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Building Simple Lure Bodies: Worms + Creatures with Fusion 360 for 3D Printing

Building Simple Lure Bodies: Worms + Creatures with Fusion 360 for 3D Printing 1
What's up guys, today I'm going to show you some super simple techniques for building lure bodies that mostly resemble worms and other creepy-crawly creatures. I normally use the loft technique which I outline and it's great if you're using fish style bodies. If you're making worms or anything with a round or oval shape, these techniques will be much easier for you to learn without all that complication of using the loft. Let's just into Fusion 360.

Ripple Body Worm

What I like to do is I start out just drawing a simple line and that helps me maintain the length of my bait. I'm just going to use 5 inches here and my project is already set up in millimeters because I'm going to 3D print this. A cool trick in Fusion is no matter what the project is in, if you type in the unit in your length or whatever parameters you have, it will automatically convert that for you. So I type in 5 inches here and hit enter and it translates that into 127 millimeters which is pretty sweet. Now of course you can make this any length you want, I just chose 5 inches because, you know, 5 inch worm.
So let's do one of my favorite super simple ones here and this makes a worm body that is comprised of spheres so it gives it that ripple, wavy technique. We just create a sphere here and we want to create it on this front plane here so we switch to front and click on the center line. You can make it however big you want to make it, let's just make it 9 millimeters and then we just simply go to create a pattern and create a rectangular pattern. We want to make sure we select bodies and the object is my sphere and my direction is going to be this line I made. Now switch to the top view and I can drag this out and line it up fright here on the end and these can start increasing the quantity until they come together. Now let's see how far they come together, we're going to try 15.
ripple lure body in fusion 360
So if I do 15, you see how they're barely touching and that's probably not going to be enough overlap to provide a strong bond or connection when you go to shoot this thing out of plastic. So if we pump it up, you can see this gray area here, that's my overlap. So, you want that overlap to be fairly strong and just keep pumping it up until you think it looks good. Bottom line, this is going to take some practice. Once you're done just click OK and boom, we have a 5 inch segmented worm. You can see here that I have all my bodies separate as well and I just want to combine these to make things easier later on.
One thing you can to to this body that makes it a little cooler is you can come into these individual segments and we're going to click on these lines and we're going to add a fillet to these and drag it out. You'll see that this smooths out the section and that's even cooler. Now you're adding a lot of bulk there so it's not going to be as flexible as these other sections, but it's another cool look. Also, you can actually come back here and edit my rectangular pattern and maybe remove a couple which will give you a smaller connection here but you can use that fillet to bulk it up which is another way you can “beef up” the middle section. Again, it's up to you how you want to do it but this is a really cool and easy technique.

Jointed Body Worm

So we're going to use the same concept as before, but I want to make it more of a jointed lure. Let's go all the way back here and edit the rectangular patter. Instead of 15, let's do 10. Now what we can do is we can come to the front and draw a circle and let's make that circle 6. Again, you're going to figure out exactly what works for you here and then we're going to hit the extrude key and we're going to bring that through all of these guys and join everything together in one shot. Boom, now you got a segmented worm and again I can put fillets on any of these. I can also change the size and thickness, it just depends on what kind of plastic you're using, how much you want it to wiggle and how strong you want it to be. There will always be a trade-off between flexibility and strength. So if I come up here and make it 3 millimeters, it's probably not going to hold up to many bats, but it's going to be all kinds of wiggly.
jointed lure in fusion 360

