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Expert Insight

The journey continues: Scaling AM usage at Deutsche Bahn using design automation

The German railway company Deutsche Bahn (DB) is one of the biggest users of 3D printing technology in Germany – and driving one of the leading international networks for industrial additive manufacturing: mga (Mobility goes Additive). DB produces over 100 different components for its trains and infrastructure using various 3D printing technologies with a focus on spare parts, obsolescence parts, tooling, jigs and maintenance fixtures.

DB is not only interested in adopting new AM production technologies, but also driving innovation in the field of design processes. Technology partner for this topic is the Berlin-based software provider trinckle. The goal is to empower more employees to create 3D printable model designs and thereby roll out 3D printing across the whole company.

trinckle`s core software, paramate, automates design processes and provides a platform for advanced product configuration. Within DB, there are several, very different use cases, but they all share the same underlying software technology:

  • Various work operations in maintenance require jigs and fixtures. Printing these using the FDM process is fast and cost-effective. With the help of the trinckle software, maintenance staff can design jigs and fixtures independently within some minutes - without requiring any special design skills.
  • Demand-driven co-design and manufacturing of vacuum cleaner nozzles and adapter parts to allow the continued operation of existing equipment. The corresponding components can be configured by the user as desired.
  • Handrails printed with Braille for visually impaired people are one example of 3D-printed products used at train stations and one of the biggest metal 3D printing projects seen in Germany. Thousands of these handrails have already been installed at German train stations and each handrail can have an individual content.

The speakers are:
Dr. Ole von Seelen, Head of Business Development & Strategic Marketing, trinckle 3D GmbH
Sven Gaede, Application Engineer, DB Fahrzeuginstandhaltung GmbH 


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