NS has already installed 3D printed components in trains operating on the Dutch network and says 3D printing, or additive manufacturing (AM), offers the benefits of reduced delivery times for components and cuts in maintenance operation times, which helps to avoid a shortage of trains in service.

NS also expects the process to improve rolling stock maintenance by offering access to obsolete components.

NS says it is open to new ideas and contact with components suppliers and organisations, which have a wider experience in 3D printing, in order to further expand the possibilities for the use of AM in its train maintenance activities.