Alstom has integrated 3D printing with prototyping various parts of a train such as the bogie; a bogie is a crucial part of a train that determines how much weight a carriage can bear. Alstom believes that 3D printing is a rapidly advancing technology which is why they will continue to explore the integration of 3D printing into their business model. Siemens had a predicament where 3D printing was quite useful; streetcar drivers wanted switches on the driver’s seat armrest for turn signals and switching rails but it simply was not cost-effective to manufacture these new armrests due to the volume that was required. 3D printing technology solved this problem by redesigning the current armrest to accommodate the new switches and printing the requested number of armrests in a timely fashion. The proposed Siemens and Alstom rail merger produces new opportunities, not only in the European industry but in the 3D printing industry as well. Siemens and Alstom are both experimenting with 3D printing and its various benefits to their respective business models. To date, Siemens and Alstom are only using additive manufacturing on small scale components but they believe the technology will evolve to a point where 3D printing will be viable at all points in their manufacturing process.
Read the full article at 3DPrint.com | The Voice of 3D Printing / Additive Manufacturing