Mobility: Vibration damper


3D-printed spare parts are very promising. 100% availability, short delivery times, no stock, low costs. These are just a few of the advantages that Österreichische Bundesbahn AG (ÖBB) would also like to benefit from in the future. But that's not all. The 3D printing experts at ÖBB have realized that additive design and additive manufacturing are also suitable for improving the functionality of spare parts.

In the electrically powered TALENT, a railcar delivered by manufacturer Bombardier Transportation between 2004 and 2008, so-called vibration dampers made of rubber are used to protect copper pipes from damage caused by shock and vibration at connection points to air conditioning units during operation. At the same time, these dampers also help to reduce noise. Previously, rubber damping rings were used for this purpose, which are replaced as soon as they become porous. Special tools are required for installation. The installation time is around 20 minutes.

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Vibrationsdämpfer 3
Vibrationsdämpfer 2
Vibrationsdämpfer 3

Mobility: Air conditioner bracket


For the fastening of air-conditioning units in trains, Faiveley Transport Leipzig GmbH & Co. KG uses so-called "brackets" that have to be adapted to the individual conditions in the respective train. For this purpose, bent sheet metal parts are designed, manufactured and riveted together. This was also the case with the bracket described here, which consisted of six individual parts and weighed 4.6 kg. In daily use, however, even these robust parts wear out over time and need to be replaced.

The aim of the project was therefore to produce a weight-reduced replacement part for this claw in collaboration with FIT, without thereby falling below the mechanical characteristic values of the conventionally manufactured variant. The solution lay in a new, additive design.

The bionic design developed by FIT's design experts is not only production-optimized, but also achieves all the mechanical specification values. The advantage: the new cradle weighs only 0.8 kg and is thus 82% lighter than the original. The claw is manufactured additively from titanium in one piece using electron beam melting (EBM or PBF-EB/M). This also eliminates the previous assembly effort.

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Mobility: Sand dispenser


Deutsche Bahn (DB) is one of the world's leading mobility and logistics companies. To ensure that its trains can run without breakdowns, a functioning spare parts management is essential, although difficult because many trains and parts of the infrastructure have a very long service life. It happens time and again that certain spare parts are no longer available.

When the manufacturer of the left-hand sand step, which is a safety-relevant part of the braking system, ceased production, DB was confronted with precisely this case. No replacement supplier could be found for the original, which was manufactured in gray cast iron. However, since the locomotive would no longer be able to run if the sand step failed, the situation became critical, because downtime costs money, a lot of money.

With this problem in mind, those responsible for the corporate additive manufacturing project at DB came to FIT. The solution: reverse engineering, redesign and additive manufacturing.

"Fast" in the case of the sand stairs meant a replacement within a few days. To do this, it was first necessary to scan the original in the absence of drawings or other data and have the FIT designers turn it into a 3D model. Subsequently, the design of the sand staircase was optimized in terms of cost and production based on the component requirements. The component was manufactured from titanium using electron beam melting (EBM or PBF-EB/M), then blasted and milled on the functional surfaces. In the final quality assurance, a CT scan was performed. After 7 working days, DB had an additively manufactured alternative for the sand stair on the table.

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Sandtreppe 2
Sandtreppe 3

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