Laser Lines’ technology helps national charity
We speak to Remap’s Michael Turner to find out how Laser Lines contributed to the charity’s good work.
Formed 50 years ago, Remap designs and makes equipment which transforms the lives of disabled people throughout the UK, helping them to live more independent lives.
Made up of a group of retired engineers and model engineers, the charity helps over 3,500 people each year, providing custom-made products that aren’t available commercially.
Michael Turner from Remap explains: “Using the combined knowledge of our network of engineers, we design and manufacture products to solve very specific problems. This might be providing an attachment to connect wing mirrors to a wheelchair, or fitting some disability-friendly switches to a child’s toy; the variety of solutions we develop is astounding.”
A new grip
One particular case which put the skills of the volunteers at Remap to the test involved a former miner. This gentleman relies on a walking stick, but his hand injuries are such that they prevent him from being able to grasp an ordinary handle.
As Michael explains: “A standard walking stick handle was no use as it would just rotate in the gentleman’s hand, preventing him from getting a good enough grip to ensure substantial support when walking.”
A 3D solution
The team at Remap set about designing an attachment for a walking stick handle to solve the problem. Having had a great deal of past experience working with Laser Lines, Michael turned to our 3D scanning division for help.
Michael continues: “We knew we had to ensure that the attachment fitted perfectly with our gentleman’s hand, requiring us to reverse-engineer the process based on the shape of his hand. Laser Lines has helped us out with some projects in the past and I knew that the team there would do everything they could to help on this occasion too.”
An alginate cast was made of the gentleman’s hand and Michael then brought the plaster model along to Laser Lines for further exploration.
Scanner to CAD
Mark Tyrtania, sales director of our 3D printing division explains what happened next: “We scanned the cast using an Evatronix 3D Loupe+ 3D scanner. We were able to precisely capture the cast’s geometry as a point cloud which we then used to create a CAD model for manufacturing.”
“Using this CAD model, we were then able to use the Fortus 450mc 3D printer to precisely and rapidly manufacture create a test attachment for the walking stick handle, using the UV Stable ASA thermoplastic.”
Michael continues: “The fact that the attachment was tailor-made to fit exactly in the palm of our gentleman’s hand meant there was no rotation and no slipping, ensuring a firm grip on the walking stick. This seemingly simple attachment will make a remarkable difference to this person’s life.”
Mark concludes: “We know the Evatronix range of scanners is perfect for use in the manufacturing sector, representing an accurate, efficient way to reverse engineer parts. The same can be said for the Fortus 450mc 3D printer, a reliable and robust workhorse, which offers a user experience which is second-to-none, in terms of speed and accuracy.”
“It’s great to see all of these technologies being put to use for such a worthwhile cause and the entire Laser Lines team is already looking forward to helping Remap in the future.”
For more information about Remap, visit www.remap.org.uk