Monday, January 27, 2014

Desktop wire bender

Photo: Pensa Labs
In my last few posts I've been writing about the top shortlisted innovations of the Engadget Insert Coin Competition. The final innovation of the top five is DIWire, winner of the Judges' Choice Award.

DIWire Bender is a desktop CNC wire bender, which combines "hands on" wire bending with rapid prototyping. According to Pensa, its creator, it "transforms drawn curves into bent wire that can be assembled to make just about anything."

The article on the engadget website:

This page also has a video (3:04) with a process description of the device narrated by Marco Perry, the founder of Pensa, which created DIWire.

This link to the Pensa website includes a process description with simple, well labeled visuals. This is useful for having students write a description according to the pictures:

This website also includes a gallery of photos of different objects that have been made with the DIWire Bender.

There is a more detailed description of the innovation in this article on Kickstarter:
The innovation was successfully funded on Kickstarter in December 2013.

A further article ( ) says, "Practical uses for the printer include artistic design, small assemblies, organizers, and anything else you might want to put together with bended wire. It's hard to tell exactly what uses it will be put to until it's available to users and they get some time with it. It's one of those interesting products that you know once people start to use that they will come up with things that are really surprising."

It would be interesting for students to see a demonstration of the innovation (on one of the videos) or read about it, and then brainstorm various uses. It gives students the chance to be creative, and at the same time focuses relevantly on any specific area of engineering that they are studying.
This link has further information and a lot of photos. There is also a video (2:03) that just shows aspects of the innovation, labeled, without any narration. Students could watch it and develop their own version of the narration that could be added, as if developing a presentation.

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