What is Wire Forming?
Wire Forming is the process of taking a blank of wire whether from a spooled coil or blank length and forming and/or bending it into a specific configuration. In order to achieve this there are 2 methods: a manual method using brute force that is applied by bending the wire around controlled shapes, or by utilizing machinery to feed and manipulate the wire to the desired shape. Wire forming also includes the flattening and forming of the wires roundness in order to allow for proper fitting. What makes wire forming so cool is that wire formed parts are able to take on nearly any shape or form. Wire forms are able to be bent left or right, up or down, angled, coiled and cut. You can link them together to form a chain, or have other additional forms added to them. Wire can also be all different sizes, like they can be from very small diameters, for jewelry, or over 25MM (1.0”) in size for things like construction and chains.
So How Does a Wire Forming CNC Machine Work?
So if you aren’t going with the manual brute force method then you are probably using a CNC machine. A wire forming CNC machine utilizes a system of uncoiling the raw material from a spool and running it through a series of opposing wheels that are used to straighten the wire prior to the shaping and forming process. The feeding axis is actually controlled by a CNC controller that it controls the overall length of the part, the lengths between forms as well as the length of all components formed. Once a straight wire or bar is fed through the straightening rollers it is then fed to an articulating head whereas through a series of dies and pins the head twists and rotates around the straight wire whilst forming the wire in a series of preprogrammed bends. Once the part is completed to length an automated shearing blade is then used to snip the wire off from the coil length and to the exact desired size.
There are several types of wire benders on the market some of which are very limited in their application and scope. These 2D benders do not allow for the wire to be formed in anything other then a flat pattern. The more advanced 3D benders provide for an unlimited capability in wire in 3 dimensional space. These 3D Benders are by far the more preferred bending solutions for wire forming needs the world over allowing for complete flexibility in programming and design.
What Are the Critical Components of a Wire Bending Machine
A modern day CNC wire bender, as is most common in today’s production environments, is made up of several critical components. Together these 5 critical features can produce the most complex forms and wire shapes.
Straightener: The Straightening device ensures that all properties the wire obtained through manufacturing and storage in a coil shape are removed. Whether the wire is to be shaped into a spring, or flat shape the straightness of the wire being fed into the bending unit is critical to the accuracy and repeatability of the process.
Bending Head: The bending head is where all the forming is applied. The radii, angle, and forms are created by one or more articulating bending heads allowing the wire to be formed and wound while being fed via the feeding device for acute or varying angles and radii.
Coil Feeder: The coil feeder is critical to ensuring the material is removed from the coil without tangling or snagging stopping the whole process. The winder should be motorized allowing the material to easily lift from the coil without compressing the coil and thus binding.
Chamfering: One or both wire ends should be chamfered in the same machining and forming process eliminating s
harp sheared edges or burrs from the cutoff process. A quality machine incorporates the chamfering process directly in the bender and does not require a separate manual chamfering operations.
Cutting: The cutting or shearing system on a 3D wire bender should also be a programmable axis of the machine as it is the final element of the forming process.
CONTACT ACME WIRE PRODUCTS
Acme Wire Products has designed, recommended and manufactured custom wire components for customers in many diverse markets. We offer the benefit of our almost 50 years’ experience in the manufacture of component parts for hardware, medical & lab equipment, cable management, sporting goods, firearms, furniture, guarding, HVAC, pharmaceutical, automotive, optical and food service and processing industries.
Acme Wire’s designers work with our customers to create a wire component that will provide the greatest functional value. The design of wire products such as levers, handles, supports, rings, guards, baskets, trays, grids, frames, shelves are limited only by one’s imagination (and the limitations of technology).
Contact Acme Wire Products to assist you in determining the wire product best suited to your requirements! Call Acme Wire Products at 1-800-723-7015 to get started.
Acme Wire Products Co., Inc. – Mystic, CT
Fax – 860-572-9456