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Quest for Shiny Lures – Part 1 The Trials

Quest for Shiny Lures - Part 1 The Trials 1

All right guys! So after my last video where I compared a CNC mold to a resin 3D printed mold, the only thing that was better in the CNC mold was the lure which was a little but, well a lot, more shiny. So I set out on a quest to get my resin 3D printed molds as shinny as CNC. Let’s go see how I did.

All right so I decided to try to make my molds as shiny as a CNC aluminum mold and I set out to use some stuff that I’ve seen used in the past on other molds like Plaster of Paris molds and things I’ve seen used in resin 3D printers to repair surfaces that I thought would be worth a shot. So I’m using the same fiddle fin mold I’ve used before and what I’m going t do is apply three different spray paints, some worm oil and some sculpt resin (the same resin I use to 3D print the mold). Let’s see how it works.

CNC mold and resin mold side by side

So the spray paints I’m using are a high heat black and a high heat aluminum (just because I thought it’d be cool to have aluminum) and an enamel that looked really shiny when I saw it at the store. So I simply spray painted these on in mask-off areas. Next up was the sculpt resin. This is a pretty simple technique as well, I simply poured some resin out of the vat, placed it in a little cup, used a brush and brushed it into the mold cavity itself. Then, I hit it with the UV flashlight to set it, just like your printer works. Then I threw it in my wash and cure and cured it for about five minutes. It doesn’t really need a full cure but of course you can do a full cure I just don’t think it needs that long since it’s a very thin coat. That’s the secret to resin, very thin coats. I try to do the same thing with the spray paints as well but I didn’t prime them I just shot a coat or two so I could get coverage since saving the details over the shine was my main priority. I don’t think making it shiny for the sake of shiny is important, the details are.

Last but not least, right before I shot this bad boy I threw some worm oil into the cavity and spread it around with my finger. This was not a great technique at all, it probably would have been better to use a brush and kind of brush a thin coat in there. There’s one thing I noticed while I was doing all of these which is my resin 3D mild was not as smooth as I thought it should be. I was getting this kind of fuzzy texture, which is the best way to describe it. It wasn’t fuzzy exactly but definitely not nice and clean. So I did some research and I’ll have the results of my findings in my next video so if you want to see these awesome findings make sure you subscribe.

man making shiny lures using a mold

So I just grab some re-melts, grab my puck of what I call galaxy which is Dead-On Plastix Salt Water, Dead-On Plastix Black with glitter. I think it looks really cool, I thought the black would bring out the shine of the glitter a bit. I chopped all that up, threw it in the microwave and shot it in the two molds that I had and here are the results.

So first off, when I first cracked the molds open I thought the enamel looked spectacular. Then, when I went to touch it I realized that the enamel paint had come off and it was on the lures everywhere so I don’t think it could handle the temperatures, which I shot at about 320 Fahrenheit I think. Obviously, not a great result.

The two high heat paints weren’t really any more shiny than the resin mold was originally so not a good result. The worm oil is interesting, it certainly is shiny but also picked up these odd deformities here and there. I think too heavy of a coat kind of pooled it up in certain spots and caused an issue but it is shiny so I’ll give it that. But by far, the most spectacular result was the sculpt resin that I painted inside the mold cavity. Look at this bad boy, the one on the top here with the root beer and gold flake is the CNC from the original video and the black one here is the resin mold with the Siraya Tech Sculpt painted in there and cured. I think it’s more shiny than the CNC mold.

shiny lures side by side So the great thing about this technique with the sculpt resin is it’s the same exact material the mold is made out of so it will last as long as the mold will last which is a long time. So far, I’m on 120 shots with one mold and it’s still going strong, no damage, no deformations or anything like that. The only real downside is obviously it’s an extra process after you print your mold, you then have to paint in the cavities and cure it again. I'm probably not going to do that because for me shiny is not that exciting, not that worth the extra time and effort. But if shiny is worth the extra time and effort for you, this is how you get it done.

So all my tutorials and videos on 3D printing fishing lures and molds are right here.


Take care everybody- Tight lines

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3D Printed Resin Fishing Lure Mold vs CNC Fishing Lure Mold

3D Printed Resin Fishing Lure Mold vs CNC Fishing Lure Mold 2

Today is the day I’ve been waiting for for quite some time. The same exact lure molds- CNC aluminum mold versus a 3D printed resin. Let’s check it out.

Okay guys, real quick you saw those two lures I had. One had a Ned head on it and one had a jib head on it. There’s some interesting caveats here I want to talk about. Let’s talk about how I had this CNC mold produced using a company called Protolabs which is like a big CNC machine in the sky. You upload your files in a format they support (I use the step formats I don’t know if that makes a difference since I don’t really know what I’m doing). They give you a quote, you click send and it goes off and gets printed. No one probably actually touches it, it’s most likely all machine made.

