Bending Fibers

by Michael Groves

Items needed to bend your fiber optic:

So let’s say you want to make a fiber conform to the shape of a house to put Christmas lights up on it.  Or maybe you want to come up an outside wall and have a right angle bend to the fiber.  Well you can do this very easily.  All you need is:

  1. A tray with boiling water,
  2. Some narrow tubing and
  3. The fiber you will be working with.

How to bend your fiber optic:

Cut two pieces of tubing into which the fiber can be inserted.  Where they “join” is where you will make the bend (see below).

Bending Fibers

Put some boiling water into a tray so that the piece of fiber can be inserted without burning your fingers.  By the way, that is one of the reasons you will use some tubing - not only will it keep the fiber straight where you don’t want to make a bend, but it allows you to insert and manipulate the fiber in boiling water.  Now insert the far end of the fiber into the tray and push it against the wall of the tray until it is bent in relation to the near end of the fiber. 

Bending Fibers - boiling water

Now remove the ‘assembly’ from the tray and you have a perfect, permanent bend in the fiber.

Bending Fibers - remove assembly

Watch how the whole process on how to bend fibers:


What about the light loss at the bend:

It is common knowledge that when you give a fiber a sharp bend, you will loose some light at the bend.  You will see this as the fiber will look milky at the bend.  The sharper the bend the more light loss.  In data communications this would be unacceptable, but you are not working in that field.  Hence, you need not be very concerned if there is a small light loss as your eye will not easily detect that loss.

Have fun!



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