CFK CNC-Fertigungstechnik Kriftel GmbH, based in Kriftel, Germany, has announced a new contract with Deutsche Bahn for its Additive Manufacturing division to supply additively manufactured braille handrail signs for German railways. In partnership with Schilderwerk Beutha, the signage will further improve the assistance provided for visually impaired travellers when navigating train stations.
The company’s Laser Beam Powder Bed Fusion (PBF-LB) Additive Manufacturing technology allows for the production of customised handrail signs with different messages, including braille, and of varying length in a single production run. Additionally, the use of the Aluminium alloy Aheadd® CP1, provided by Constellium, is said to enable the manufacture of these parts at high build rates without compromising quality. This results in cost reduction for AM parts and improved product performance.
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“Our team is committed to driving the development of 3D printed solutions to not only combat supply chain challenges, but also to improve the travel experience of customers, including visually impaired people, in the rail sector,” stated Arvid Eirich from Deutsche Bahn. “It is important that industry experts develop user-focused 3D printing applications by creating specific solutions and materials. This boosts the end users’ confidence in Additive Manufacturing products and will accelerate the transformation towards digital manufacturing.”
CFK’s Additive Manufacturing team has been working with Aheadd CP1 alloy since 2021 and exploring various Additive Manufacturing aluminium applications here conventional materials have difficulties to meet the desired performance.
Christoph Over, CFK CEO and shareholder, added, “We are keen to include the new material in our portfolio as it brings us competitive advantages in terms of product performance in several aluminium applications. Through the use of Aheadd CP1 we are able to shift our existing 3D printing solution for visually impaired persons to the next level. We are convinced, that this is an attractive option for other transportation operators in need of solutions for handicapped people.”