Meccano Model Builders have been presented with an ever growing range of parts, many of which, while conforming to Meccano standards of hole size and spacing and thread size and gear pattern, have greatly expanded the usefulness of the system.
The Inclusive Parts List (IPL) has been produced to provide Meccano enthusiasts with information as to which parts are available, what they look like, and where they can be obtained.
There are those who prefer to use only parts produced by Meccano Ltd and its subsequent owners, and there are also many who like to use parts which are compatible with the original Meccano system. The latter group feel that parts development should not cease because the original company no longer exists, and would like to see parts developed that reflect modern advances in engineering and technology. Most models built lately are known to have many parts which have been altered from the original or incorporate compatible parts. For developers of Model Plans, it is also useful to have a ready reference source of parts availability in order to broaden the scope of the models they produce.
Original parts numbers have been retained on the IPL, and parts which have similar characteristics have been added incorporating that numbering system and the supplier is identified with a prefix
For historical Meccano parts an alternative DMS numbering system already exists, devised by Hauton in the past, and carried on faithfully by Don Blakeborough in his EMP right up to recent Calais parts (about 1998). The DMS system has proved very useful to collectors in identifying historical parts and their variations down the years and has gained wide acceptance. It could be used in Modelplans where necessary to identify a particular historical part used, e.g. p/n 27a (DMS1219) which is the 1 ½" gear wheel with 56 teeth.
Michael Adler - April 2002