Rainier Industries, Tukwila, Wash., has enhanced its fabrication capabilities with advanced 3D freeform tube bending technology. This proprietary and innovative machine from Europe allows tubing to be shaped with a variable radius to fabricate completely custom and precise shapes.
The machine uses a clean bending process without oil. It can bend any commonly available round metal tubing with an outside diameter between ¾ inch and 2-3/8 inch and up to 20 feet in length, including aluminum, copper, brass, steel and stainless steel. It can also print on the tube before it is bent. This printing could include barcodes, QR-codes, text (labeling), saw lines, drill holes, alignment marks, and so on. A video of the bender in action can be found at http://www.rainier.com/art/bender/.
The bender is currently creating an art installation for the new terminal of the Salt Lake City airport, scheduled to open in 2020. Artist Gordon Huether designed the project based on Utah’s iconic canyons. “The Canyon” will be integrated on two walls of Salt Lake City’s new central airport terminal, spanning 362 feet and incorporating more than two acres of fabric and the equivalent of eight miles of aluminum tubing.
“We’re delighted to add this highly innovative production tool to our arsenal,” says Rainier president Scott Campbell. “Innovation is something that we really pride ourselves on, and encourage for our people on an individual level and for the business as a whole. The fabrication possibilities for our bending machine are exciting!”