Earlier this year, Siemens Mobility announced it had acquired additional Stratasys 3D printing systems to support the production of parts for Russian Railways (RZD). Now, Siemens Mobility has delivered a series of 3D printed parts to RZD, which are being evaluated for use onboard trains to improve hygiene in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
RZD is reportedly testing 36 attachments for toilet and driver cab doors that have been 3D printed by Siemens Mobility. The handles enables train doors to be opened using an elbow or lower arm, which can help to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus in public places, as well as other types of germs. The prototype parts are currently installed aboard several Desiro trains operated by RZD in the Moscow area.
Door handle adapters are among some of the most common parts being 3D printed today to fight the spread of COVID-19. Early on, Belgian company Materialise released an open source design for a 3D printed door handle, which has been implemented across the world to help mitigate the spread of the virus. 3D printing is also being used to produce a broad range of PPE, including face shields and masks, as well as ventilator components and even nasal test swabs.
In the case of Russian Railways, the door handles were 3D printed by Siemens Mobility using Fortus 450mc 3D printers from Stratasys. Siemens Mobility was recently contracted by the Russian rail operator to provide servicing and maintenance for its Velaro trains for the next 30 years. Siemens has installed 3D printers at facilities in Moscow and St. Petersburg which will be used to produce spare parts on demand (the company called it the “Easy Sparovation Part” network). In general, AM can help to reduce costs and drastically speed up turnaround times for replacement parts, reducing downtime for trains.