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Flat Tail Connections Quick Tip!

Flat Tail Connections Quick Tip! 1


Today we’re going to talk about how to connect those flat curl tails, or whatever kind of tails you’re connecting, to your lure body directly in one of the most common ways I see. We’re going to do this in Fusion 360, of course, so let’s go.

What I have here is very simple, I just made a worm body here and I have my curl tail, no biggie. I did ensure that the width of this curl tail here was the same width as the back of the lure. It kind of makes things easier, you don’t end up with any funky connections. When I do the sketch of the curl tail, I want to make sure I add a point in there and that’s where my lower body is going to connect to my curl tail. Let’s do that real quick.

adding a tail point in Fusion 360

Place a Point on the Tail Sketch

We’re going to edit sketch and I just want to create select point, so come up here and where it goes is going to be completely dependent on how you want it to look. Of course, you can always move it later do don’t get too hung up on it. You do want it to be in the middle though, so let’s stick this one out there. So I just have a point there, and I can click finish sketch.

tail body in Fusion 360

Create the Tail Body

Now what I want to do here is extrude out my tail and so with the E key we’re going to do symmetric and distance. Let’s do 0.7 which is 1.4 millimeters total which means it’ll be thin and it will get chewed off by everything, but it’ll have a ton of action and new body is important. Alright, let’s clean this up real quick. I’m going to select both of these, hit the F key for fillet and maybe a 0.6, yeah, it looks good. So now we have this tail, but the tail is totally separate from the body.

Use a Loft

Let’s go back and bring back our tail sketch. We have that point here and we’re going to create a loft. Boom. Then, we’re going to select the back of the lure and we’re going to select that point and what that does is it immediately gives you this nice cone shape and that will be whatever shape the back of your lure is.

loft shape in Fusion 360

Tweak the Loft Shape

Now, you have some control over that as well, if you go over here and change this connection from sharp to point tangent, it tends to round out a little bit. If you grab this handle, you can round it out even further. What you’re doing is you’re taking that first profile from the back of your lure and you’re holding that profile for longer before it clamps down onto the point. So you can do that all the way up to there and you can bring it all the way back down to make it smaller. You do you.

I like what I’ve done and we can use join. If you’re all done with that section, join everything back together and you’ll have one lure body that’s all connected. Super easy.

 

Take care- Tight lines

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Complete Lure Design Course – Let’s Add the Details

Flat Tail Connections Quick Tip! 2


All right guys, now we’re jumping into the part I think everybody’s been waiting for- we’re going to add some cool details onto this lure. Now, I’ve loaded the twitch bait design that we liked most during our testing back into Fusion 360. This twitch bait had a little chamber in here and I went along the timeline at the bottom and we don’t want to start adding details here because we want to work smarter, not harder. So we’re going to bring it back before we get started chopping up this lure and doing all the mirroring and combining and all that. That’s where we’re going to add our details, let’s go.

Backing up the Timeline in Fusion 360

All right so I think I want to come back all the way, basically before that eyeball gets in there. Sometimes this is tricky because you have to move stuff around. So my eyeball comes in here, but I combined all the bodies back together at this step and what I want is the bodies combined but I don’t want the eyeball in there. Let me show you a little trick you can do. I’m going to come up to this, past this fillet area here, and I’m going to take this and drag it. Now what I’ve done is I’ve switched those things around so I’m actually combining the body here, then I take the eyeball out there. So what I can do now is come in here and at the point I want, I just move it to where I want. Caution about moving things too dramatically around the timeline, you can really mess things up, but usually if the steps are not dependent on another step that you’re working out of order it should be just fine.

Creating a Sketch for the Gills, Mouth, and Body Split Line

All right, now I’m here and I don’t have my eye in there which is great and we’re ready to go. What I want to do is I want to create a sketch on the plane, on this face of the body. I’m going to come in and I’m going to make an offset. I’m going to do that by selecting the outline of the lower body and I’m going to do an offset in negative 0.4, just slightly trying to keep everything inside that body because we’re going to be doing some extrudes. We don’t want to come outside the boundaries of this object because we’re going to extrude from the object. Now we can actually turn off that so I just have this sketch now and what we’re going to mainly focus on is the head section first. I like to start by defining the back boundary, seeing how low the head goes and then I’ll add my details in there. I’ve been getting into more angular head designs so I’m popping back on this body. I know my eye is in this area of the front section so I want to keep that in mind because I want the eyeball to be inside the head. I’m just going to go very simple here.

