John Cruickshank, who has died aged 84, was a typewriter mechanic who went on to invent a medical alarm that saved thousands of lives and helped Nasa develop its space programme.
In the 1960s he was part of the development team that created a 3D scanning system, and his work influenced the design of high-speed scanners used by Nasa and the US military.
He trained as a typewriter mechanic after leaving school in Dundee, and he later joined RAF Bomber Command and was posted to RAF Binbrook in Lincolnshire to work on Avro Lancasters.
The base was home to a number of distinguished RAF Lancaster bomber squadrons – XI, 12, 101 and the 617 Squadron, known as the Dambusters.
During his time in the RAF Mr Cruickshank also served at several other bases, including RAF Shalufah in Egypt.
On leaving the armed forces he returned to Dundee to work at NCR – then the National Cash Register Company. He also held senior management roles with engineering firm Seafield Tool and Gauge, and the Ravensdown Metals Group.
In Perth he established his own firm, Triadynamics, and later set up his own consultancy from his home in Inchture, Perthshire, which allowed him to continue with his inventions.
Over several decades he successfully registered numerous global patents for his innovations. These included the light-beam profile machine, which was found to be invaluable in a number of diverse areas, such as plastic surgery, sculpture and down-hole inspection tooling in the oil and gas industries.
The drip alarm alerts nurses when saline or blood is running low and Mr Cruickshank was named an unsung hero by readers a Sunday newspaper as part of its Great Scot awards in 2007.
Mr Cruickshank is survived by his wife Isobel, daughter Anne, son John, grandchildren Michael and Laura and his brother Bill.
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