I know the title is very oxymoronish, but I'm at an impasse with this prototyping project, so please bear with me.
For obvious reasons, I can't reveal much about the project, but I'll try to get my message across..
I'm trying to make a flexible frame that have an elastic fabric stretched over it. Basically the idea is to manipulate the frame into different shapes and study the geometry changes of the fabric.
So I need a tube-like material that will be bent into an oval-like shape. This shape will be the default, non-sprung state of the material. Basically this could be done with aluminium tubing, but the material has to have a high modulus (?) and significant springiness to it (think of a 3' rod that needs to be bent to a perfect U-shape with significant force). I could make the frame from aluminium sections and use rubber joints to simulate, but I was wondering if there's some material with the right properties for this?
Basically Nylon or fiberglass tubing have the right properties, but they are challenging to manipulate into the unsprung oval shape. Maybe I could CNC the oval from a thick nylon sheet?
Any suggestons and help welcome!
EDIT: Should mention that in this case cutting this piece from a sheet has one disadvantage: it's a planar process, where the final shape I'm looking for should preferably have a doubly curved profile to it.. A real nut cracker.