Then we’re going to start adding our details here. Again, this is all about art and making what you want to make. Don’t get hung up on the way I’m doing it here, it’s just a phase I’m in with angular gill plates. Of course, you can make these any shape you want, they can be rounded or whatever you’d like. If you’re following along at home, I would just chill out for a but until you see what we’re doing because it will make much more sense once you see how we’re going to use these things. All right, I’m going to keep them big and chunky since I don’t like to put tiny details in my lure designs but if you do, you can go absolutely crazy here. Again, I’d suggest you’d watch my process before you get too crazy.

making a mouth on a twitch bait in Fusion 360

Alright, let’s put a mouth on it. I don’t usually do mouths but let’s add one. We’re staying with the angular pattern and we’re going to do something super basic since I’m keeping it simple. I’m going to do a lateral line so this ladder line does a couple of things. One, it’s going to be part of the design on the lower body and I’m also going to use it to split the lure when I start to do the body details. All right, fit point spline here and give it just a little bit of a curve. You can do what you want to here. I should have labeled my eye sketching here somewhere, so I can see where my eye is going to be. Now we can finish sketch and we’re going to extrude. I’m going to hit the E key on my keyboard and we’re going to extrude all of these sections in the head area first. Again, this is where adding too many details can really drive you crazy.

Creating the Overall Head Shape

So there’s two ways to approach this if you want to create a shape from the main lure shape. For your head, you can extrude this from the profile plane and I’ll show you what that does really quick. So if I extrude this out, I just grab this and move it over and I want to do a new body. We’re going to do a new body on a lot of stuff and so what I look for here is to keep it roughly the same nose width here. We have some wiggle room since we made a new body to change the angle. This is not a super scientific way to do things, you just have to guess. Let me also show you the other thing to do. The other wat to do it is instead of profile plane, do object and select this object. Now look what that does, it keeps all of the curvature of the body. Let me see if I can get a good angle here so we can keep the curvature of the body and the relative shape. Obviously, we don’t want it to be too big so you may have to play with the numbers. Now we do have to do negative because we drew on this face back here. If we drew on the plane, this would actually be a positive number which helps you know when you’re going the right or wrong way.

So now we have this little guy and one thing that this method gets you is that funky edge we can take care of and I’ll show you how. The most important thing here is the new body. Now we have this body and I’m going to rename it to “head” because that’ll make it easier later. Now let me show you something that I learned recently that blew my mind. If we click the move copy and we select faces and actually select this face right here, select top view, grab this and move this around. That’s really why we made this a new body, if we would have joined it together at that point you would run into all kinds of problems. You can’t go too far past where it starts to crush this edge right here and what I mean by that is this front edge can’t go past itself, it can’t fold over itself. Fusion 360 doesn’t like what happens and it will adjust. What this does is now we’ve widened the back, we’ve flattened down the front and we click okay. This gets this edge much closer and, again, we have room to play with this so don’t freak out just yet. Now what I’m going to do is rename this to “details” because that will help us later. We then want to turn that sketch back on and we can turn off our body sketch.

Building the Gill Plate

Now we start building the gill plate section so we're going to hit E for extrude. I like to start at the ones closest to the front of the bait so we’ll select this one. We’re going to make this one section since if you made this a bunch of little section it can get tricky. Then, we’re going to select this object and our distance is going to be around negative .4 since we want to have a stair step. You can see they just come out from there and we actually want to make these new bodies again and I’ll show you how to do that in a second. Remember that .4 and now we’re going to keep on going down the line so we have these section in here. We’re going to object select this object and let’s do negative .46 and do a new body and say okay. So we have these lower sections that I did here, and then these new bigger sections here. So we’re going to keep extruding this and create this diamond section here. From object select, select that object and do a negative .9. We’re going to do new body and click okay.

