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Adding Mica to 3d printer resin = No Paint Fishing Lures

Adding Mica to 3d printer resin = No Paint Fishing Lures 1

So, I’m pretty lazy. Wait a minute- efficient! So I need another lure to fish with. I have my fiddle fin, but I wanted a lipless crankbait. It’s kind of my go-to, throw it anywhere at any time. I sometimes call it the angry spoon, it’s pretty versatile. I stumbled upon RetroBassin video on the Pico Perch which is a classic Texas lure developed down in Corpus Christi. It’s widely believed to be the first lipless crankbait ever. I thought hey- I need me one of those. But, the problem is I don’t really like painting that much. I have an airbrush that I haven’t even taken out of the box yet and that would take like a whole twenty minutes of my time. Why not go down a rabbit hole of Mica-infusing 3D printed resin because that sounds much better. So I got this idea from two other 3D printing legends, Thomas Sandladerer and good ol’ Uncle Jessy. Uncle Jessy did a video on adding colors to 3D resins and Thomas did a video on Mica. So I knew this was possible and I was really inspired since that’s how I make myself plastic lures- a little color, a little Mica, maybe a little glitter. It seemed to be perfect. I just added it all into the resin, hit print and out came a kick-ass lure. Right? Well, not so much.

Mica in Plastisol for making 3D printed lures

This is Mica in plastisol, the thing we make soft plastic lures out of. That’s the look I want. I want this kind of swirling all over the place and super cool looking. Now, when I was watching Thomas’ video I noticed he was not getting that effect with his Mica since it seemed to only shine from one angle. I thought, Thomas is a Master and have been doing this for 500 years but I just started so I’m sure I can do better. So let’s talk about the base here, I’m using Siraya Tech Clear Blu Resin so I have, basically, an open palette just like clear plastisol. So when I’m going to be printing my Pico Perch lure, I’ve specifically designed this lure to be 3D printed. I’ll have a follow-up video on this exact design because after two weeks of working with this Mica mess, I don’t even have a working lure yet. But, it’s a great example of what you would want to do with a hard plastic bait in 3D printing. If you’re finding this useful, set your hook on the like button!

Alright, so I started off with Clear Blu resin and this copper Mica powder. Unlike Thomas, I just threw it right into the vat and started stirring which was stupid. A couple of hours later, boom! Out pops this print and it’s not looking like I expected it at all. Here’s the interesting thing, the bill that I printed flat on the build plate has this cool, shining effect. The body is very dull but along the spine, both top and bottom, I get this really cool reflective effect. That’s really odd. So I keep going and I’m mixing up copper and I thought hey, may I’ll add some Interference Blue. It’s a really cool color I like, it gives you this kind of translucent blue effect. So I throw that in there and same thing. I get the blue on the bill and the backs, but not anywhere else. Huh? What’s going on?

3D printed HyperShift Blue fishing lures

Then I think hey, maybe some really cool HyperShift dip your color blue stuff, and let’s see what that does to it. Boom that is pretty darn sick. It comes out bright blue with these gold highlights on the back and the bottom. Now we’re getting somewhere! Then I decided to add some color and this really doesn’t do much, other than obviously color the resin. It doesn’t really impact the effect at all but it’s pretty cool and now I’m pretty much in plastisol territory. I can add colors and powders to really produce any color I want to, which it pretty sick. The one thing you’ll see though is that I’m still getting relatively translucent effects. You have to add a ton of Mica to get it solid, but it’s still pretty cool.

Here are my favorites so far, the blue HyperShift is killer and this purple chrome HyperShift that I have. I have all of the colors I use linked here. What I’ve found is the color shift Mica produces both colors. If you use a single color Mica you get a shiny version and a dull version of that color. Here’s why I think that’s happening, the way 3D resin printers work is you have the resin at the bottom and the build plate comes down on top of it at a level of .05 millimeters. Mica is a flake, at least I think it is, if you know then let me know. So what I think is happening is the flake is getting compressed and then whichever side is heaviest is going to the bottom of the build plate or maybe even the top, I don’t know. So if you have a single color Mica that has one reflective side and one dull side it’s just stacking dull on dull or shiny on shiny and you’re only seeing it along the axis of the build plate.

3D printed fishing lure using Mica

It’s pretty interesting and I confirmed this theory by printing a couple of other models with different orientations on the build plate and the colors seemed to follow the axis on the build plate. It was pretty cool. I have a couple of ideas on how to get the swirly-shimmer effect on the lure, just not inside the 3D printer. That video is here. Here’s the links to the Thomas’ video, Uncle Jessy’s video and that killer RetroBassin video.

Take care- and tight lines