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Tube Bending

Manual and CNC tube forming - pre-notched ready for welding

Complex Out Of Plane Bending

VR3 customers have always been impressed by the accuracy, fit and efficiency of our CNC notched tube welding kits. Adding CNC tube bending to our services gives designers and engineers even greater latitude and flexibility for tube frame prototyping and production.

Combining CNC notching with CNC bending provides even greater value and productivity for welded tube structures.

Bends Complicate Everything – But We Figured It Out

VR3 has developed a process to “straighten” complex bent tube geometry and preserve the orientation of the end notches.

These “pre-notched” tubes are cut with our proprietary CNC notching process prior to bending, reducing efforts to fit and grind at weld assembly.

CNC Tube Notching and Bending

More specifically, the straight, notched tubes are loaded into our CNC tube bending machines – with the same 3D CAD data and orientation so the bends bring the cut ends around to their precise points of intersection to fit with the other tubes.

We use either semi-auto rotary draw or CNC mandrel tube bending, depending on the bend geometry, quantity, scheduling and cost.

Replace traditional manual skilled labour intensive process with our CNC controlled technology.

Whether they’re out in plain sight or hidden within a structure, the seamless strength and beauty of ready-to-weld tubes, creates new possibilities, especially for performance racing and custom projects.

Technical and Physical Parameters

  1. Larger bend radii produce better bends with smoother transitions – simpler is better.
  2. Centre-line bend radii (CLRs) must be selected and modeled to suit available bend dies.
  3. A minimum tube wall thickness must be verified that is adequate for the selected radius and bend angle.
  4. There are minimum straight distances between the beginning of a bend and an end notch, pilot holes or other features. See our bending guidelines for Manual Bending and CNC Bending.
  5. Likewise, multiple bends necessitate minimum straight distances to mechanically support the tube during the bending process.
  6. CNC mandrel bending is available for thin wall tubing and tight radius applications – this is preferable for larger order quantities.
  7. Bend features add value by reducing fixturing and simplifying assembly (fewer parts) and eliminating butt joint mitre welds – especially for critical strength tube parts.

For further technical details, consult our bending guidelines for Manual Bending and CNC Bending.

You can also see our CNC Bend Tooling list for an inventory of our current tooling.

There are many variables, constraints and combinations of features that affect the feasibility of tube bending. Each formed tube must be reviewed by VR3 Engineering anyway, so include us in your design process early – it will help us help you, and could save you a lot of time and expense.