So let’s make this a little easier, now I have all of these bodies over here and the reason we made them new bodies is to make this next part easier. I’m going to come in here and if I turn off my head section and grab this edge, I’m going to hit fillet and round those edges over. I’m rounding out the leading edge here that’s closest to the bait. You can obviously do this on all of these other edges if you want to because they are individual bodies and it makes it a lot easier to do. If this was all one big joint body, Fusion 360 would get super confused because you have too many surfaces involved. I’m going to combine all of these guys together, join them and then name them gills. We turn back on our head and we turn back on the tutorial twitch and see what we’re looking like now. I think it looks pretty good, not too bad.

building the gill plate in Fusion 360

Extruding the Fin

So let’s keep going, let’s do an easy one here. Let’s turn back on our details and let’s extrude this guy. I’m going to go from object and see a pattern come in here. We’re going to do negative .7. If you haven’t figured it out yet, which I don’t think I made it very clear in the beginning, that distance is how far out from the body this particular feature is going to be. The distance is up to you, how big or small you want to make it from the body, but that’s what this is for. All right, we want to make a new body again and click okay. Then, we’re going to angle this out just like we did before with our move command, faces, select this face and just give it a bit of a tweak. You can play with this command all day long, I’m just going to place it where I think looks good here. Then one thing you can do that we can’t do if we joined these together is I can actually go to move bodies, select this, and bump it back into the lure a bit more so I can have even better control over how I want this lure to look.

All right, let’s see how this math looks. Now like I said, I’m pretty terrible at mouths, I don’t do them a lot. I’m going to do object, select our head here and do negative .5 which is where I ran into a problem. This head section actually got shrunken in and so this outline is outside of the head section so we can solve that pretty easily later on. So I’m going to skip this step right now and this is one of the problems you can run into with this technique but it’s easily solvable. It’s really more of a sequencing issue more than anything. Alright, now we got our head on there and it’s pretty far out actually. What you can do is remove bodies by selecting the head and the gills together and move them all in there. We’re going to change the top here, you can figure out what you want this to look like and just move it into place. It might be hard to see but there’s this edge here that flows back that’s an original part of the lure.

Combining the Head and Gills, and Making the Mouth

Now we have a much more natural fade in. I think we’re at a point where we should combine all the gills together with the head to make that all one piece. So we just click combine head gills, join, don’t keep tools, and then click okay. I’m also going to label the fin. Now we have our head, which has our gills on it, then we’ll separate the body from the main body. I don’t really like the way it wraps up here, the bottom actually came out. The quick and dirty way to get rid of that is just to create a sketch on this plane and we’re just going to draw a line which will go about right here. Again, it’s our people finish sketch then we’re going to use the split body command and we’re going to split this body and use this tool. Now I have head 1 which is the main head and the top half. If I just hide this body, bring our tutorial twitch back on and now you can see the fades a bit better. Now you can adjust that however you want, you can use a curved splitting tool if you want or you could leave it like how I’m doing it.

combining the head gills and mouth of lure in Fusion 360

Now let’s go back to our mouth and add the details sketch back in and hit the extrude button. We’re going to hide this head here from object. Again, let’s just say .5. If you wanted to, you could get in there and fine tune your sketch and go back to your details sketch and edit and then basically add a line here to there. Then when we go to extrude, let’s edit feature and we want to make sure that we unselect that bottom part, select that, click cut, okay. We just cut it out from there and we’re good. I don’t know if you can tell, but in here we can see how it’s kind of shaded. We actually have the head poking through so when you come over here, objects to cut, pull that down so you can see all the things the profile actually goes through. We wanted to cut that head section as well so you can use this to only cut certain parts. It’s pretty powerful once you get use to using it. I apologize for this terrible, terrible mouth.

Inverted Ribs on the Lower Part of the Lure

Now what we’re going to do is combine the main body. I’m going to turn off our fin and turn off our head for now and we’re going to split the head off and the body into multiple pieces to add our other details. So if we click back on this sketch and we click split body my drawing tools are going to be on this outside drawing edge here. Then right click okay. So let me turn that off, we got the main head of the lure out of the way and we’re going to split it again. This body split tool is going to be the lateral line we put in there and click okay. We want to get that detail sketch out of the way and then we want to figure out what’s here, which is the bottom. I just rename that twitch bottom and twitch top. Now what we’re going to do is we’re going to do a hatch pattern across these guys so I want the bottom to be just these lines going that way and ten on the top we’re going to do the hatch. So we can start by just having the bottom and we’re going to make a sketch and I want the lines angling 45 degrees front to back here and be sure to check that they’re long enough. Before I create a rectangular pattern, I’m going to go all the way past the end. How many you need is up to you. The lines represent where each hatch mark is going to be so you can add as many as you’d like. Click on okay and we finish sketch.

