Bend is a revolutionary take on the age old art of steam bending wood. Using a CNC extrusion system, Bend is able to take your computer generated form, and through dedicated software be able to translate it onto steam bent wooden strips, making the need for individual moulds and clamping a thing of the past, or at least on a small scale.
Bend is an arduino powered project with a dedicated processing application and mobile app that allows the user to decide upon and create the precise bends and twists they wish to make. Four stepper motors power it, each one controlling a specific forming variable. A single stepper motor sits behind the steaming chamber, feeding the wood in at 8-10 minute intervals. Another stepper sits on the base powering a single central cog that controls the twist function once the wood exits the steaming chamber. The last two steppers sit off arms that are based off the main twist cog. They provide the bend function of the machine, able to bend the wood up to 90 degrees in both directions. The ten minute gap is the optimum amount of time to appropriately soften the hard woods used such as ash, and in between extrusions, the ten minute time period allows the wood to cool off and retain it’s shape after being twisted or bent.
Bend was a collaboration with Julian Goulding, Jono Grant, Umar Green, Laura Hoggan, and Avin Karan