Dec 222015

Mike Stevens, a member of the Norfolk Central Panel, would like to inform  fellow panel members about a current offer on TurboCAD Deluxe 2D/3D.  He believes it really is a phenomenal piece of software and astonishing value at just £9.99.

Version 20 is 32-bit and 64-bit compatible – Mike reports it works well on Windows 10. The installation disk has excellent instructional videos as well and there are lots of resources and videos available on the web.  Note that V20 is not the latest version, that is either V21 or V2015 and much more expensive.  V20 was a fairly major update and people seem to like it (TurboCad has somewhat idiosyncratic version numbering).  V20 appears to export the STL file type used by many 3D printers.

It is available from Maplin at that price ( – but for store collection only.  Quite a few Maplin stores appear not to have stock (as of 22 Dec 2015) so best check before travelling.

Despite it’s name TurboCad Deluxe is actually the basic version but would seem to do everything most users would want (there are two much more expensive versions – for comparison see

Older versions of TurboCad  Deluxe are quite often heavily discounted so if you want a version but have missed this look around Amazon and the like, you will usually find a copy at not too high a price.  There is a trial version available at :-

Currently the following suppliers have it at around £10 –

The following free programs may also be useful :-

Onshape – free CAD (mechanical and electrical) from RS Components (RadioSpares as was).

Autodesk 123D and Autodesk123d Catch ( a free and simple to use package for creating 3-D meshes from user supplied digital imagery)

It would be useful if anyone who has used any of these programs could comment on them below.



Active Hands Gripping Aids

 Technical Issues  Comments Off on Active Hands Gripping Aids
Oct 242012

(posted by Susan Iwanek)

Robert Monk of the Berkshire panel has asked me to draw these items to the attention of members, as he feels they are little known and are very useful for those with weak hand grip.

See for more details of Active Hands.

Bed Rails and Associated Risks

 MHRA and others Alerts and Bulletins of interest  Comments Off on Bed Rails and Associated Risks
Sep 192012

Remap is often asked to make or modify bed rails.  A recent report by the Coventry Safeguarding Adults Board into a fatal accident ( ) is a reminder of the the potential risk of entrapment and asphyxiation of people in beds fitted with side rails.

The MHRA has produced a device bulletin on the issue, Safe Use of Bed Rails – DB 2006(06) , and a copy can be downloaded from .  Anyone tasked with working on a bed rail or bed grab handle project should familiarise themselves with this bulletin.

Where can I get springs?

 Technical Issues  Comments Off on Where can I get springs?
Jul 122012

Terry Tomlin, of the Hereford and Gloucester panels, has passed the following information about a source of springs which could be very useful to members.  At the recent NAIDEX exhibition he came across the "Springmasters" stand.

This is a company specializing in the manufacture of springs of all kinds.

Of special interest to REMAP engineers is the fact that they –

a)  Have a very wide range of standard springs.

b)  Will supply singles or relatively small quantities ( minimum order £15, but if the desired spring is low value, the balance can be made up with "may be useful" springs.

c) Will make one-offs ( sheet metal springs can be laser cut, so no tooling required ) – typical minimum cost £ 30.

Springs are a specialist item which can be difficult ( though not impossible ! ) for Remap engineers to create.

He feels it would be worthwhile drawing members’ attention to the service which this company can provide.

They can be found at   –  The contact on the stand was Carl Jackson.

Apr 062012

The International Paralympic Committee publish a large set of rules and regulations covering aids which can be used by athletes in competition.  The aim is to ensure athletes do not gain an unfair advantage from any aid supplied.  The rules can be found at


Anyone involved in producing such aids needs to read the relevant parts of that document.

Two particular general rules may affect panels helping athletes at this level of competition :-

“3.3.1 The fundamental principles that IPC Athletics is promoting regarding the evolution of equipment used during Recognized Competitions are:

a) Safety (i.e., to the user, other competitors, officials, spectators and the environment);

b) Fairness (i.e., the athlete does not receive an unfair advantage that is not within the “spirit” of the event they are contesting);

c) Universality (e.g., reasonably commercially available to all)”

The second is

“3.3.2 Monitoring of the Use of Technology and Equipment

c) Whether or not equipment and/or prosthetic components are commercially available to all athletes (i.e., prototypes that are purpose built by manufactures exclusively for the use of a specific athlete should not be permitted,”

My feeling is that as nothing we make is patented and we are happy to provide any constructional  designs which might exist to any other competitor anywhere in the world our devices, whilst made for an individual, can be copied by anyone and meet the “universality” requirement.  However, as we have no great expertise in the matter but do have access to an expert in the area we will be asking them.

Mar 262012

(from Susan Iwanek,

As mentioned in the last posting, ‘Helping disabled athletes’, it look likely that in carrying out these projects we will need the expertise of people skilled in aluminium welding. So we would like to build up a database of panel people – or local firms known to panels – who can tackle this. Please let us know of anyone you know about.

Safely modifying rollators

 Technical Issues  Comments Off on Safely modifying rollators
Oct 032011

Terry Tomlin of the Gloucester and Hereford panels is asking about correspondence he has seen in recent months regarding a recall of a rollator which had brakes which did not conform to the relevant standard.

He has been asked to modify a rollator to provide single-handed operation, and wishes to ensure that the braking performance conforms to the appropriate standard on completion.

He also asks whether we have free access to standards such as ISO 11199-2 which he believes is the relevant one in this case.

If anyone can advise, please email Terry at, and copy it to