Now it gets a bit tedious. We’re going to create another sketch on that plane and we’re going to create a project to surface face. This face curves and all these lines are a long vector. For projection direction, you want this back and forth, you can see it working because you have these red lines. Hopefully you want these kind of cutouts. You can ignore the warning, it’s just because we drew over the face but we want to make sure that we had all of the body covered. Click okay and finish sketch. Now we can turn off this sketch and the easiest way, I’ve found, to do this is actually a bit of a hack. We go to create form, create pipe. I’d like to change this global diameter first and let’s say .5 millimeters. Just select all of those guys, including the ribs, click okay then finish form. I made a mistake here because I didn’t close my pipes so just be sure to close those. So the end we want to be spikes are square and it doesn’t really matter, we want our mode to be round. You also want them to be closed because we want them to be actual bodies and not just surface bodies. Now we click okay and finish one so we still end up with roughly the same thing, we end up with all these bodies. Now what you can do is obviously if you want ribs that stick out, you can just leave them as is and combine them together with a join. What I’m going to do, is I’m going to cut them out which this process is the same so I click combine. Our target body is the twitch bottom, our tool bodies are all of these guys. I can click one, hold down the shift key, and click the others to select them.

Creating a Hatch Pattern on the Top of the Lure

Once we have them all selected, now we have our hatch pattern or these scratches in this particular section here. Moving on to the top, I’m going to turn on the top right side here, looking at the right, and what I think I want to do here is not go all the way over the top with this hash pattern. I just want to keep the pattern to the front face of the body, but I also don’t mind it wrapping around the bottom because the bottom is a little thinner. I just don’t like it wrapping around the top for some reason, but again you can do whatever you want to do. What I’m going to do is draw a sketch here on this plane, draw a fit point spline because we’re going to chop this up and I’m also going to hollow out the curve here. To work the curve, you can grab this handle and move it up. I don’t want the sketch points on there so I’ll use split body to select that and click okay. Now I have a top one and a high top as well as this small section here. What we’re going to do is basically the same thing we did with the one way hatches but we’re going to do more of a diamond patter now. So we’re going to draw a sketch on this plane and draw a line 45 degrees, be sure to put the angle in first that’s what I didn’t do last time. Make sure that you’re all the way past and we’re going to create a rectangular pattern on this guy so make sure you go past the end of the lure. Again, how many you want to do is completely up to you.

Now to make things easier for us, we’re going to do this in two separate sketches and you’ll see why in a minute. We’re going to finish this sketch and we’re just going to create another and one thing I want to do is project this whole line and that point, click okay. We’re going to draw another line and I want to be even with the first line we made. We’re going to come down to 135 degrees which is basically 45 degrees from 180. My other angle is 45, so we want to keep it at the same angle. We’re going to come all the way down again, and we just want to make sure that we’re past the bottom of that body right there. Next thing I’m going to do is dimensions. This is going to be 1.5, then I’m going to create a rectangular patter and again, make sure it’s all the way over the body and we’ll just do 30 for now. You can play with this all day long, this is where your art comes in. We’re going to click okay and finish sketch.

adding hatch marks to lure in Fusion 360

So now we’re going to do the same thing we did late time with our lines for our belly but we’re going to do them in two steps. I found this to be the best way to go about things because if you try to do them all in one sketch and use the pipe command, it tries to connect those pipes together and you end up with all kinds of problems. Even though it’s longer and more tedious, I’ve found this way to work the best. What we want to do first is re-label these because it’ll be easier, then we’re going to create sketch then project to surface which is the same thing we did last time. After some trial and error I finally have my projections and what we’re going to do is exactly what we did last time when we created the hatches on the belly of the lure, just in two steps. So we go create form, create pipe and line it up so we can easily select these. I’m going to change my global diameter to .5, which is where we were before, we also want to make sure we have square ends. Click okay and finish form.

