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3D Printed Stencils V2

3D Printed Stencils V2 1

 All right guys, today I’m going to show you a technique I’m using to make stencils for when I airbrush my 3D printed lures. Your lure doesn’t have to be 3D printed to use this technique, you just need to get your dimensions of your lure into Fusion 360 or whatever CAD program you’re using. So let’s just in to Fusion 360.

Duplicating the Lure Body

This is a twitch bait that I’ve been working on and you’ve seen me work on various versions of this throughout this series. This one is all done and I already have some stencils made but I want to show you how I do it. First thing to do is go back to the beginning, so you grab your timeline and move it back. I usually like to go right after I did this loft so we have half of our body here and that makes it easier. Now if you went on after you did the loft, it made a lot of modifications to the body. You’ll want to get your timeline to the point where you have half the body with all of your modification in it and I’m talking about the modifications to the overall shape rather than adding eyes or gills or anything like that. We're talking about the overall profile here.

lure body in Fusion 360






So I what I want to do is simply go up and click on that body, right click copy and then right click paste. It’s going to ask me if I want to move it and you can move it but it’s not really relevant to what we’re doing so I typically just leave it in the same spot. Leaving it the way it is now actually helps with the sizing and makes the adjusting a lot easier. Now I have this flat tape twitch number one body and I’m going to hide my original and rename this one stencil base. Now you can actually go all the way to the end of your timeline if you want to and you can do more calculations even though you didn’t really change anything. So now we have our stencil base and I have my eyeball turned on so we’re going to turn that off that that the only thing I have turned on is my stencil base here and it’s solid lure here which is where the fun starts.

Shell to Create the Stencil Body

What you want to do is you want to shell this body to create a kind of wrap. We’re going to click the shell command and we want the back side to be hollow so we’re going to click this right here. I also want the front and back to be gone so when you’re clicking with the shell command, you’re basically telling Fusion 360 that you don’t want the face to be there. We’re going to make a shell around everything else and we may have to play around with the thickness as it depends on the resin you’re using and how well it supports when you print it. In case you want to know, I’m kind of at a 1.8. More importantly, I found if I made them too thin using the resin I’m using (which is Siraya Tech Fast) it will tend to warp when you dry and cure it. Obviously, we don’t want warping so the trade-off to making it too thick is it’s hard to get some of the finer details through with your airbrush. But for today, we’re going to go 1.8 and that works well for me and of course you can change that for yourself.

shelled lure body





You can see we have a preview here that looks pretty good so we can click ok and if you want to take a quick look, we can turn back on our body and you can see what we’re doing here. So when we added those fillets after we made this copy, you can see I have a gap there which is good. You want a little gap and, I want a little more of a gap, around the whole lure body. We’re going to turn that body off again and we’re going to push back that inside face just a bit to give us more room. We’re going to use a command that I’ve only recently discovered but I’ve been using it a lot and that’s offset face. So we click offset face and click this interface and if you pull it one way, you make it a positive number. We want to make it a negative number so we’re going to shrink it to a negative 0.2 (millimeters, by the way) just to peel it back and click ok. So now if we take a look at it, again, you see we have just a slight gap around and you can make it airtight if you want to, but when you clamp it it’s airtight anyways and you may even scrape some of the paint off and scratch it which we don’t want. Again, depending on the resin you’re using, you might need to make this gap bigger so you just want to experiment with this. Turn off that body and we’ll move to the next step.

Make Stencil Handles

Now what we want to do is to come back on the back side here and make our handles or wherever you’re going to clip it together. This is pretty straightforward, we’re just going to create a sketch and I’m going to choose this edge right here. I could choose the plane but choosing the edge makes it a little bit easier because you already will have the outline of the lower body as part of your sketch and you won’t have to do a project. I keep these really simple, I just do a two-point rectangle and I come to the lowest point here, draw it up (the size is completely up to you). You want to start your rectangle on the lowest point because we’re going to go straight across. I’m making two rectangles the same size.

