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Organic Fishing Lure Scales with Blender Help Me!

Organic Fishing Lure Scales with Blender Help Me! 1


What’s up everybody! Today we are going to try and produce some organic looking scales using a combination of Fusion 360 and Blender. Let’s go!

I’ve been on a quest to produce natural looking scales for my molds for quite some time now and it’s led me all over the place. I want to give you a quick update in the hopes that someone smarter than me will be able to take this process and refine it a bit better while I sit around and struggle with blender. But first let me overview the process I’m at right now and show you the results I’m getting.

Exporting mold to Blender

So you produce the mold in Fusion 360 and then what you want to do is export each half of the mold as an OBJ file and high refinement. This is key as I’ve found, you don’t want anything less than high when you’re going back and forth because the blender is high. Once you have your OBJ file exported, you need to open up Blender. Now, I don’t know Blender much at all, I am like a bind squire looking for a nut in there, it’s crazy how complicated this software is. I wanted to share this with you because if you know Blender better than I do, you’ll be able to get far better results.

Here’s the basic idea, you load your OBJ into Blender then you go into sculpt mode and the first thing you want to do is remesh. You’ll see you mold looking like of like garbage right now so if you just click over in the little tool icon, go down to remesh and just click remesh it’ll look like nothing is happening for awhile and then all of a sudden your mold will look normal again. That is key because I was trying to do it before figuring out remesh and it just looked really bad and was not useful at all.

Adding scale image to Blender

The next thing you want to do is use a texture, specifically a scale texture. Textures, in this case, are black and white images so you can just go into Google and search for scale texture, scale displacement, scale height map, etc. and find black and white scale patters. That’s what I’m using in this demonstration and I’ve linked it here. I’m using this one because it is a little more organic, not just rows and rows of the same scales because I think it’s the most like a normal fish since they don’t have perfect scales most of the time. Once you have your image, go to the texture button which is the little checkerboard over on the right-hand side. Click new, open and then find your image and you’re good. Again, I can’t give you a complete tutorial on using textures in Blender, there’s several videos out there and I have a playlist linked to them here. These are the videos I’ve found to be helpful in this process so you can watch the same ones I did or you can look up your own Blender texture tutorial videos. Just be careful when you’re looking for videos, Blender is rapidly under development, the current version is 2.9 and they’re about to come out with 3.0 so if see any Blender tutorials just make sure it’s the latest version. All the version are pretty similar, but if you go older than 2.8 it gets different and very confusing.

Adding scales on Blender

 

So now you have your texture in here and you need to do something with it. So if you go back and clock on these little tool icons here you see you can go down to texture and you’ll want to choose stencil. Now when you choose stencil, if you take your mouse and go back into the main viewport, you’ll see your stencil appear over here on the bottom left corner. If you hold the right mouse button and clock and hold the right mouse button you can drag the stencil over and put it over the area you want to be in. If you need to rotate it as we do here, I hold down the control key, right click and then move the mouse around. You can rotate it into the position you want it, you can scale it up or down if you hold down the shift key and right click the mouse. Once you have your stencil in the place you want it to be, select the draw brush and what you want to do now is change the strength of the brush which you can do if you click in the upper left at the very top. There you’ll see this strength icon and just click on that to change it. I like to use a .2 and this allows for you to kind of roll your brush over the texture. How much it’s going to imprint this texture into the model is higher than this number, the higher the number the steeper the gradient and the more strength it has. Obviously, you don’t want to deform your mold greatly with your scales, you want a nice light touch for the most part. I like to start at .2 and as I brush it over more it’ll get higher and higher which is the tricky and artistic part of this process. Once you click .2 you can change your brush diameter in the same place, by strength. You can just click on it and type in a number but I also found you can click the F key and then move your scroll wheel up and down to change the size as well, then click the left mouse button to set it. I found that to be helpful but again, there are several tutorials over Blender.

 

Printing mold from Blender

Now you’re ready to start putting your pattern into place. You just click the left mouse button and drag and paint over the area that you want to have your scale pattern with. Again, this is the part that gets tricky as you want to keep it away from the plat parts of your mold if you can and obviously jeep it away from any other parts of the mold that you don’t want scales on. I believe if you want to make this process easier, you would use masking which I haven’t gotten into yet but I’m sure you can find some masking Blender tutorials that would be useful for this. Masking is basically just covering up an area of your model to where it doesn’t get the stencil when you put your mouse over it. Again, it would be super useful and I’m sure you can find a tutorial on it. Once you’re satisfied with your scale result, the last thing you want to do is you wanted to remesh again. Now I’m not 100% sure this is required but I didn’t remesh once and I got a model back out without my scales so I think it’s very important to do. You’ll click on the little toolbox up here, go down to remesh and just click remesh. You don’t have to change any of the settings.

Blender scale results

Once that is done, you’re ready to export it. You’ll just click on the file, export STL, save it to where you normally save it and then you’re good to go. Now you want to obviously do this with the other side of the mold as well so you just have to repeat the process. You can actually bring them both in at the same time if you want to and just hit the little eyeball here to turn one off and on. Doing this is how you get some better symmetry, but it’s up to you. Personally, I like that one side has a different pattern than the other but that’s just me. I like what I have so now all I have to do is print. To do that, all you have to do is load it into whatever slicer you want, in my case I’m using CHITUBOX and load it in and you can see the pretty scale patter is in the model so it’ll come out in the print which is exactly what you want. Hit print and look at the results, they’re pretty killer.

 

I hope you found that useful, guys! Again, I’ve linked all of the tutorials I’ve watched on Blender and if you want to see how I make the initial molds in Fusion 360 I have a full playlist here.

