Friday, August 8, 2008

Brake down

In planning my robot army it became clear that I'd benefit from some kind of box-pan brake to manufacture the aluminium components that will make said robots invincible. I've had a good look around for a supplier in the UK and until recently found only small standard sheet metal bending brakes or bone crushing behemoth CNC monsters. A box-pan brake is more useful than a standard sheet metal bending brake as it has a number of configurable 'fingers' that allow the bending of more intricate 'box' and 'pan' like shapes that a regular brake cannot.

Searching for brakes is not actually easy. First you have to make sure that you're talking about a brake - not a break. Then you have to understand that they're also called 'hand brakes' - which leads to lots of car related Google results. Until recently I kept coming across the more common 'regular scale' brakes that deal with large pieces of sheet metal - metres in length. These are just too big (and too expensive). However, I finally came across this a little unit from a UK engineering firm when browsing on eBay. While I don't currently have the space or funds for such a thing - it's good to know that there's a tool for the job out there.

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