The sand is suppose to avoid crunching of the alluminium. It's often a good solution. There are some tube bending machine that will be motorised (sand may ask more power)
I know Picot in france (www.ambpicot.com), or Hydroil that makes kind of a "swiss army knife" machine tool, to make all kind of shape. you may ask them name of a customer who can do it for you. http://www.hydroil.com/hten/
I used them and they are very fun.