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Cranfield University is one of the most innovative British research institutes at the forefront of technology, engineering and management. The announcement of its new specialist metals MSC demonstrates just how far additive manufacturing and 3D printing have come in recent years.

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Let’s take a look the difference between the two technologies and how it is making a big impact on one industry in particular.

3D printing versus additive manufacturing

Ostensibly, there is no difference between the two processes; the former simply tends to refer to the process being using on a smaller scale than the latter. While 3D printing is a simple and straightforward term often used by small-scale producers and those new to the technology, additive manufacturing is the term more often used in industry where expensive machinery and large-scale production are involved.

Whichever term is used, the core principal remains the same: 3D objects are created by adding layers at a time to build up a finished item.

How additive manufacturing is changing the construction sector

According to the Sun, entire homes can now be 3D printed in a few hours. This means that they can be produced far more cheaply than using traditional methods. They are also far more mobile than conventional homes and use the latest in environmentally-friendly technology to power them.

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Another project testing out 3D printing capabilities has seen a group of Harvard students suggest that they may have the answer to a long-standing housing problem in the third world. They have spent time designing a click-together roofing system that can be produced far more cost-effectively than historic corrugated metal roofing. While these click-together systems are cheap to produce and remove the need for screws and nails, they will still require a roof sealant to make them watertight. There are several types of roof sealant available on the market today, like the roof sealants available at ct1ltd.

Whether you call it 3D printing or additive manufacturing, the technology is set to change the face of many industry sectors. Forecasts suggest sector growth of up to 30 per cent by 2022, although there is a recognised skills gap. This new Masters course at Cranfield is hoping to address this gap with its new course, which has been designed to meet industry needs.

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