Make: an open source hardware, Arduino-powered, 3D-printed wire-bending machine

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I need one of these. Really, not want, need.


I am strongly tempted to make this just for the sake of it. I’m not sure I’ve ever strongly wanted to do 3D wire bending, but if I had it I’d probably think of uses.

Thinking about it, what I definitely would use is a 2D bending machine for bending steel rule for clicker press dies. That’s something I constantly wish I could do. 'Course, you also need a press of some kind, but then I already want one of those, too.

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Interesting article, but the site ( sure is cluttered with ads! So many ads…

Which brings us to Cory’s “Walkaway”, which seemed - without getting into a lot of specifics - to posit that all the necessities of life (and a few luxuries) could be had by anybody, just living off the land (and garbage dumps full of mercifully pre-smelted iron and aluminum and many other metals hard to create without tons of energy).

But I suspect that the Aduino in “arduino-powered” is not 3D printed, but you have to buy one at the computer-chip store, direct from the ten-billion-dollar chip fab.

3D printing is just a long, long way away from producing the really key elements of a lot of technology. I suspect that “Walkaway” depended on quite a LOT being scavenged from dumps, not just chips, and other technologies that depend on very small structures - I don’t think you can print LEDs or the optical sensor in the mouse I just moved. I would admit that if you could task a little crawling-insect-bot with snooping around a dump 7x24, it could surely turn up an awful lot of useful parts to put back to use. But dumps don’t compare to, say, China and all its mines and process plants as a supply chain - I think the “Walkaway” movement would start having trouble scavenging if it exceeded a few percent of the population.

Just as well - it hit me months after putting the book down that if small groups of people could live entirely off the land, no longer dependent on a very complex interrelated large civilization with thousands of specialized professions, they’d be sociologically back to feudalism. You can hold a sword to a man’s throat and make him hand over the produce of his little farm or freehold, but you can’t threaten somebody into being a better radiologist.

If some “Neegan” types started taking over “Walkaway” freeholds with bullyboys, people could walk away…until everywhere is like that … and you can only walk over to the next feudal county and bend knee to that Count. Skilled people can down tools and demand better conditions, but in “Walkaway”, nobody needs skills except following the directions, and following the AI’s programs - so you can cut anybody’s throat pour encourager les autres, and not be missing an important resource.

I’m glad there’s probably centuries yet where we need a large, cooperative civilization to make all the goods and services available.


Man that thing is a bending machine, it could bend a wire to any angle - thirty degrees, thirty-two degrees… thirty-one…

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I’ve always wanted to make my own paper clips.


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