Basic Creature Bait

Now we're going to move on to how to make creature style bait and this is a little more complicated, but not too bad. We're going to start with a top down view, create a sketch and I'm going to create a fit-point spline. Actually, what I'm going to do first is I'm going to make a center line. Let's make a 3 inch creature body and now I'm going to do a fit-point spline. I'm going to come here and this is a trick that a lot of people mess up on by adding a bunch of points. Most of the time, you only really need two and I'll show you. Click here, click the check box and now I have these handles. I get the escape key, I grab these handles up here and bend them out.
I can make this as wide as I want it, but keep in mind that however wide this is at its widest point, your lure is going to be double that width because we have a whole other side. So, you don't want to get too crazy here, each of these squares is about 5 millimeters so in this set up, it is probably close to 6 or 7 millimeters which would give me a 14 millimeter wide body. Keep that number in the back of your head, you'll need it.
So now I have one half of the profile outline of my creature bait. Looking from the top down, let's add some stuff. What I'm going to do here is actually create an oval shape, so I'm going to create a sketch on this front plane again and we're going to create an ellipse. I'm going to start from the center and bring it out to about roughly 7.5 millimeters and that's because I want some overlap there at the widest point. Let's just go ahead and make this 8 millimeters wide and go up to about 6 millimeters tall and click finish sketch.
One thing you'll see a lot on creature baits is they have these kind of ribs, but they're usually backwards so the front of the bait is taller and it tapers down. We're going to use the extrude command to make this happen so we'd extrude by hitting this oval. Now this is how big your segments are going to be, which is this length here. Again, I'm just going to make up some numbers here so I'm going to do 5 millimeter segments and my taper will be a negative number since I want it to taper down. After playing with it, I decided negative 9 was the best option. Now we're going to add some fillets to this so we're going to click on fillets and see what those look like here. We're going to add them to this back section and size them to where they look good and hit enter. So now we have our body here and we have our line.
creature lure body in fusion 360
So what we're going to do now is we're going to create a pattern on path. I'm going to select this body here and my path is here so we can just drag this out to close to the end. Again, we're going to play with the numbers we have and you probably want these to overlap pretty well. One thing you can look at here is this identical or path direction. With identical, you can see how it stays straight from the start, if you do path direction you'll introduce this curve into it which is probably what you want. We're going to click OK.
Now we have all these bodies and we actually don't need this front body anymore so let's turn it off. We have a cool little curve there now and this technique is the same technique I use if I want to add legs or appendages coming out of things, I just draw a line, use pattern on path and it turns out really cool. The next thing we want to do is let's go ahead and join all these bad boys together by hitting the combine command. I'm going to select target body and whichever one you select doesn't really matter, then you're going to shift click the rest of these and make sure it's on combine and click OK.
Now we want to create a mirror. My mirror plane is going to be this center plane here and it'll give me a preview. It looks pretty interesting, see they have this big gap in the middle and we'll take care of that in a second. Now we want to come back here, find our second sketch which is this oval and make sure that it's on. I'm going to hit extrude, take this bad boy, and come right down the middle and instead of cut we're going to join it up. Click OK and boom, you got a pretty cool looking creature body. Again, it's up to you how you want to do it. You can make this middle section smaller, just draw another oval in there and you can always make these parts bigger to try to get them to join together in the middle, all sorts of things.
One thing you want to do if you want to try and make these things join is if you come back to our original sketch which has this curve in here, right click on edit and bring back these guys closer together and click finish. Now you can see I have less of a middle section there, you just keep tweaking that if you want to. I just keep editing this sketch and keep changing this to be smaller and smaller. I'm sure there's some math you can do here to figure out the optimal width and the curve and all of that. My mirror broke and this happens sometimes when the computing fails. What I usually find here is if you get this in a mirror and instead of joining you click new body and click OK, it'll make a new body for you. Then, you can come over here and combine them. I don't know why it does that, sometimes Fusion just doesn't like combining things. You really don't have to combine them if you're going to make a mold, just when you go to cut it out, make sure you select these two bodies. Don't get hung up if this happens, it's not really an issue it's more like my OCD is making them all have to be combined.
complete creature lure body fusion 360

Adding Arms and Appendages

This last one I'm going to show you is very similar to the last one we just did. I just wanted to include it to give you a little more inspiration, if you will, on how to add parts and pieces to something like a craw tube shrimp kind of lure. So I'm going to use the same parts, these little segments and my drawing here, that I used in the first one but we're going to go add our legs. So how I like to add these legs is I'm going to create a sketch again on the top plane and I'm going to use this fit-point spline and I'm going to come all the way to the middle here. This really just ensures that I have a good, solid connection for this piece. I'm going to draw it out and again, the length is something you have to figure out to see what's best for you. I'm going to grab this handle and I'm going to curve it.
Now, there are two ways we can go. We can go here if you want a very simple cylinder coming out on this. I can use the pipe command, click here and choose some dimensions and do a new body. This will make me very simple appendages. But, I want to do something different. I'm going to click on the create form and I'm going to create a pipe in here. I'm going to click my leg which defaults to 20 millimeters square which is super crazy so let's do 1.8. We want to click this little smooth display and my end types need to be square. I have a link HERE to a bunch of videos on all kinds of forms but the basic concept is all of these little faces and points, I can move.
lure arms in fusion 360
So I'm just going to say modify, edit form and now when I click on any of these things I can move them around in 3D space. I can pop these out and you can add some symmetry if you want. In this case, I'm not adding symmetry because I want this to be a little funky. If I wanted to neck down any of this, I can just double click on these and I can grab this handle. The forms interface is kind of funky so the best advice I have for you is get in here, make a basic shape, and just start pulling it around and see where it goes.
One other thing I'll show you here is if you click on a face and click on modify, subdivide, you can get more faces and points. Click on OK. Now if I click on this point, click the modify button again and just pull this out, I can get more of a claw shape. Once you have something you like, click finish form, OK. Now we have this guy and we can do the same thing, we can create a pattern on a path, we want bodies so just like this body, my path is here and it's the same process. Figure out how many you need for whatever you're doing. You can see now I have my legs running into each other and you would go back and adjust that accordingly.
This is where using the form tool instead of a pipe bites you in the butt because I can't go back and edit that line and get it to impact the form. I need to go back into the form and then I have to basically grab all of this up here, click modify, and drag it. This will change the angle so it gets a little messier when you use the form interface. It looks cooler, but it's messier.  You may like that, you may not. Again, do what you think is best for your project. Then, we'll just create a mirror and there we go, another creature body with all kinds of legs.

lure arm spacing in fusion 360

Getting Better Spacing

Now if you don't want your legs that dense, what you can do is you can come back here once you have this done and you can actually do an intermediary thing here. You can do a patter on a path like this body and this path to keep them identical. We're going to start here and make sure that we have some overlap and click OK. Then, we come back here and we combine then and create a new patter on a path here. We just have to make sure that we have enough and 9 looks good. So now we have this funky overlap going on, but when we narrow it it looks pretty cool. So again, if you want even more space you would add more plain bodies but before you add your legs and other stuff.
I hope even though this technique is simple, you can get some really cool lower bodies out of there by making your bodies funky with legs or cool segments and then patterning them together. I hope you found this useful, guys.
Take care- Tight lines