Nov.12, 2013

Here's a completely new type of '3D printer' - a printer that bends wires instead of printing plastic. Developed by Brooklyn-based design consultancy Pensa Labs, the DIWire Bender is the world's first desktop CNC wire bender which is capable of transforming 2D computer line drawings into bent wire that can be assembled to make just about anything.

The DIWire can bend various metals and plastics, allowing for the output to be used as the final product. What can you make with the DIWire? Lamp, table, clock, antenna, art, furniture, jewelry, small crafts, etc anything you can image. With 3D printing, your models are always limited by the build size. But with DiWire Bender, the build volume is limited only by the length of the wire.

How does the DiWire work? There would be no point in spending the time and effort learning programming or CAD skills. You simply draw a curve in the computer and export file as .svg. Then you drag-n-drop your SVG file into the DIWire software and it will analyze it and prepare it for wire bending. Specify the type of wire to bend and press bend. In a few minutes you'll have your 3D wireframe model. The user can then clip it together and solder or weld it tight.

Another advantage of the DIWire Bender is a wide choice of materials. It uses primary metal: steel, stainless steel, aluminum, copper, brass etc instead of only plastics. And the machine can bend diameters from .040" - .125", depending on your material.

In 2012 Pensa Labs launched DIWire as an open-source project with videos and instructions teaching people how to use it and they got thousands of feedback. People were enthusiastic about the DIWire and that inspired the firm to go further with the development. One difference between the old and new DIWire is the level of 3D. The original DIWire could actually bends metal wire to produce 2D or 3D shapes, but the new one only works within 2D. It seems the DIWire Bender is targeted at consumer market: designers, small businesses and also schools.

Pensa has developed 4 generations of prototypes, built and beta tested 10 pilot units and is beta testing the DIWire at businesses and school in the new York City area. Pensa expects the machine to be a valuable addition to STEM education, as well as local, mass customized, prototype and just-in-time manufacturing for industries. "By being transportable, accessible and affordable, the DIWire fills the market gap between time-consuming hand-bending and large scale, mass production CNC wire bending, which is too expensive for custom, short-run productions." writes Pensa.

Pensa Labs has launched their DIWire project on Kickstarter. Early adopters will be able to get their hands on DIWire for a pledge of $2,750. And even though this project launched only a few hours ago, as of writing, they have already raised $63,000+ out of their $100,000 goal.


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Bogdan wrote at 11/13/2013 4:46:31 PM:

A lot of stuff that was specific to industry is now becoming open source and anybody will be able to do it at home soon. Do we have the know how to use this power into our benefit ?

Hunter wrote at 11/12/2013 10:07:48 PM:

$2700 for a 2D wire bender?

Ben wrote at 11/12/2013 9:07:06 PM:

So it's pretty cool but comparing to their open source project they now require straight rods and they removed the 3D bending feature. That's disappointing.



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