Wire Bender Aims To Take Circuit Sculptures To The Next Level

It doesn’t seem as though bending wire would be much of a chore, but when you’re making art from your circuits, it can be everything. Just the right angle in just the right place can make the difference between a circuit sculpture that draws gasps and one that’s only “Meh.”

[Jiří Praus] creates circuit sculptures that are about as far away from the “Meh” end of the spectrum as possible. And to help him make them even more spectacular, he has started prototyping a wire-bending machine to add precision to his bends. There’s no build log at the moment, but the video below shows progress to date. All the parts are 3D-printed, with two NEMA 17 steppers taking care of both wire feed and moving the bending head. It appears that the head has multiple slots for tools of different shapes. For now, the wire is rotated around its long axis manually, but another stepper could be added to take care of that job.

[Jiří] tells us that while he loves making circuit sculptures like his amazing mechanical tulip, he hates repeating himself. He hopes this bender will make repeat jobs a little less tedious and a lot more precise, and we hope he goes forward with the build so we get to see both it and more of his wonderful works of circuit art.

28 thoughts on “Wire Bender Aims To Take Circuit Sculptures To The Next Level

  1. Cool! There was a commercial variant of this called DIWire that launched on kickstarter 5 or 6 years ago, but its a few thousand dollars now. Nice to see someone make a diy wire bending machine.

    1. I remember seeing that. Seems the new ones are more 2D semi-pro. Seems they abandoned the 3D nature. Probably because 3D wire control is… interesting and they couldn’t go anywhere near the same wire size without significant metal behind it.

      Found the instructable with links to hardware files for the original kickstarter unit.

      https://www.instructables.com/id/DIWire-Bender/

      And possible source code?

      https://github.com/diwire/DIWire-Bender

  2. Very nice! Love that he’s into freeform circuits and wireframe sculpture. Now we need a 3d circuit layout module for KiCAD… or maybe somebody has already made one?

  3. Not NEMA7, there is no such thing as a NEMA7. When lifting info for an article please use common sense, Inspect pictures etc. and correct where needed. The creator would have written NEMA17 if not for the typo (which can’t be fixed on twitter ) Everyone that dabbles in DIY 3D printers would recognise this size, especially shown next to other components like in the pictures.

    1. Exactly. Therefore, I expect this error in this article (here, on HACKADAY) to be fixed soon. If not I fear that people start taking this size seriously and who knows what will happen then?

  4. Futurama – Pilot Episode

    (10:14)Fry: Really? What do you do, Bender?

    (10:16)Bender: I’m a bender. I bend girders, that’s all I’m programmed to do.

    (10:19)Fry: You any good at it?

    (10:21)Bender: You kidding? I was a star! I could bend a girder to any angle: 30 degrees, 32 degrees, you name it! [unsure] 31. [normal] But I couldn’t go on living once I found out what the girders were for.

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