Then we have a whole lot of bodies here, so what I’m going to do is rename my backs. We’re going to go ahead and create our other pipes first and then we’re going to do our cutting and removing. If I end up needing to keep these separate for whatever reason, the backslashes and the forward slashes, I know what my relative range is. There’s probably a better way to do this but I don’t know it so please feel free to leave me a comment. We want to hide all of these for now, we’re going to turn our forward slashes back on and we’re going to do our projection again. Same thing, we’re going to create a sketch here, project the surface and select this surface, select these curves, make sure you don’t select the projected curve. We’re going to do a long vector then we we’ll select okay and Fusion 360 will give me a warning because I didn’t select all of them. It’ll take a while for Fusion 360 to deal with the problem since Fusion 360 isn’t the best program to run on a Mac. Okay, once that works out click okay, finish sketch. Before we create a new form, we want to make sure we turn off that other sketch because we don’t need it right now and we just want to deal with this guy. We’re going to go to create pipe and create a .5 square.

Now that we’ve done that, you can see we have all of our front and back bodies here. I’m going to bring our backend ones and to do that I’m going to shift-click all of those and go to show hide. So now that we have our cross pattern, I’m going to try and combine these together in one shot. This could fail miserably but let’s see. I click combine target body, I go from the back one all the way down to the end there. My operation is cut, I definitely don’t want to keep those tools around. Now I know some of you are saying “hey dude, couldn’t you have done that all in one shot with projecting them and creating a pipe over the crosshatch?” What happens when I do that is Fusion 360 tries to bring these sections together and make one solid pipe, so you don’t get this 90 degree angle. Also when you get into sections like this right here, sometimes Fusion 360 doesn’t create geometry that’s valid and will fail and you won’t be able to get out of there. So I know this was a fairly long way to go to get some crosshatch pattern, but it’s really the way I’ve found that has the most chance for success. So now we can start to bring our bodies back together and you can see what we got. Now the other thing I could have done is use this original sketch down here to match these up. It’s possible, you just would have to draw your sketch longer next time.

Adding a Lateral Groove

One thing we’re going to do is we’re going to go back to our details and we have one more thing we’re going to add. We’re going to add this lateral line in to really clean up that edge. What we need to do first is we want to combine all of these bodies together. We click combine and the first one you click, it doesn’t really matter from a technical standpoint, is what this thing is going to be named. I’m just going to call it twitch top here, and then we want to join the altogether and click okay. Now we’re all back together and I’m just going to rename this one to twitch bye and then, you guessed it, one last project, create a sketch on this backplane. I’m going to create, project to surface faces. There’s not a great way to go about this, just select and make sure you’re only selecting the flat ones there. You can see I have my red line right here and click okay and wait.

adding lateral lines to lure in Fusion 360

All right guys, this is, again, yet another complication of doing scales and these hatch lines this particular way. When we went and selected all of those faces to do our projection on, what we end up with is a line that that is in a lot of different parts. You can see that it has all these different segments so we can’t use our pipe command, which would just be too easy. So we have to go, again, go back into the forms editor, create the pipe, select all of these and choose your size. We want to make sure it’s square ending, as you can see when we get in here that we have these gaps and that’s where those crosshatches came across.

Let’s bring our twitch body back and same thing, we’re just going to combine twitch body tools and we’re going to cut. So you can see why I don’t like to make a lot of super fine detailed hatches, it’s just going to take a while and put a lot of strain on your computer. So we can bring back the fin and you can see the fin goes over the top. Then what we want to do is combine all these back together. Then my tool bodies are all here and visible and we want to of course join it all back up and click okay. We are all done now, you can come in here and you can get a little bit cooler if you want to clean the lure up.

Pulling Forward in the Timeline

So let’s go forward, edit this feature and my selections. I want this and that, I want those three and I’m getting it where I want it except for the math which is bothering me. Don’t worry, you can do better. So now that we added, we went back in time on the timeline and we pulled that back to add in all these extra steps, we should be able to pull forward in the timeline and get back to where we were before this whole thing started if we did everything right.

We have a few problems and that’s pretty normal, I’ll show you where you can go and fix this so you can see what’s going on here. I didn’t extend out past where this bump is so the easiest thing to do there is just knock that out and we want to do that before we do our mirror. Then we can go back and just finish the sketch with that eyeball on it which is this body section sketch, turn that back on, hit E for extrude, grab that circle and come all the way out with a cut that will cut that hole back open for us and click okay. That took a little bit of work but it sorted out our problem and it looks pretty cool. Now we can pull forward another error again here. So the problem is because this is now combined with this body, you can see I have my fillet after I edit my combined bodies. The easy way to fix this is just delete that fillet and pull my timeline here, fill it to the .1 and add that fillet in there and then go to combine. Remember, I mentioned earlier about things getting a little weird and that’s one of the situations.

