Dec 10, 2018 | By Thomas

Angel Trains, one of Britain’s leading train leasing specialists, has partnered with engineering consultancy ESG Rail, and 3D printing technology provider Stratasys, to produce four interior components using 3D printing.

3D Printed Grab Handle

The components approved for service include an arm rest, grab handle and seat back table. All parts have been 3D printed using Stratasys’ rail-certified thermoplastic materials and Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM) technology.

Traditionally, standard thermoplastics used for these parts have poor mechanical properties and fire performance, and are therefore unsuitable for rolling stock applications. Now, results show that the new high-performance materials, including Stratasys Antero 800 NA, a PEKK-based thermoplastic, are capable of achieving compliance to the Rail Standard EN45545-2. The components have been structurally assessed by ESG Rail and will soon commence in-service passenger trials, which are expected to last until the summer of 2019.

FDM 3D Printed Parts (from left to right): Electrical Connection Covers, Grab Handle, Arm Rest and Seat Back Table 

3D Printed Seat Back Table (Front) and Original Seat Back Table (Back)

The aim of this collaboration is to leverage additive manufacturing to help address the issue of obsolete parts, reduce whole life rolling stock costs and enable vehicles to remain in passenger service for longer. This innovation also has the added potential to lower costs for train operating companies, as they can produce low run parts as needed, rather than mass manufacturing vast quantities.

Commenting on this announcement, Mark Hicks, Angel Trains’ Technical Director said: “This exciting industry-first collaboration has the potential to transform manufacturing within the rail industry. We are proud to be driving this innovation with ESG Rail and Stratasys and hope that this solution will help to free the industry from technological constraints, and allow our trains to continue to meet passengers’ needs now and in the future.”



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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