Wire Prototyping - Assistance / Expertise Needed

Hi all!

I develop hardware products for a local Austin company serving the Ed. tech and music performance industry. We are currently prototyping a project that requires a small wire form spring. Design specs are finalized in the current iteration, I just lack the tools and expertise to accurately create the part myself.

The part is roughly 1" diameter, using .022-.029" spring steel wire. Basically a circular part with 3 notches.

I assume a person with wire bending and jewelry making experience could easily produce this part accurately for testing purposes. This would be a paid project with materials supplied.

If you or anyone you know would be able to take on a project like this, please let me know! We are looking to get started immediately.

Thank you!
Screenshot 2024-05-16 at 9.26.28 PM

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Not fully clear on your spec.

Actual springs have to have a “spring temper”. Otherwise it’s just a piece of steel wire that has very weak spring back. Only certain wire alloys can do a spring temper

Getting that temper is a difficult set-up.

There’s spring crafting/jewelry wire you can get easily enough. Like a 3" dia coil. Also straight wire. But it’s really difficult to permanently reshape in the tempered state. Normally springs are bent into shape in the untempered state and then given the spring temper so it won’t reshape again when bent. You can force bends at a point in it, but it’s hard to get a really predictable angle and you can’t do much of any type of shaping other than a point bend like that

Also that hard spring crafting wire is really hard. Even a thin piece will destroy diagonal cutters on the first cut. Big nick or folds over the cutting edge. It can even throw a spark.

I would look very hard to see if the product could be designed to work with a commercially mfg spring. There’s a lot of them out there

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Hi Danny,

Thanks for the input. The material is Spring-Back Multipurpose 304 Stainless Steel Wire, 1/4 lb. Coil, Mirror-Like, 0.022" Diameter from McMaster - product #9495K66 (McMaster-Carr).

The material has already been proven effective for the application. I am just looking for someone to form the wire more accurately and consistently.

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The machines that do this are a lot of fun to watch:

Most medium sized machine shops will have one. But your best bet would be to put this part on one of those “quote my part” sites, and get a lot of quotes/prices.

I’ve done some manufacturing using bent rod and a fixture/bending jig in the past. Similar to this guy, but a little more involved.

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I wonder if you could design a jig to make this bend with our 3d printers? If it works, you could achieve consistent bends.

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Hi All,

Thank you for all the input! I have been exploring the DI Wire products and have found their open source builds from 2012. The code is a little hacky and not super intuitive on the UI but I think this project is easily reproducible for my needs. I have already gotten the program to connect with an Arduino for some sample bends. - I really just need another stepper and the solenoid.

If I end up fully fleshing this project out and updating the build files I will absolutely share!



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I just took apart some 3d printers and have some extra steppers if you need.