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Working for Dura: Chris Farley

If you've ever wondered what it might be like working as a CAD Designer for Dura Manufacturing, you could always ask Chris Farley. He's an invaluable part of our design team in Plymouth and has the satisfaction of seeing his work transform into three-dimensional objects in front of his eyes - products that are sought-after all over the world.

"There's always something interesting to do here," says Chris, sitting at a monitor in our light and airy design studio. "It's highly creative work and so varied that you could never get bored with it."

Chris gets to know what's coming over the horizon long before most people, because he takes ideas straight from Dura Managing Director Dominic Wishlade and works out how to turn them into finished, functional and aesthetically-pleasing products.

"It's all about the art of the possible," he says, proudly. "Thanks to Dominic's vision and inventiveness, my job is like looking into the future and making progress happen."

Alongside his colleagues in the growing design team, Chris draws on all his CAD and engineering knowledge to design prototypes and bring Dominic's visions to manufacturable reality.

"Some customers only want one item as a prototype so they can see how it performs then come back to us for modifications before going into full production. And it's fun watching people's reactions to initial designs. They may not be sure about it at first but I enjoy seeing their perceptions change as the 3D model takes shape."

Chris has worked for Dura for five years and clearly loves what he does, but it wasn't always the case.

"I used to work for a really large company, and it was so different. It really does feel like a family firm here, and I get the chance to use all my skills and creativity for customers including Rolls-Royce, Ferrari and Aston Martin."

Chris gained an OND in Mechanical Engineering at college and worked initially on physical drawing-boards before going to university where he graduated with a HND.

He tends to work in SolidWorks and SheetWorks, but says experienced CAD designers who join the team can migrate from the CAD software they're used to quite easily. Taking things from Dominic's mind's eye and turning them into flat-pattern sketches and fully-finished CAD models that are used to programme the machines still excites Chris every time he completes another project.

"You get to know what the factory is capable of producing, and what works in a practical sense," he adds.

And he's particularly proud to be working for Dura Manufacturing at a time when it's going from strength to strength and winning more and more serious recognition for its achievements.

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