Alright guys, I wanted to drop in with a quick tip on paddle tail design in Fusion 360 so let’s hope on the computer. So, what I have here today is something I found in my archives, this little body here. I want to show you a bunch of different ways that you can connect paddle tails and how you can create them in Fusion 360. When I lofted it, I didn’t go all the way out to the end of my lure which is obviously out here. Where I’ve drawn my tail and when I drew this tail, I added a bunch of extra parts in it that we’re going to use to connect. You probably don’t want to do this; in the real world you’re going to pick one and stick to it but this is just a demo.
Using a Direct Loft
Okay, so the first thing we can do is we can create a loft and then we just go from this back face and then we can just choose the whole tail again. I got all these little extra bits and I’m going to select. This is probably not what you want to do most of the time, I’m going to guess. Obviously, how you fix that with the loft is we just use rails. I have some rails here and it’s still not looking great but, you know, you could whip this into shape with a loft. I’ll show you in a minute if you want to do a whole tail connection, here’s a better way to do it.
Narrow or Circle Tail Connection
Let’s get out of here and now what you’ll see, which is what you see in a lot of the Keitech swim baits, is this narrow connection in the middle. Let’s do this real quick, we’re going to select these two things and then we’re going to use rails to control my shape. If you don’t know how to use rails, go back to this video HERE where I talk about lofts and rails and how to use them to make baits.
Now that looks a little better, we certainly have narrowness here and all that good stuff. Again, I could put a rail on this top side and make this even more narrow, but this is going to give me some pretty good action. Let’s back out one more time and what we’re going to do is we’re going to create the loft from there to just a straight circle which is straightforward. I find this makes a really good tail connection and you get a lot of side-to-side motion as well as up and down motion in there as well. You could, of course, put rails on this as well if you wanted to. I’m going to go with the skinny Keitech rail here and I’m going to show you how to do the next phase of this.
Extruding and Placing the Paddle
Once you click ok, now we have my sketch of the tail here. What I’m going to do is just hit the E key for extrude and extrude all of this out. The thickness is up to you, I find that you want at least about 2-2.5 millimeters. You got your tail and we can go in there and put fillets on there and do whatever we want, super simple. Now if you want a slight angle to your tail, which if you’re 3D printing them, you probably do because you don’t want this sitting parallel to the build plate. I’ll show you how to do that real quick, we’re just going to go back into our extrude and instead of a join, we’re going to select new body and click ok.
Now we’re going to take the move copy command and we’re going to make sure it’s on bodies. My selection is going to be this body 7, which is my tail, and I’m going to come to the right view here and we’re just going to grab this handle and tip it just a bit. The angle is up to you, but you do want to make sure that you’re still covering that back section there and click ok. Now we can combine them like we would normally do with the combine command. Now, I told you I was going to show you how to make that large whole tail connection a little but better so let’s do that real quick.
Secondary Loft Technique
So we’re going to go back in the timeline and I’m going to move this tail and we’re going to grab this arrow here. That means I’m not able to move it up and down or side-to-side, it’s going to stick there and let’s make it 5 millimeters. We’re also going to go ahead and add our angles here. We want this semi in line and then we’re going to do another loft between these faces, and you get more of a classic connection here.
Let me show you one more trick you can do with this as well. If I cancel that, I come in here and with the F key for fillet, we put a 1 millimeter fillet on there. Again, the size is up to you. Then, we do our loft again and now the loft’s going to be contained into that compressed area there and you get an even cooler connection. If you don’t like this downside, you could probably use a rail, or you could move this into a better spot.
You want this flash section connected evenly with that flat section and let’s see if that works better. You can fiddle with that all day and then you have what I call a classic thumper tail. I hope that was helpful to you. I’m going to do more of these quick tips with some very specific sections on tails and connections.
Take care- Tight lines