Third Dimension, a UK based manufacturer of optical metrology solutions for the manufacturing sector, has reported record year on year growth (2012 vs 2011), with sales up 50%.

The continued growth of the company is testament to the innovative and flexible solutions based around its industry leading GapGun range.  This offers customers the opportunity to solve complex problems that would otherwise be extremely slow, inaccurate or even impossible to measure.

 Chief Business Development Officer John Kane believes that Third Dimension's success transcends technical excellence.  He explains, "Whilst we strive to provide the most technically advanced product offering of its type in the market, what really differentiates us is the human touch.  We are focussed on delivering value to our customers using a variety of technological innovation, understanding of customer's needs and focus on providing an efficient solution that provides a real step change in speed, performance, ergonomics and value of data."

 With continued growth both in Europe and the USA, Third Dimension expects to see continued significant growth in the following year, due in part to a number of major contracts with key customers, many of which are expanding into key markets such as China and India.  In addition to this, increased presence in new markets such as Brazil will fuel growth even further.

"We are confident that the solutions and services we offer are of real value to all manufacturers and advanced engineering companies across the world, and we will continue to increase our capacity to deliver on a global platform" comments CEO Peter Marchbank.

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In line with the company’s rapid growth, Third Dimension has been able to expand its apprenticeship scheme with City of Bristol College and in the last 18 months three young apprentices have been appointed. The team includes three electronics BTEC students;  Suraj Singh, the first apprentice to be appointed in autumn 2011 and followed with Aidan Hill and Daniel Cotton at the end of summer 2012.


Each apprentice carries out their own project work with practical roles involving a combination of skilled tasks including wiring, soldering, assembly of electronic components and all the sub assembly work geared towards production of the GapGun system.  Suraj, the longest standing apprentice is also training to build and calibrate measurement sensor heads, a specialised and highly technical responsibility.

‘Giving apprentices the opportunities to tackle a broad range of tasks determines their aptitudes and how they grow and evolve through the experience.’ Lorraine Haskins, Production Controller explains.

Suraj has now been in the company for over a year. He comments, ‘Working at Third is a great experience as everyone is doing many different things which I get the opportunity to try and learn from. The company is also very supportive whether it is in college work or my role, I can always get help.’

Aidan adds, ‘Any practical work or subjects I struggle with, there is plenty of support and assistance on hand working here. I really enjoy being an apprentice at Third, the people are friendly and I like working with electronics. Everyone is helpful and willing to listen to any question or problem I have.’


‘With a number of engineers at Third Dimension who have come from apprenticeship backgrounds themselves, we recognise the potential for such young talent to grow and develop their skills and it’s our responsibility to support them strongly in both their role at Third Dimension and college work’, Tim Monks CTO and founder comments.

For the future, the apprentices have keen ambitions to work towards HNC and HND qualifications. All apprentices are carefully selected not only for their engineering potential but also with the cultural fit and future vision of the company in mind. There is a strong belief in the company that these ambitious young apprentices will progress in a few years to qualified electronics engineers. With the scope and talent to evolve into Third Dimension’s customer support and applications engineers, they could be dealing with clients from some of the largest automotive and aerospace manufacturers in the world.

Third Dimension is a big believer in investing in youth employment. ‘It’s my opinion that SMEs should be giving opportunities to young apprentices as part of our social responsibility and not only that but as a growing company these kinds of schemes provide the ideal resources and competencies needed to develop our own company’s needs ’ Peter Marchbank CEO explains.

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