When I’m done, I hit the escape key and I don’t want these guys in here so I’ll use the trim command which is super useful to get to know. When you click trim, you can come in here and you can see by default it knows that this intersection is here and this end of the line is here. It will warn you about constraints, but for these I don’t worry about fully defined sketches for what we’re doing here. If you want to get really technical about it, you can fully define them but these are not really impacted by any changes we’re going to make. By the time you’re doing this, you want to have a absolutely nailed-in lure body design and shouldn’t be making anymore changes to this particular version of this lure by the time we’re making a stencil.

making handles on lure in Fusion 360







Now I can bring this in here and I have no idea what I just did to mess this up and cause chaos. I deleted the projection because I didn’t like it and I’m leaving these things in because if it can happen to me, it can happen to anyone, and you might need to adjust as you go. The better idea is to just grab that so it will constrain that stuff properly. So now we have the rectangles done and what I like to do is put in some circles just to give us some relief cuts. This is probably not necessary, but it saves a tiny bit of resin.

If you wanted to pin these things together with some wire though it or something like that, you can do that as well by hitting CTRL+C and CTRL+V. I’m just moving this around, not really worried about where this is going which is probably going to come back and bite me in the butt later. I’m going to make this just a touch longer and move this over. When I’m done we finish sketch and hit E for extrude and make sure you’re clicking this bottom one here, don’t click in the circle because we don’t want that to go away since we drew on this plane. We’re going to get a negative number here and, again, I’m just doing 2 millimeters and we’ll go ahead and join this together and then you have your tabs.

Add Fillets

Last thing we’re going to do is I’m going to come in here and add a fillet. I have the F key for fillet and let’s see what one looks like. I think it looks pretty good, it gives me a little bit of relief on the edge here for when I clamp it against the lure. Let me show you a trick on fillet here. We’re going to go back and edit that feature, one thing I always forget with fillet is once you have the fillet open, you can fillet multiple edges in one command. It’s usually better to do it this way than to do an affiliate command for each fillet, but it’s your choice. So we hit that plus button and we can come and let’s also do this outside edge as well.

adding fillets to lure







This may work or may not, just depending on your numbers. It ended up working for me once I got a nice little 0.5 in place and then we click the add button. A handy rule of thumb as well is if you know how thick something is, so I know that these are 2 millimeters thick, you should (in theory) you should be able to make this a 1 and it should crunch it all the way down. I’m going to go fillet crazy on these edges here. With the fillet command, you don’t have to hold down the shift key, whatever you click on will get added to your selection set. If you want to remove one, you just click on it again. I got all those selected and did a .8 fillet and it didn’t like that. Let’s do this edge here and just guess. Also, I didn’t do a .1 there because it’s got that curve in it, probably doesn’t like that. All of our edges are now filleted so we really just need to fill up those edges to make sure it’s nice and separated on the edges there which saves a bit of resin. You’ll see when we go to print this, we’re going to print these edges flat to the build plate and it’ll give us a nice kind of lip underneath there as well.

Duplicate and Save the Base Stencil

So now we are pretty much done with the base stencil. What I like to do at this point is make a copy so again I’ll come over here, copy right click and paste. The reason I do that is we now have a stencil that is set up correctly, but obviously it’s not essential because we haven’t put any holes in it. So each time I want to do a different version of this stencil with different patters in it, I can come in and I can make a copy of that stencil base and draw whatever patterns I want on there and go from there. This way, I don’t have to continuously back up what I change on one since I’ll go to the other and I can build up a library of stencils for an individual lure. So now we have our stencil base one, we turn off our original stencil base and we’re going to make a simple circle. Before we do that, one thing I want to show you here is with this twitch bait.

