Space Station Bend

A digital mock up of a space station model that will be made with plastic tubing

Do you need an off-the-charts bend of transparent tubing? How about a 14° 200″ R (no tangents)? We received an interesting call this week. A school is preparing a model of a space station to be displayed at NASA.

Our little part in this was to scale down a 12 ft diameter (100 yd circumference) runway into an 8″ diameter clear rigid transparent bend. First, we used our proprietary software to generate the drawing. We choose CAB tubing due to its clarity and excellent transition temperatures. Butyrate bends well without pox marks, and in this case, clarity and dimensional stability were key. We chose an 8″OD x .125w tube to lighten the weight, increase clarity, and maintain rigidity.

Printed design drawings for the space station model tubing bend

Then, block it up, bend it, and remove the tangents. Typically we use universal forms for bends; we make thousands of variations. But when something is headed for a museum, model, or point of purchase display we will block it to fixed dimensions.

Cooling blocks ready to receive the fabricated tube.

We’ll post the finished model when we get it!

In the meantime, here is our rendition of what the completed model will look like.

A clear tubing bend with a ball bearing inside stopped against a square block of wood. Marks over photo indicate where the tangents will be cut off.

In the meantime . . .

Looking down the barrel of a clear tube with troll dolls inside
Nine troll dolls lined up inside of a clear tube


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