It seems strange to consider innovation in the field of 3D printing when the field itself is so new you’d hardly be able to call it mature. Yet that’s exactly what Brooklyn-based Pensa has done with the DIWire. It’s a 3D printer that doesn’t print, but rather bends wire into shapes. Yeah… kind of like Bender from Futurama, but less entertaining. Anyway, according to a representative of the company, traditional 3D printers are “good at doing volume, while DIWire is good at doing lines.” In other words, if you ever find yourself wanting to make a wire mockup of a large scale product, going the regular 3D printing route might be overkill and could even sometimes be altogether inappropriate. Say you’re a furniture design firm, and you need some simple wireframe mockups of your work, DIWire would be the way to go; there would be no point in spending the time and effort into a traditional 3D printed model, when it’ll be discarded anyway. Simply feed the DIWire software a vector file of your project, and it’ll analyze it and prepare it for wire bending. Specify the type of wire to bend, press a button and watch as the device notches the wire left and right, at the exact angles and lengths needed. In a matter of minutes you’ll have your 3D wireframe model.
While this does appear to be a printer of more limited use, the company is hoping to explore commercialization with the launch of a Kickstarter campaign next week. Early adopters will be able to get their hands on a DIWire for a pledge of $2,750.