German rail maker Bombardier Transportation has installed a Stratasys F900 3D printer at its Hennigsdorf facility located in north-west Berlin.

The printer will enable Bombardier to speed up final part production of interior and exterior train parts such as air ducts, housings and cable holders.

Additionally, the company will be able to cut inventory for spare parts while boosting production flexibility for parts and tools.

Bombardier will use the 3D printing machine to produce customised rail tools to support the production process and accelerate the launch of new platforms.

Bombardier’s head of vehicle physical integration at the Hennigsdorf facility André Bialoscek said: “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.

“Having previously used fiber glass and tin for train components, the ability to now utilise 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.”

The F900 3D Printer was selected due to its large build tray, high strength-to-weight ratio and flame-smoke-toxicity rating.

Bombardier Transportation said that the 3D printed rail parts will be supplied to rail and tram companies operating in Germany, Switzerland and Austria to help them maintain, produce and replace train and tram parts rapidly and economically.

“The ability to now utilise ULTEM 9085 resin meets our application criteria.”

EMEA Stratasys president Andreas Langfeld said: “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 customised rail parts on-demand, faster and more cost-effectively than ever before.”

Bombardier Transportation acquired the F900 3D Printing System through Stratasys’ DACH distributor alphacam.