FAQ: Can you bend to a spline or ellipse?

Can you bend to a spline or ellipse?

Bending to multiple radii is the first hurdle when starting advanced aluminium bending. We have been asked on multiple occasions if we can bend to a spline or ellipse. The simple answer is yes, bending to a spline or ellipse is definitely possible and something we do often.

To better understand the complexity of bending these shapes, it is always useful to break down the terms. Especially when dealing with sometimes industry specific terminology.


What is an Ellipse in Aluminium Bending?


Starting with the easier of the two shapes to explain, an Ellipse in aluminium bending is a smooth transition bend between two points that have multiple radii.

This is more difficult than a standard curve as the multiple radii must be transitioned through smoothly to achieve an accurate radius. This requires very careful fine tuning of both the bending machine as well as process in general.


What is a Spline in Aluminium Bending?


In terms of aluminium bending, a Spline is a section that has a number of point of freeform curvature, where each point on the curve has is a continuous tangent.

In layman’s terms, a spline does not have a set radius, such as a circle. It instead has many points which together make up a smooth curve.

This makes it incredibly difficult to bend to. Either the machinery needs specific functionality to calculate the spline.

Because of this, it requires CNC machinery to calculate and bend accurately to a spline. It is impossible to to correct bends to a spline manually as the points are variable and therefore incredibly difficult to correct be eye.


How we innovate Bending

Bending complex shapes out of aluminium is our main claim to fame. This reaches from standard 2D bending, to 3D bends and more. Bending complex shapes introduces a number of very interesting challenges that we have found solutions to over the years.

Innovation in this area comes down to having intelligent equipment, not just in our bending machinery but in our welding and fabrication areas as well.

In terms of machinery, our aluminium bending department is kitted with some of the most advanced aluminium bending machinery in the world. Including custom CNC bending devices we have designed and produced specifically to tackle projects that no one else in the world can.

These bespoke machines also come with top class CNC operating systems, allowing the machine to do the brunt of the ad hoc calculations. Our bending engineers then fine tune the machines to produce a curve as close to the design as possible. Working to within a +/- 2mm tolerance.

Using CNC machinery allows us to take customer .dxf and .stp files and input them directly into our bending programs, generating the bends internally and ensuring the highest possible accuracy to customer specifications.


Organic bends and Parametric Architecture

Splines are unique in a design space that makes them look far more natural and organic than the more structured radius bends. This makes them a prime candidate for use in more modern and nature driven design. These type of designs are generally grouped together in Parametric Architecture

Parametric Architecture is defined as: Blending complexity and variety, thus rejecting homogenous utilitarianism. Shared priorities involving urbanism, interior design, an architectural wonder, and even fashion. The idea that all design elements are interdependent and adaptable.

This freeform design utilizes flowing shapes and asymmetry to create stunning visual spectacles of design. The rise of renewable resources in construction has called for more ability to utilize Aluminium in this design space as well.

This is where our specialist machinery shines, allowing us to offer a wide range of solutions to a number of design problems that would be otherwise impossible to overcome.



Our team are dedicated to, above all, supplying the best possible service to our customers through our full range of inhouse services. These include:

If you have any questions like Can you bend to a spline or ellipse, or anything else, Get in touch and find out what we can do for you.