Bombardier Transportation and Stratasys today announced that the transportation leader will be adopting the large-scale Stratasys F900 3D printer for its manufacturing operations in the DACH region (Austria, Germany and Switzerland). Bombardier Transportation will utilize the 3D printer to produce prototypes, tools and end-use parts for trains and trams.
The Stratasys F900 3D printer will be operational at Bombardier Transportation’s Hennigsdorf, Germany site—its largest manufacturing facility in the world. Once installed, the large-format 3D printer will be used to customize rail part production with the aim of reducing inventory costs for spare parts and increasingly flexibility for parts and tools.
The transportation company has already revealed some specific applications for the additive manufacturing technology, including air ducts, housings and cable holders. The production of custom rail tools will also help to streamline Bombardier’s manufacturing process and accelerate the launch of new platforms.
“The Stratasys F900 3D printer allows us to widen our service offering in such a way that we are now able to 3D print large spare parts, customized rail parts and manufacturing tools—all in-house and on-demand,” said André Bialoscek, Head of Vehicle Physical Integration Hennigsdorf, Bombardier. “Having previously used fiber glass and tin for train components, the ability to now utilize ULTEM™ 9085 resin meets our application criteria and takes us to a new level in terms of reducing the costs and lengthy lead times associated with those traditional materials.”
Bombardier Transport ultimately chose the F900 3D printer because of its large build area of 914.4 x 609.6 x 914.4 mm and its compatibility with ULTEM™ 9085 resin, whose high strength-to-weight ratio and flame-smoke-toxicity rating make it suitable for transport applications (the material complies with the Rail Standard EN45545-2).
Andreas Langfeld, President EMEA Stratasys, said: “Bombardier Transportation’s investment in our F900 3D printer is synonymous with the huge interest we’re seeing in the mobility sector for industrial-grade 3D printing solutions that can enhance, and in many cases replace, traditional manufacturing across a variety of interior and exterior rail applications.
“Our FDM-based additive manufacturing technology offers rail companies and maintenance service providers advanced, rail-certified materials, large build trays for bigger rail parts, and importantly, the highest level of print reliability and repeatability in the industry. We look forward to working closely with Bombardier Transportation to support the deployment of this technology within their operations and enable them to produce customized rail parts on-demand—faster and more cost-effectively than ever before.”
Though Bombardier itself is a Canadian aerospace and transportation company, Stratasys’ 3D printing technology will primarily be used to produce parts for German, Swiss and Austrian rail and tram companies. The hope is that AM will increase the manufacturing mobility for spare parts and maintenance jobs, reducing downtime for trains and trams and improving efficiency.