The aim is to jointly lead additive manufacturing to industrial production readiness, facilitate access to AM technology and remove existing hurdles. With over 120 network members, MGA bundles the forces of additive manufacturing in eleven agile working groups, addresses the key issues of the hour and drives the market towards more industrial applications.
For Deutsche Bahn, the Europe-wide exchange in the closed working group "RAILiability" with seven state railways is particularly important, enabling concrete requirements and common needs to be communicated to industry.The network also serves as a contact for public and political institutions.
Whether or not printed components need to be post-processed depends on the application site and the mechanical stresses and requirements that the component must fulfil.
A mechanical reworking can, for example, include visible and functional surfaces (threads, fits, ...). For metal parts, a thermal process, i.e. heat treatment, may also be necessary. Eventually, optical post-processing is also necessary, i.e. painting or surface finishing (e.g. sandblasting) of the components.