While Lyforms Small-Scale continues to 3d print building kits and accessories for model railroads, the use of 3d printing to provide spare parts for the life sized railroad industry continues to grow.
As posted in two previous posts (here & here), an unnamed railway supplier went to french additive manufacturing company Kimya to digitally reproduce parts for which the original casting molds no longer exist. They were then 3d printed using a custom material that was resistant to high temperatures, abrasion, and most chemicals.
This approach proved to be much more cost effective than creating a new mold as they weren't required to mass produce the part in order to recoup costs. They could produce at smaller quantities in a shorter amount of time. And, the digital model will always be available from which to create more in the future.