CNC and 3D resin lure mold side by side Let’s talk about production time really quick. From Protolab, from the moment I uploaded my file until I received the finished product was about three weeks. I chose the super slow delivery option because it was the cheapest. If I would have picked the fastest option that would have run me about $1800 for this mold. Choosing the slower option was almost less than half of that at around $700. Now it takes me about 10 hours to print the fiddlefin mold, so obviously it’s faster to print than it is to get it from Protolab. I’m no CNC expert, but I’m guessing if you had a CNC machine you would probably CNC this mold. Again, lots of variables, but with the right equipment and the right machine you can have it within about an hour I would say so it should go quickly.

So I’ve had some of my previous design turned into CNC molds for some of my lure design customers at are big production molds that are made in those giant factories. When you go through that process, you work with a CAM operator or a mold designer and you typically send them your master and then they create the mold around it. Typically, those people are obviously very experienced in doing this and they’ve done it at least a few times now so you’re not going to get any mistakes. Well people make mistakes, but they’re still pros. With Protolab, they’ve got no idea what you’re even trying to do, they’re just going to print exactly what you send them.

So in my case, I made the mistake of forgetting to add venting to this mold which is kind of a big mistake. But the good thing is I made this mistake on both my resin mold and my aluminum mold and I don’t think it impacted the results really at all from what I can see. I only bring that up because if you want to use Protolab you absolutely have to know what you’re doing and that’s a big thing to keep in mind. No one is there to hold your hand. So I want to send my fiddlefin lure mold because it’s one I’ve shot and used before, I know it works and I’m really comfortable with the results of this mold. I really want to see how much of a difference it would be between the over $700 I spent at a Protolab versus the $16 it cost me to produce this mold in the 3D printer.

shooting resin into lure mold

I was super pumped when I unpackaged this thing, I wanted to get shooting right away so I just grabbed some re-melt plastic that I had. This is my root beer gold flake which is some super copper powder, a little bit of black and some gold flakes. I threw that in the microwave which got a little too hot which you’ll see in the denting coming up in a minute. Then I shot it right away and I was not expecting this to work because I didn’t have any venting but I was kind of shocked that it did. I left the bolts a little loose and everything shot pretty fine, it got a few air bubbles here and there but both the CNC and the resin mold shot just fine with no major issues.

So the moment of truth comes and I crack them both open. The CNC mold looks like a CNC mold, obviously it’s shiny. When I crack open the resin mold it obviously looks like a resin mold which isn’t very shiny it’s kind of dull in spots. That’s really what it comes down to which is the resolution, if you will. When you’re CNCing thing you get much finer detail and finish on the surface than the resin mold. When it comes to the resin mold you’re really looking at about .05 millimeters which is 50 nanometers which is roughly the size of a pixel. I think different prinets are 50, some are 45, but you’re in that relative range. You’re going to get some little stepping in there which leads to that duller finish.

finished CNC aluminum lure mold

Fresh out of the mold, they are the exact same size and shape. I have random denting from shooting it too hot in both of them so there’s really no difference in performance other than shiny versus not shiny. What about when we throw in a bag with some worm oil, how many differences show up? Honestly, you can kind of see a difference if you knew what you were looking for but for throwing all of these in a bag with some worm oil and you didn’t know what to look for you wouldn’t notice the difference. The footage I showed you earlier was the molds after they were sitting in the bag for a while and I took them off shot with my macro lens really up close and you can really only see the differences there.

Now here’s the big question- is shiny worth $680? I don’t know, that’s a really tough question. Now aluminum will last a little bit longer, if I drop aluminum on the floor it’s not going to break. If I drop my 3D printed resin mold it could break. Let’s round up the cost of my resin mold to about $20 to account for printer time, electricity, my make up for these videos, just all kind of stuff. I can print 35 of these molds before I hit the cost of a single aluminum mold.

lure molds side by side

o all these issues you could potentially have with the resin molds are in terms of durability and aluminum maybe cools a little faster than resin which I plan on testing here soon. I could literally have my entire workbench stacked with 35 of these resin lure molds for the same cost of having only one aluminum mold. I think that counteracts any of those issues so it really comes down to shiny versus shiny and if you think it’s worth $680, go for it.

Be sure to subscribe to my channel because next up, we’re going to use a few different coats on these resin molds to see just how shiny we can get it. But like I said, other than the shine they are the same. There’s no difference in dimension, sizes, swim, nothing. They’re exactly the same. If you want the full story on the fiddle fin click right here. Remember to follow along by subscribing as we continue to make shiny resin molds.