Create Cutouts for Large Features

If you have a lure that does not have any sticking-out bits and is completely flat, then you probably don’t need to do this next step. But, to make sure our stencil is going to fit correctly, we want to do this one last step. So I’m going to turn back on the base and you can see my eyeball is sticking out here, so when it’s sticking out I could get some overspray on that. I’m not a good air-brusher, but I think I can avoid that area and worst case scenario I can throw some blue tape on it. If you want, you can always make this body thicker. We made it 2 millimeters but you can always make it 3 or you can just blow it out until it goes over. I’m just going to leave it like that, but what we want to make sure is that we have a relief cut in here. We’re going to use the combine tool and I’m going to make sure my stencil base is the target and my tool bodies are the flat tape twitch, more importantly, the twitch eyeball. I probably don’t need the actual twitch body, in fact, let’s take that off of there because it’s not touching and we just need the eyeball we’re going to cut. We’re going to keep tools because we want to keep our eyeball around and click ok. So since I moved my timeline, if I move my timeline forward it makes a copy of this.

Add Details to the Stencil

Now we’re going to add our details to our stencil. So make sure we turn off our stencil base, we don’t want to impact that at all so make sure to turn it off. The only thing we should have selected is this stencil base copy I’ve already renamed big circle. We’re going to make a sketch on this plane back here and I want to do a project so we’re going to select this geometry and click ok, that way we can turn off the body and have an outline of what’s going on. I can even see my little eyeball. Now I want to make an arc of circles. To do this, I’m going to start low and I’m just going to pick this point at random then click on that end, check the box and hit the escape key. I’m just going to bend this where I think I want it to go, nothing precise, and at any time you can turn this back on and see where we’re going.

adding details to lure in Fusion 360






I’m not going to put anything in the front, I’m going to start them here and just follow down this line. You can do any shapes you want and get as crazy as you want, but this technique is the same. Basically, you just want to draw out what shapes you want to cut out of your stencil. I’m making these slightly smaller as I go along, not really getting too crazy and I’m also not worried about spacing yet either. Now we can do distance and to do that I hit the D key and we’re going to a dimension of let’s say 11. Again, I’m just making this up as I go along, decrementing the space by 1 and probably putting this into a parameter. If you knew what you were doing ahead of time, that would be a good idea because then it would make this a whole lot easier. I also notice I got a few that are not on lines here, so make sure we snap these down to know that I have my arc in place. That way, if I wanted to change this, I can come in here and move this whole point spline and my whole pattern moves. That’s why you want to make sure they’re locked on there.

Let’s see my stencil back on, big circles is looking good. Now, it’s pretty simple, we want to hit E for extrude and I want to make sure we select all of our circles here. Since we have that fit point spline, they’re going to be cut in half so make sure you’re selecting both halves. Then, turn on your stencil, big circle. For extend type, we just do all and it’ll pop out all the way to the end there and click ok. Boom, you got a stencil.  Now we come through here and we add some fillets if we want. Also, let me show you one cool trick I learned about fillets. So if you hit filler and change the type to rule fillets, it’s going to ask you to select faces or features. If we select our extrude and make these .5 millimeters, then it just adds fillets to all of these circles. This is because we just made them, I found that pretty cool. Here’s also a link to the guy that taught me a lot about the fillet command, you can check him out HERE.

All right, just click ok and boom, we have a fillet for all of our circles and I’m just going to name this one done. Again, you can come in and make whatever circles, lines, or anything else you want in here. I would say that you probably need to pay attention to how small you make those and you’ll see when we print them out. If you want it too small, it ends up being pretty difficult to get some pain through there. Again, you can play around with it, but I’m keeping them big today so I didn’t mirror this in Fusion 360. I’m just going to go ahead and mirror it when I put it in Chitubox which has a mirror command that works just as well, just save as mesh and make sure it’s on SDL and on millimeter an click ok. We’re just going to save this flat twitch and be sure to name them really well as to not get them confused with, I’m sure, the hundreds of other STL files you have. The better you name it, the easier it’ll be to save and find them.

