The DIWire: Bending the Future One Wire at a Time

The DIWire: Bending the Future One Wire at a Time

By Subrat Jain

What is the DIWire?

As the world is trying to move away from its dependency on dedicated machine shops for fabrication, 3D printers are giving people the freedom to make their own fixtures, art and products right at home. With 3D printer technology becoming easily accessible day by day, it is now easier to bring your very own concepts into reality. Many people would like to build their own things at home and avoid the wait, pay and hassle of hiring someone to do so. This is where the DIWire comes in. The DIWire is a new device which can bend wires into any design you feed into it. It is like a 3D printer but for wires.

The company is promoting the DIWire as a ‘Desktop CNC wire bender’. Surely, 3D printers are great but they take a long time and are complex. So, why not find a work around for some of the small not so complex stuffs like making a guide rail for your camera or a frame for your lamp stand? The DIWire can bend wires from 1mm to 4.7mm which would be approximately gauge 18 to gauge 5 (the lower the gauge number, the larger the diameter) and the maximum bend angle is 1350. Just like a 3D printer, the wire curve is put into its dedicated software called ‘Wireware’ and can be edited there before starting the operation. Then, it starts bending a continuous wire with the push of a button.

But, do not think of making all sorts of twists and turns in every direction with your design using a single wire, the DIWire cannot bend wires in 3rd dimension and is only for planar structures. But these 2D structures can be assembled to make a 3D structure quite easily using fixtures and soldering. Keep in mind, the wire here is actually a small diameter rod that would need tools to bend.

Where did it all start?

The DIWire was developed by a Brooklyn based product design firm called Pensa Labs. It began as a Kickstarter campaign in which they successfully gathered the needed funding in one year. A normal CNC machine costs at least $30,000 whereas the DIWire is only about a tenth of the price. It is now available at a price of $3,375 which is similar to the price of a decent small 3D printer. And oh mother Earth! Fortunately, it does not involve any plastic so there are no environmental worries about excessive plastic usage (so no need for these plastic-eating bacteria to clean up the mess!).

Prospects and applications of DIWire:

Wire bending could be an art, engineering or recreational experiment. Being accessible to everyone makes it very desirable. Just sitting here, reading this, I bet you can think of many ways to use wires to create something. You could make a multi-level stand for keeping vegetable baskets, a book separator for your book stand, a pen stand, a structure for my Arduino robot. There are many interesting examples shown on the company’s website like making a guide rail for a camera, creating a lampstand, making frame for a tent-like structure and all kinds of different wire art work. It is definitely not a replacement for traditional CNC wire bending machines and its usability would vary from person to person. Many people might not find it very useful and would prefer a 3D printer or a traditional CNC machine instead, but it can be an additional gadget to have to create both useful and useless things in lesser time and for much less money.


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