Automated steam bending machine makes IWF Challengers cut

With the introduction of the MagPi wood forming machine, SD Machinery says it has created an entirely new category of manufacturing equipment. MagPi simplifies the labor-intensive task of steam bending wood, creating arcs of a specified radius. The MagPi has been updated since its last appearance at IWF two years ago, handling not just veneer panel, but solid wood, steam bending and drying the wood in just 10 minutes. It can also be used to bend and dry profile moulding and baseboard.

The user loads the material to be formed (multiple thin layers of wood, steamed wood or heat-softened plastic) onto the horizontal bed while the machine’s work surface is in the lowest position, At approximately 32 inches above the floor. Roller clamps are placed over the material and secured to the machine’s movable arms. The user then simply presses the “form” button, triggering a series of arms, each pivoting at a different point and rotating at its own rate, to transform the bed from a flat surface into an arc of a gradually decreasing radius until the desired radius is achieved.

After the adhesive has cured, or the material has cooled, the roller clamps are removed and the formed arc is finished. The user then returns the machine to the flat position and prepares the next arc. A video of an earlier iteration of the machine shows how it works.

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Robert Dalheim

Robert Dalheim is an editor at the Woodworking Network. Along with publishing online news articles, he writes feature stories for the FDMC print publication. He can be reached at [email protected].