3D-Printing at DB

3D printing is more than just a gimmick.
It secures our future.

3D printing in use

You are curious what 3D printing is? Maybe you have printed and have a great idea yourself? Then you've come to the right place!

In less than three minutes, this video explains how 3D printing is used at DB.

(Video: 3YOURMIND GmbH)


3D printing at DB

For railway applications the following materials are mainly applied:

  • Metal: tool & stainless steels, aluminium, titanium, nickel-based alloys
  • Plastic: flame retardant & non-flame retardant polyamide 12, flame retardant Ultem 9085 [EN 45545 compliant], ABS
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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. 

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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.


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  • Discontinued components
  • Components with long delivery times
  • Small quantities with high costs
  • Accident Repair
  • Partial spare parts (only the affected parts are replaced)
  • Production aids (e.g. tools, measuring & testing equipment, auxiliary means, devices, casting moulds, infrastructure & machine components)
  • Prototype construction
  • Cost-intensive conventional production
  • individualized components (up to lot size 1)

More on the DB Fahrzeuginstandhaltung GmbH page.

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An overview of the service portfolio of the corporate project 3d printing can be found at the DB Fahrzeuginstandhaltung Webpage.

Moreover, numerous training and further education courses are offered, e.g:

  • Organization of information events on the subject of 3D printing in railway applications
  • Offer of qualification courses (in cooperation with DB-Training)
  • Support in procurement issues related to 3D printing (e.g.: starter kit, component procurement, ...)

Note: If you have any questions about our services, please feel free to contact us

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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.

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3D printing technologies for industrial use have developed rapidly over recent years. Today, components with a size of up to 1m³ can be printed.

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Konzernprojekt 3D-Druck
DB Fahrzeuginstandhaltung GmbH

Weilburgerstr. 22
60326 Frankfurt am Main