About this project
What is the DIWire?
Pensa Labs has developed the DIWire Bender, the first desktop CNC wire bender. A new archetype for desktop manufacturing and rapid prototyping, the DIWire transforms drawn curves into bent wire that can be assembled to make just about anything.
The DIWire Has Appeared In
Imagine the Possibilities
Our community has told us they want to make antennas, robotics, architecture models, design prototypes, art, furniture, jewelry, small crafts, surgical implants, orthodonture, puppetry, lighting, stage sets, signage and the list goes on.
To date, desktop manufacturing has focused on 3D printers outputting plastic volumes and laser cutters cutting 2D planes. However, nothing exists that converts lines into bent rod, wire or tubular forms quickly, accurately, and repeatably. The DIWire can bend various metals and plastics, allowing for the output to be used as the final product. Additionally, the build volume is limited only by the length of the wire.
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. This changes the dynamics of STEM education, as well as local, mass customized, prototype and just-in-time manufacturing for industries ranging from aerospace, automotive, medical, to consumer products.
In developing the DIWire, we focused on creating a seamless user experience, from the software interface, to the machine design, to accessories that help with assembly.
Inside the Machine Design
The DIWire is approximately 16’’ x 10’’ x 8’’ (L x W x H).
How The DIWire Works
Materials You Can Use
Inside the Software Design
Our software doesn't require specialty skills; just drag-n-drop your SVG file and press bend. Users can simply draw in 2D, with no programming or CAD skills required.
The Assembly Helpers
We see the DIWire as a tool but assembling wires to create a final product can be a challenge. We have created a series of clips that act as assembly helpers.
Final assembly clips will be made from metal - but we'll share the 3D files, in case you want to print your own :)
We’re nearly ready to set up full-scale manufacturing of the DIWire. We believe desktop manufacturing is at the core of the next Industrial Revolution and we want to be a part of the movement. We know this won’t happen without the passion of makers, hobbyists, professionals, enthusiasts and educators behind us. That’s why we’ve turned to Kickstarter to build our community and to ensure that this last crucial step of setting up our production line is done right. Pre-order, pledge or share this project to join our team!
- Developed 4 generations of prototypes
- Built and beta tested 10 pilot units
- Tested various materials for use
- Nearly completed design for manufacture and assembly
- Begun sourcing
Soon, We Will
- Finalize sourcing, early 2014
- Release drawings for production, early 2014
- First sample review, mid 2014
- Begin shipping, mid 2014
Who We Are
Pensa Labs is the brainchild of Pensa, a Brooklyn-based design firm with a track record of developing successful products, brands and strategies. Pensa firmly believes that the world can be continuously improved through understanding people and providing them with great design and a bit of clever invention.
Risks and challenges
Pensa has years of experience bringing products to market. We already have 10 working machines successfully being beta tested, so there will be no surprises about the function of the machine and software. That said, no production run is without its hiccups. We know that production schedules are predictably unreliable due to a number of factors: factory adjustments for speed/efficiencies, shipping problems, supply snags and so on. We have the team and timeline to address production delays and logistical challenges of shipping to a wide range of people and places. We will take the time needed to get it right. If there is a delay that looks like it will threaten our timeline, we will update you immediately. None of these challenges are insurmountable. We know because we have done this many times, and we'll bend over backwards to get the DIWire to you.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
We estimate the retail price to be somewhere between $3,300 - $3,500.
DIWire software works on both Windows and MacOS!
Please contact us directly at www.pensalabs.com/.
The DIWire software works like a printer driver. It takes any SVG file created from any software program that outputs them. We have been using Adobe Illustrator to create the SVGs. Other options include Inkscape, SolidWorks and Rhino. There are many more!
The assembly helpers will be available to purchase when units ship. The reward at the $3,750 level includes clips.
One of your examples (specifically, the baseball stitching lamp) looks like it has 3D curves, how was this possible?
That was done by bending the wire in one plane, turning the curve 90 degrees manually, and continuing to bend another curve. We call it 2.5D. It is more than a work around as it opens up many 3D shapes that people have told us they want to make.
Currently, the DIWire does not have a straighter. We wanted to keep cost, size and development time down. It is an accessory we want to add in the future that will be compatible with the current machines.
If all goes well, those are versions we would like to explore.
Currently, the DIWire does not have these features. It is an accessory we want to add in the future.
There are a few reasons why we built a 2D bender. The most important is that many 3D curves are not possible to bend with this style machine without the wire intersecting the machine or table during the bend process. Even for those curves that are possible, many will sag or twist under their own weight, which throws off your shape. This is also why most production wire forms are flat curves assembled into 3D shapes.
We wanted to focus on making a simple, seamless experience that is accessible to almost anyone. A machine with a 3rd axis would be more expensive, larger, and harder to use. Since the 3D machine can not support the wire with a table, it would not be well suited for 2D curves or soft materials. Additionally, 3D software is more expensive and has a steep learning curve as compared to 2D software. Overall, we feel a 3rd axis is more limiting than it first appears.
That being said, there is a way to make some 3D curves. If you look at picture of the lights, we made one with a baseball stitch pattern. That was done by bending the wire in one plane, turning the curve 90 degrees manually, and continuing to bend another curve. We call it 2.5D. It is more than a work around as it opens up many 3D shapes that people have told us they want to make.
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