May.4, 2012

Brooklyn-based consultancy Pensa have come up with this "DIWire Bender."

The DIWire Bender is a rapid prototype machine that bends metal wire to produce 2D or 3D shapes. Wire unwinds from a spool, passes through a series of wheels that straighten it, and then feeds through the bending head, which moves around in 3 dimensions to create the desired bends and curves. Vector files (e.g., Adobe Illustrator files), text files of commands (e.g., feed 50 mm, bend 90° to right…) provide DIWire's instructions. It's essentially a 3D printer that describes lines, instead of volumes, in space, and it could be used for anything from prototypes to customized products.

In their blog they wrote:
there are times when we need to output lines in space rather than volumes. Most 3D printing technologies are not well suited for printing thin lines because the materials are weak, the machine uses a lot of 3D-print support material, and the process is slow. The closest thing to a machine that can output lines is a CNC wire bender, but these machines are used almost exclusively for mass production in factories. They are not used for rapid prototyping because the equipment is large, expensive and takes trained personnel to run. So, we decided to make the DIWire Bender.

Wire models can be used in design of furniture, household items and engineering parts. The DIWire Bender can read data and create models in 3D shape by reading a random number algorithm. According to Pensa, not only aluminum wire can be used but also other materials such as colored electrical wires, some plastics, memory metals, even light pipes. Such a DIWire Bender can become one day an element in rapid prototype machines.


Photo credit/source: Pensa via Core77


Posted in 3D Technology



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