If you were to read a collection of tube bending articles written at various times over the last three decades, you might be surprised by how much bending technology has changed, especially within the last 20 years. Benders have advanced, new features have been developed, and bending knowledge has improved and spread.
To get a sense of how much the industry has advanced, consider two people doing two different things in the early 1990s. One is a tube bender technician working for an aircraft parts manufacturer. He’s well-versed in bending technology and bending machine and knows the combinations of tubing alloys, tooling sets, lubricants, and bender settings that result in tight-radius, repeatable bends. The other owns a pickup truck, and he’s changing the spark plugs. The truck is so big and has so much room to spare under the hood that he sits on the fender with his legs inside the engine compartment. He rests his feet on the wheel well as he works.