CNC wire benders: how heavy can they go?
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  1. #1
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    Default CNC wire benders: how heavy can they go?

    Hi,

    I saw a video of some CNC wire benders in action, and it got me thinking. How heavy gauge can they go? Is there a heavier duty version that can bend rod or plate? I'm wondering about bending a steel plate, 1/4” wide by 1/8” thick. Does such a machine exist? I tried searching for heavy duty wire benders, but it didn't get me very far.

    Thanks in advance,

    Lee





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    The fellow that makes springs for me has mentioned making springs from 1" round spring tempered stock. I did not ask what his limit is.

    I would not want to be near that machine if the stock broke while winding it up!

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    Wow... Yes, that would definitely do it. I can't imagine the potential energy stored in that setup!

    Hopefully someone can suggest what the machine is called!

    Lee

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    Just do it hot!

    YouTube
    YouTube
    YouTube
    YouTube

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    My application isn't for springs. Needs to be CNC controlled for funky/precise shape

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    Try CNC tube benders, they make some big ones. Convert one to do wire shouldn’t be hard to do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FredC View Post
    The fellow that makes springs for me has mentioned making springs from 1" round spring tempered stock. I did not ask what his limit is.

    I would not want to be near that machine if the stock broke while winding it up!
    Seems like for springs they would need to be heated to red hot to form them and then quench and draw them back. I don't think it would be that hard to bend 1" red hot steel around a mandrel.

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    Quote Originally Posted by leeko View Post
    Hi,

    I saw a video of some CNC wire benders in action, and it got me thinking. How heavy gauge can they go? Is there a heavier duty version that can bend rod or plate? I'm wondering about bending a steel plate, 1/4” wide by 1/8” thick. Does such a machine exist? I tried searching for heavy duty wire benders, but it didn't get me very far.

    Thanks in advance,

    Lee

    I guess technically 1/4 x 1/8 could be plate, if you turned it to 1/8x 1/4. bending forks and cold, you can do as complicated as you can imagine, a rubber mallet and anvil horn/ tree stump works too.. I have worked on extremely complex plate jobs, and cnc would've taken longer to fight than manually sneaking up to shape with rolls and forks. Albert Paley's ribbon works are all just fork work (hot), no cnc.

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    there are several different types of cnc benders.
    there are cnc 4 slides, which can be configured to bend flat bar- 1/8" x 1/4" is flat bar- "plate" is usually considered to start at 1/4" thickness. A plate bender is basically a cnc brake- and there are plenty of them out there.

    here is a cnc flat stock bender- CNC Flat-Stock and Strip Bending Machine - NUMALLIANCE

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    doesn't sheet turn into plate at 3/16"?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Big B View Post
    Seems like for springs they would need to be heated to red hot to form them and then quench and draw them back. I don't think it would be that hard to bend 1" red hot steel around a mandrel.
    I know the smaller springs are made with treated and tempered wire. When he told me about the 1" stock being used I understood it was also done with cold "wire". Next time I need springs I will ask.

    I watched one of the videos of the "hot" work, my guess that is high production stuff for automotive use.

    For the OP your dimensions are not that big, I think a manual bench top bender could do that. A couple of different units each set to the right settings might do your work a lot more cost efficiently than a CNC unit.
    Setting them up is an art and science combo. I bought one for a little project we used to do and had the builder set it up. I copied the principals and made an even smaller one for some other preforms.
    Another thing to look at is 4 slide machines, again the art and science behind them is almost black magic. If you were to go that route I would buy a machine already set up.

    The photos attached are our little bench top unit. The original handle was about 1 1/2 feet long with a ball on the end. The fellow that built this made it much more "universal" than the standard benders. The normal "nose" that came with the machine is still bolted on where the builder left it.
    bender2rs.jpg
    bender1rs.jpg

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    This one can do 10mm round
    For flat it needs some tweaking I guess
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVguMTNP98E

    Peter

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    Quote Originally Posted by FredC View Post
    Another thing to look at is 4 slide machines, again the art and science behind them is almost black magic.
    Agree to look at bigger 4-slide machines if the job will fit in their capacity. Hard limits on cutoff length, pretty stern limits on forming pressures. Kinda/sorta don't agree on "black magic". There is a tremendous amount of art involved, to the point where many/most regional markets no longer have a traditional 4-slide company as no one of working age learned the skills. Far easier to run programmed multi-slide machines. However, the combined skill sets for 4-slide machines are less black-magical than for vibratory parts feeders, for example.

    To set up a 4-slide machine for a repeat job with existing tooling, you need to be a very good mechanic. To create tooling for a new job, you need the skills of a die maker with great 3D visualization ability, and frequently some outright inventive cleverness (depending on the job). For example, doing multiple operations on the king post by shifting the part downward between stages. Basically, you are making a progressive die where the stages are not nicely linear, in fact the "press action" is in all different directions for different stages, and the feedstock is (can be) tied into knots, not just punched and formed and shifted onward.


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