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Complete 3D Printed Fishing Lure Design Course – Gaps, Gloopies, and Gorilla Glue

Complete 3D Printed Fishing Lure Design Course - Gaps, Gloopies, and Gorilla Glue 1

Okay, so now is a great point to print out this lure and see what it looks like in your hand, see how it feels and see where you want to make adjustments. Especially if this is the first time you’ve made this lure, printing it to see where you need to make improvements really helps.

Right now, I’m praying before I finish all the detail because I don’t even know if this lure is going to swim well or not. I don’t know if it’s going to fit together well, I don’t know really anything about it. This is the first time I’ve ever made this bait so if I go through the process of adding all of these details and I find out that this lure doesn’t work from an overall size and profile, I have wasted literal hours of work on a lure that doesn’t perform. That’s why I print it now so I can hold it in my hand and glue it together which helps me to make sure all of the pins and stuff work well. I can paint it, I can do my clear coat, throw it in the water and see how it performs.

Print Early, Print Often

Now the details that you add aren’t really going to impact the performance of your lure to any great extent. If they do, just change those details. You wouldn’t go rework the whole lure, but if I add all of the details and fine out this lure doesn’t actually work and I go back and change the core dimensions it’s going to mess the whole lure up. You’ll see soon as we add things, it’s just not going to line up right, it’s going to be a mess. So print early and print often. Now let’s go print this bad boy.

printed lure halve

First Look at the Lure Halves

All right, so these are the prints from my second take at supporting them. I also went in and added an offset to the hex holes that I had about a tenth of a millimeter to give myself a little wiggle room. I think with the hex shape, it should still lock right in, let’s see how it goes. So these are the first prints and you can see on the front here we have a pretty substantial gap. Even though I try to glue these together and smash them into place, it looks like they’ll fit there but I couldn’t get anything to hold. I could break out the epoxy but it’s a bad print because of my bad supports, you can see here on the top that it has what I call the glue piece which isn’t a smooth surface. I didn’t print it correctly. Let’s see if print number two worked out correctly. My support job was a little bit better here, we really only have support structure on the nose and inside this cavity. It’s really pretty small and on the outside edge here, it’s very light, so it shouldn’t take much sanding. So I’m going to go through these and see if any of these fit together better than any of the others.

Pairing Up Halves

So right away they’re looking pretty good, there’s still a gap right there that I think I should be able to squeeze out. Again, I don’t know what’s causing that so one of the problems with this technique is when you go to print a thinner, vertical model, you want to specifically avoid certain faces. I don’t want to print anything on the outside because I don’t want to have to sand that. I don’t want to print anything on this inside edge because I don’t want to sand it and that’s where my models are going together.

pairing the lure halves

When you’re using a 3D printer, there really should not be a lot of sanding to get the parts to fit together. We’re going to have to sand a little bit on the nose here and along this edge to move the support structure. But from an overall structural standpoint, I shouldn’t have to make edges straight because it should already be straight. I’m just going through and making sure these fit together. This one’s nice, some of these will fit together better than others.

I don’t know what’s happening here, but it looks like on some of these prints, the nose has a little bit of a bump. This is most likely do to me not supporting that very well, it could also be that one of the print runs that I did didn’t come out correctly and that can have a ripple effect throughout your print. A little debris floats around in there and causes all kinds of problems. It could be that one half of the print, whatever side we had a problem with earlier, messed up because I have two really good ones and two not so good ones. I think the not so good ones are salvaged.

Gluing in the Alignment Pins

All right, so I’m going to try to put these together with some super glue and see how that works. I got the pegs left over from our last print, I just printed a bunch of them I didn’t print any new ones. I think I’m going to be a little short so I’m going to try to just put together the two that already look like they fit together pretty well. I’m coming through and I’m dry-fitting all of these just in case I had any little anomaly with any of these pins or holes. I don’t want to get to the point where I’ve got two glued in and then figure out the third one has a problem that’s going to wreck the whole lure. That .10 offset worked out really well, it’s a little loose in there but since we have a hex shape it really doesn’t cause any problems.

The glue will also probably fill in that gap, just putting a drop isn’t really structural we’re going to glue together this whole lure. It’s also going to be encased in multiple layers of resin so I’m not worried about making sure that this pin is what’s holding everything together. This pin is strictly for alignment. Another thing that I probably should have done in my model is to offset that back face just a little bit. Again, to give me just a little bit of wiggle room. It’s not a structural component, it’s strictly for alignment so by getting those hex pins and holes slotted correctly should give me perfect alignment. Also, a little back and forth here and there is not going to be that big of a deal and it would compensate for any potential print anomalies that I have.

evaluating the lure pins

Evaluating the Pins

Let’s see how these look. We got pretty good flatness on these pins and although I got a little bit of extra super glue on the outside, that’s hopefully not too big of a deal. Let’s see how they fit. Not bad, just dry-fitting I’d say that looks like we got a little bit of a problem at the bottom here and I seem to have the same problem on the bottom of this one, a bit of a gap there. Now that’s probably not the end of the world, I might try to squeeze those together, but that’s a relatively small gap that we can fill with either the clear coat resin that we’re going to use, or even some of the printer resin. Let’s see if we can glue these together. I’m going to use my Harbor Freight clamps to hold these in place, I got my gloves on since I use gloves when I work with super glue. I only have one of these clamps left so I’m going to have to sub in this guy.

The Nose and Tail are Most Important

I forgot to add the ball bearings again which I think I’ve forgotten to add on every print I’ve made so far. These are just little BB’s, 177 BB’s I think, I can’t exactly remember. So breaking out the big guns again, probably a mistake, but in my mind the nose and the tail of the lure are slightly more important than the middle of the lure. So, the nose is what’s going to be pointing in when you’re pulling it along, so you want that to be nice and, in the shape you designed it in, the tail is going to impact as the water flows over it comes off the end, which is most likely where the fish is going to get hooked. You need that to be a strong middle that we can play around with. Yes, it impacts the lure and how it performs, but I don’t think as much as the tail and the nose.

evaluating the lure

Evaluating the Full Lures

All right, so the first one still has this little gap on the back side, gap on the bottom and a little gap up front. The second one looks a lot better, we don’t have a gap in the back, not much of a gap in the front and still gaps on the bottom. I remove the rattle then I have a nice little rattle gap on the bottom of this one and it’s quite severe. I don’t know if that’s related to my printing set up and my orientation, but I’m going to try to fix it when I put the first coat of clear coat on. Before we even paint, we’re going to clear coat these at least once and maybe I can work it into a little bit of a better shape when I do that.

Possible Causes of Issues and Plans for a Better Way

You can see this technique of doing two halves, especially when 3D printing is really subject to a lot of errors. Now I know a lot of you guys are saying, “hey you should just put the pins into one side” but that leads you down other paths of complications. Let me show you, here’s one of the pins that I printed separately but I’m just throwing it into this lure to give you an idea of what I’m talking about here. I’m just going to hold it in place and so if I’m printing this, let’s just say, it’s hanging like this, I have this pin sticking out. I have to now support that pin because it’s just hanging out there in mid-air and I have to support the whole edge of that pin. That’s going to mean supports and that’s going to mean, when I go to remove the supports, the higher the chances of me having extra material on that pin. Then I got to go in and sand this pin which sounds horrible.


So what we’re going to do in the next video is I’m going to show you my new school way of developing these lures that eliminates all of this mess, it only has a few drawbacks. I’ll see you in the next video.


Take care- Tight lines