How 3D Printing Leads To A New Approach For Transportation Engineering

Anyone interested in transportation engineering needs to keep abreast of changes in the sector, specifically advances in technology which lead to new approaches. One such development has been the rise of 3D printing techniques that are now being used to design trains that are lighter, quieter and more reliable. Here are a few things to know if you’re interested in making a career in this challenging, innovative space.

3D Printing Projects

One of the biggest transportation engineering projects related to 3D printing recently has been in Europe, where the technology has seen demand from aerospace, aircraft, automotive, and sustainable energy sectors, all of which want to explore ways and means of effectively using new manufacturing methods and materials. Run2Rail is a huge collaborative project involving 15 partners around Europe and aims to encourage commuters to move from roads to safer and more energy-efficient rail transport. It is using 3D printing methods and composite materials to design trains for this purpose while trying to reduce material waste in the process.

Changes In Train Manufacturing

One of the transportation engineering techniques being used involves using robots to place individual carbon fibers to make components. These are then embedded in a matrix that links them all together, leading to strength just where it is necessary and avoiding the waste of material that occurs by adding weight where it isn’t needed. Sub-frames and bogie sections are in the process of being made using this technique, along with additive manufacturing that possibly uses steel. The aim is to create structures that are lighter than conventional steel components.

Challenges For The Future

Apart from the technical challenges of transportation engineering, experts believe the bigger barriers involve standards and vehicle acceptance because the railway industry is used to working with materials like steel and aluminum. To accept novel materials and manufacturing methods will take time in a fairly conservative culture, more so because the railways are extremely safe and reluctant to change things quickly. Identifying benefits and potential problems is the first step towards change.

Recruitment For Transportation Engineering

GeoSearch, Inc. is a personnel recruitment firm specializing in the geospatial sciences and technologies. To find out more about opportunities in transportation engineering, or our cost-effective and efficient recruitment products and services, contact us today.