Hey DIYers, Time To DIWire

A group of designers at the Brooklyn consultancy Pensa did something really awesome last week, and graciously called it their own response to the “DIY ingenuity” of companies like MakerBot.

While we make machines that allow a person — among other pursuits — to prototype in plastic, the fellas at Pensa have made a machine that makes 2D and 3D shapes by systematically bending wire, and they’re calling it the DIWire Bender. Watch it in action.

This machine is a great peer of the MakerBot. As Pensa writes on their blog,

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.

I love this machine for its practicality, but the sculptural possibilities are endless, too. I can’t wait to see how far people in the DIY community push the DIWire Bender. This second video shows the production process from digital to tangible, which the Pensa blog outlines like this:

Simply draw curves in the computer, import the file into our software and press print. Our software can read vector files (e.g., Adobe Illustrator files), Rhino or Wavefront OBJ 3D files, text files of commands (e.g., feed 50 mm, bend 90° to right…) or pure coordinates (from 0,0,0 to 0,10,10 to….). All inputs are automatically translated into DIWire motor commands. During the print, the 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.

More at the always great Core77.