Take care- tight lines

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Simple Twist Worm Lure with Fusion 360

Simple Twist Worm Lure with Fusion 360 3

Hey guys! What’s up, today we’re back with another super simple Fusion 360 lure design. I’ve been really focusing on these simpler designs to get everybody comfortable in Fusion but still make some really great lures. Let’s check it out!

I do suggest watching this video all the way through before you try to follow along, it’ll make it a lot easier in the long run. All right guys, this is one of the simpler lures to make and we’re going to make it using only one command that we haven’t used before on this channel and that’s the sweep command. Let’s jump into Fusion 360 and start out by drawing a very simple line. I think we can all do this, make a line you just click on one point and click to another point and set your link. This is going to be pretty much the length of your lure and we’re actually going to use this with our sweep command so you can set it to however long you want your lure to be.

polygon face of lure in Fusion 360

Now we have our line that is going to be the overall length of our lure, more or less. Now what we’re going to do is draw a polygon on this front face. Now, I’m not an expert on the polygon command so I’m actually going to make a mistake here. I’m going to make mine too big but the basic idea is that you’re going to see the radius which will then double and that will be the width of your lure, from the flat edge to the center. There’s other ways to draw a polygon and there’s an excellent video by Product design Online, which is one of my favorite Fusion 360 channels, which I’ll link at the end of this video. The basic idea here is that your radius which again is going to be half of how big you want your lure to be. This is where I made a mistake, I made a mistake by making my radius 11 which is what I want my overall length to be. I should have made my radius like 5.5, but hey we all make mistakes.

Then, you’ll set the number of sides and this is where you can have some fun with this. This is not a very specific way to make an exact lure, you’ll see more about that in a second. So I’ just going to choose a number of sides that I think is cool then click okay. Now the exciting part starts with using the sweep command. We’re going to select the path as our line that we made and our face or shape as the polygon that we just made and you’ll see it stretches out directly.

taper angle of lure on Fusion 360

Now the real fun is in these two parameters here. One is the taper angle and the other is rotations. So what we want is to have our lure not go straight back like and have it all one flat side. We want it to taper down and get smaller and to do that you want to set a negative taper angle and that’s just going to bring it down. Now the drawback to this type of design is it’s difficult to get an exact and precise end result on the tail of our lure. So just kind of eyeball it here which is going to take a little bit of trial and error to get through. If you wanted to make it exact, you’d probably do a loft but then you wouldn’t be able to do this next step.

Now the cool part is this twist parameter here and this is the number of degrees of a twist or rotations. Basically you just set this number to any number you want, usually they’re higher numbers around the 90s-180s. You can just play with this number and get crazy. You’ll see here it turns into a giant fuzz ball when I accidentally forget a decimal point. Just kind of play with it, it’s not too taxing on your computer generally speaking, just kind of figure out with you like and click okay.

Twist lure on Fusion 360

Now if you’re one of those Crappie lure guys that like those little ice pick lures, you’re pretty much done. You might put a fillet on either end here on the front or the back and you’re pretty much set. But, I want to put a tail on this lure because I’m going to use this like a swimbait. The simplest tail you can actually do is a ball and they actually make surprisingly good swimbait tails. They have a nice, slow thump and it’s not very erratic, it’s kind of slow boom to the side and to do that it’s pretty easy. It’s pretty easy to make, all I do is create a sphere and click on the very back face of the tail of my lure. Again, I make it the size that I think looks right. You want it about the same size or smaller than the face that you made in the front and make sure you click join. That’s it, you’re done, you have a lure and it looks pretty darn cool. It’s definitely not your normal boring worm.

This is great for a Ned for a swimbait or for whatever you want to do, it’s really cool. I just make my mold around the side which you’ve seen in my other videos and I hit print. This is where, of course, I figured out that I made this way too big but I’ll use it offshore for some lings or some snapper. Whatever, it’ll work.

Twist worm lure on Fusion 360

So the great thing about Fusion 360 is it’s usually pretty easy to go back in and fix any mistakes you make without have to redo the whole design. The polygon command doesn’t really let you go back and change the radius unless you lock it. I suggest watching the Product Design Online polygon video before you do your polygon design, it’ll help you not screw up your polygon. I didn’t watch the video first and so I had to go back in and create a new sketch and make the size of the polygon I want and redo my sweep command. I just selected this new face as the face I want to use and then everything else falls into place and the mold I get is pretty cool.

I’ll be printing this lure up and fishing with it at the end of the week. Some of you guys have been asking me why I haven’t been fishing. Well, I have but it’s been so freaking hot that my camera can’t even keep up with it. I got some fixes in place and I think I got it down so we’ll go fishing.


Polygon Product Design Online video is here. My other simple lure design videos are here.

Take care, everybody- tight lines.

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

Adding Mica to 3d printer resin = No Paint Fishing Lures 4

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