The fabrication market is pushing for lower costs and less weight, and aluminum extrusions, which often need to be curved, are serving that need. A well-designed extrusion that’s curved effectively can create a seamless link in a structure and ultimately lead to fewer problems for the bending subcontractor, the fabricator, and the final customer. Technically speaking, all sizes of extrusions can be bent, yet small bending shops often max out at profiles 10 in. high or 6 in. wide. When a fabricator looks for a bending subcontractor, it should review the company’s experience with bending similar extrusions. One bending specialist might say certain job attributes are acceptable, and another might say that they aren’t. It goes back to a company’s specific extrusion bending experience and, not least, the technology the bending shop has. For instance, if a shop says it can form large structural profiles, it needs a bending machine with wide shaft centers. Whether thinking about subcontracting or performing the work in-house, a fabricator should start with two basic questions: What design attributes make an extrusion easy to bend? and If all design accommodations can’t be made, what ar...