 

 

Take care and Tight Lines

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Brays Bayou Fishing with Magic Bait

Brays Bayou Fishing with Magic Bait 2


Here we are at a secret fishing spot of mine. I already see fish in here which is a good sign. Hopefully, the rain is done since it was supposed to be done by now. I love this fishing spot right after the rain, it seems to be when the most fish are in here. The fish seem to lose interest after about three or four hours so I’m going to shut up and start fishing because I saw a really big carp that I want to catch.

For bait today I’m using my homemade gulp-like bait. This bait is a gelatin, Agar-Agar, almond extract and some panko. Hopefully it works, it’s supposed to mimic break but stay on the hook longer. I just slap a couple of those baits on my steelhead rod on my Shimano Stradic 1000 and I’m ready to go. My Shimano Stradic 1000 could get me in trouble today because if I hook a carp and he goes into the current I’m going to have a hard time getting him out.

fishing in the bayou with bait

I try to stand far back from the edge and just keep a lower profile so I don’t spook the fish too much. The bait still looks good, it’s getting a little mushy but that’s exactly what we want to happen. What you really want is your bait as close to the current as you can possibly get. It tries to get pushed in a little but I find that the fish kind of hang out in the big current and pop their heads in right on that edge.

catching catfish in the bayou

I got him! Fish is on. It’s not the carp I wanted, it looks like a catfish, just a little channel cat doing his little death roll. I’m trying to find a spot to land him since these wet spots here will be like ice. He’s actually a really good size. Once I look at him, I’ll let him go.

I think what we’re going to try to do is go a little bit further down the bayou. We’re really close to this levee right there and if I let my line drift out a little bit further, close to the corner I may have a better shot at getting a bigger fish. I’m going to let my line bounce in there. I don’t think I’ve ever actually caught a fish putting my line out in the current but I know that’s where they like to hang out. I like to let it swing in there and kind of settle wherever it wants to settle.

caught carp in the bayou

There we go, got him! That took me by surprise, I think that it’s going to be a grass carp. I’m trying to keep him out of that current. It is a grass carp, I finally caught him. I can’t, for the life of me, see my line but he’s right there. I finally got him moving in the right direction but the problem is getting close enough to land him here which is going to be difficult. But luckily, I finally got him.

Super cool fish there, very nice. We’ll stick him back in the net so he’ll get a relatively safe transport back to the water. That bait obviously works, it was a super cool fish to catch. If you want to see how I made the bait, click here. If you’re interested in bayou fishing videos, click here.

 

Take care- tight lines

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3d Resin Printer Heater – Cheap and Easy!

3d Resin Printer Heater - Cheap and Easy! 4


 

Hey guys!  I was hanging around the Siraya Tech group on Facebook and someone from Siraya Tech mentioned using fermentation belts to keep resin warm in the vat so I decided to check it out. Here are my findings.

What is a Fermentation Belt?

For those who don't know, fermentation belts are basically a heating element wrapped in silicone with a plug on it. They’re simple devices, you plug them in and they get warm or hot (depending on your definition of hot). They're primarily used to make beer, kombachi, kimchi, etc. You can use fermentation at a relatively steady temperature. So you might be wondering, why you need to do this?

fermentation belt image

Why Do You Need One?

There's two main reasons why you might need a fermentation belt to heat your resin. Number one is if you're working in a non-conditioned space (no A/C or heat), you have relatively wild temperature swings or it simply gets too cold for your resin to work properly. All resins have temperature ranges that they're designed to work in. If you set up your resin 3D printer, run some test prints and get an exposure time, then the temperature drops that exposure time will be longer. If it gets warmer, then the exposure time potentially gets shorter. If you're in an unconditioned space and you start printing at one temperature, then the temperature drops significantly, the exposure time is going to change and your print's going to fail.

The second reason is some resins are specifically designed to work best at higher temperatures. The resins I primarily use are Siraya Tech Sculpt and Siraya Tech Build. According to Siraya Tech, both work best above 25 degrees Celsius. You might have seen my other video where I built an enclosure, put a thermostatically controlled outlet on it and a cheap amazon heater. That worked great and it's still a completely viable build and it works especially well if you want to enclose some of the fumes that could be produced while 3D printing.

temperature of resin

The Results

The fermentation belt is not only good, but it’s fast and it's cheap which is kind of a miracle of engineering. I strapped one onto my Epax E10 and about an hour later the resin was up to 25 Celsius. Within about two hours, it stabilized at right around 30 Celsius. This is perfect as resin needs to be above 25 and 30 Celsius as well within a normal range. The belt fits perfectly on the Epax E10. On my smaller Creality LD2, I had to put a support. You can use materials such as a rubber band or a Velcro strap to hold the fermentation belt close to the vat. If you have a printer with a metal vat, such as a Saturn or the Mars, its going to heat up quicker since they're more heat conductive.

fermentation belt on a 3D printer

Heating Resin Outside of the Vat

There's one area where this doesn't perform as well as my heated enclosure and that is if you need to add resin in the middle of a print which I often have to do when I’m printing large molds. So for that you need another fermentation belt, or in this case I got a Kombucha heater. You can also get large pad heaters if you want to do multiple prints. These pad heaters work really well since you can put multiple resin containers inside and keep them heated. It still comes out much cheaper than the enclosure and the thermostatic control outlet and the space heater. You're looking at under sixty dollars for the fermentation belt set up and it works great.

 

Links to the different fermentation belts I’ve used are in the description below. if you're using any engineering resin that needs to be warm, this is a great way to do it. It absolutely works flawlessly.

Good luck with it guys. Take care- tight lines.