lure in chitubox

Set Up the Print in Chitubox

Right now we’re going to quit Fusion 360 and go into Chitubox. I’m on my abs green resin and let’s bring in my STL file I just made and drop it in there. We’re going to rotate, flatten by face and choose this face, putting it flat on the build plate. From here we’re going to click mirror and we want a X mirror and I want to keep the original model. Then, we’re just going to move this one again and, as I said in my previous videos, I try to stay out of the center since that’s where your fap is the loosest on your 3D resin printer. This should print just fine with no supports, I generally don’t have a problem as long as it is relatively thick and 2 millimeters seems to be the magic number for me and my resin. The bonus is it’s really fast to print, so this should be an hour, and 43 minutes in the estimate.

I’m going to show you this real quick in case you have problems printing it flat to the build plate, you can print it relatively vertical and I’ll walk you through that. The important thing, on a stencil, to remember is that this outside surface here can be absolute garbage but it really doesn’t matter. If you have the holes through there, the inside surface is what you want to make sure is clean. You can take this and rotate it and probably bring it up all the way over. You want to flip it to where this side is facing the build plate and we can put all of our supports there. Then you can go in and support all you want, all day long, but again you’ll notice this is going to be a bit tricky. Really, you want to print it as flat as possible. Slap this back on the build plate and click slice and 43 minutes is roughly 53 cents if you think about cost. Now we’re going to print this then do a little painting.

Using the Stencil

All right guys, we’re on the bench and I’m going to keep this one super simple because you don’t need to see me airbrushing to know what airbrushing is about. We’re going to keep it simple, I’ve got some clear coat on this bad boy and it’s the Enamel-Clear like I showed you in the last video. I also have some detail black magenta and we’re just going to throw on our stencil on the front and the back since it fits on there nice and easy. To keep you from making the same mistake I did, note where the screw eye is here and this guy is preventing me from getting a solid closure. So I’m going to leave the lure the same color of the resin, which is bright green and since it’s UV resin it’s actually kind of fluorescent in the sun. I’m just going to put black spots on it and then hit it with some final clear coat. Like the thick clear coat, that’s going to be it and we’re going to fish it tomorrow.

airbrushing lure


All right I think we’re ready to go and if you see that mess, you know that’s me not doing a very good job. I should have cleaned my lure first, you can see down here this guy is okay but it gets kind of hard to put it in there. I’m just blowing it with some air right now to try and get this guy a little dry again. All right, let’s see if I screwed up on this side too. This is why I’m not great at airbrushing because I don’t pay great attention to my prep. I’m going to to let that sit for awhile and make sure it’s dry then I’ll pop it off and show you the results.


So I figured out what my problem is, well what I think my problem is and comment below if you think I’m correct, I used an enamel based clear coat and I’m spraying water-based acrylic paint which I don’t think was the best move. That’s why I’m not getting good adhesion from my clear coat to my airbrush paint, so I probably need to find some acrylic clear coat. Comment below if you think that’s it because I need all the help I can get when it comes to airbrushing. Let’s see what my constant blasting of detail magenta black did through this stencil, I think it looks pretty good. There’s a little bit of a halo on there but that could easily be from me just blasting it because it just wasn’t sticking which gave me some overflow there. I’m pretty sure that’s going to be chalked up to my poor execution there and my enamel clear coat and my acrylic top coat probably not going well together.

If I knew it was stuck on there right away, I wouldn’t have felt the need to keep pounding it on there but hey, it’ll fish for sure. I’m off to find a better clear coat, maybe an acrylic that I can put on to seal the lure before I put on paint. Lesson learned on mixing clear coats and top coats of different types of paint. Not good, but I think overall the stencil turned out pretty well given my complete lack of ability and the problems I had and I hope it gives you some great ideas for really cool stencils for your 3D prints. Again, you can do this on any lure, just get those dimensions, build the body in Fusion 360 and follow the steps. Next up we’re going to make it even easier with stickers.


Take care- Tight lines