Formula 1 cars require plenty of high tech gear to keep on track – and one Aylesbury business is helping drive that challenge.
Graphite Additive Manufacturing in Bridgegate Business Park, Gatehouse Way, specialises in rapid prototyping and 3D printing and is able to provide testing parts for motor racing.
Using high-tech equipment and varying materials it can create a variety of intricate parts in a matter of hours.
In Formula 1 the parts can be used for wind tunnel testing and high temperature applications.
Manager and owner Kevin Lambourne, 40, said: “A lot of model-making companies would use our services. When things are small or it’s a complicated design it’s not cost effective to do it by hand.
“For instance, we were called up by Silverstone before its test day and they asked us for a part for a race car the next day, which we did.”
Mr Lambourne has spent more than 17 years working in the business and has championed the technology, working previously for Red Bull Racing.
The printing technology has gained greater publicity in recent years and there’s a belief many households will have 3D printers in the future.
Mr Lambourne, said the company has been ‘flat out’ since opening in April 2012.
He added: “It’s a growing industry. It’s getting more public awareness all the time which is only going to aid our branching out into other services.”
Such fast growth is evident in Graphite, which unlike many new businesses, turned a profit in its first year.
Already its staff base has gone from just two people to seven and Mr Lambourne is expecting to move to bigger premises in Aylesbury within the next two years.
“It’s a forever changing industry with new models coming out all the time,” he said.
“I’m always trying to find the right applications and new ways of using it to help people identify and get better use out of the technology.”