3D printed lures

The Printed Lure

I know that’s not the most amazingly beautiful lure you’ve ever seen but the concepts are the same, it’s just how much of an artists you are and how much time you’re willing to spend. I find that the fish don’t really care. I’m going to go ahead and print this and I’ll show you the results.

Hey guys that turned out pretty cool and I hope you liked that episode. I know it was long, thanks for hanging in there. Next week, we’re going to talk about adding crankbait lips when you’re making crankbaits and the specific steps I go to for designing and implementing them. That video will be right HERE.

Take care-Tight lines

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8 Tips for 3D printed Fishing Lure Molds

Flat Tail Connections Quick Tip! 3


What’s up everybody and welcome back to Gulfstream Outdoors! Today I’m going to give you my top five tips for 3D printed resin molds. Wait, no, eight tips. Holy crap you’re getting a lot of value out of this video. So if you’ve watched all my videos in their entirety, you’ve probably already heard some of these tips but I wanted to put them all into one spot so I can answer every ones questions.

visual of tip 1- using Siraya Tech Sculpt resin

Tip One

Number one, pick the right resin. To me, there’s only one resin to use and that’s Siraya Tech Sculpt. It has a heat deflection temperature of 320 degrees Fahrenheit and all that really means is at what point it starts to bow and warp and get all messed up. I don’t really know too much about the parameters of the heat deflection test, I know it has a specific width of material. I’ve shot lures well above 400 degrees Fahrenheit and not had any deformation in my molds. All of my molds are a standard 15 millimeters width on each side so I think it’s even at a thinner material than 15 millimeters that are really starting to form at that temperature. It can handle a lot of heat, there are other high temperature resins out there just make sure your heat deflection temperature is above 300-320 degrees Fahrenheit. I believe Siraya Tech Sculpt is really want you want and I have it linked here.

Visual of tip 2 - printing molds whole

Tip Two

My number two tip is to print it solid. Yes, you can hollow it out and yes you’ll save some resin but really what ends up happening is, especially with Siraya Tech Sculpt, is that it’s a brittle material. So if you have a hollow mold and you’re trying to put it together with a vise, screws or anything else, you’re probably going to crack it when you really want that mold to last. This mold here I’ve shot at least 100 times and absolutely nothing is wrong with it. It has a chip in it but that’s from me dropping it. If I had dropped it and it was hollow, the drop probably would have shattered the whole thing which is no good.

visual of tip 3- printing lure vertically and chamfering

Tip Three

Tip number three is print it flat to the build plate and chamfer it. A solid block of resin, even a small mold, is a lot heavier than most of the things these 3D printers are used to printing so you want to give it the most support as possible. The best chance of success for me is printing it flat against the build plate and chamfering the edges in Fusion 360, or whatever you use to design your lure, that’ll help you get it off the build plate. Printing flat also compensates for the elephant’s foot that you’re going to get when you print something flat on the build plate. Elephant’s foot is when you over expose resin to the light and it leaks out to the side and your material hardens at the edges wider than the actual mold. If you do that flat without the chamfer, when you go to put them together you’re going to have a lip and you’re going to have to sand it and nobody likes sanding. So by chamfering it you give some room for that elephant’s foot to go into place and when you put them together it’s flat and no sanding is required.

visual of tip 4- molds vertical

Tip Four

Tip number four is related to tip number three and that’s that you want to print it at the skinniest edge to the build plate. A lot of people think when I say flat against the build plate that I mean literally right on top of the build plate and that’s really destined to fail. You have tons of surface area here on your FEP and it leads to peeling on the edges because a lot of pull force. Sometimes you can get away with the top edge on the build plate but I tend to notice that the edges will pull off. You can usually use those molds but the holes will deform slightly, but usually it’s okay. The absolute best way to print is vertically with a short side on the build plate. This is the longest print time possible since it’s largely determined by the number of layers you have on the z-axis. So printing horizontally is the shortest print time I could print at about 40 minutes on my Epax E 10. It would fail, but I could print it. It would probably be about 6 hours with the lures facing out and about 11 hours vertically. But printing vertically is going to get me a print that is pretty much flawless every time. I can probably print two or three molds vertically just by stacking them back and forth. So, the longest print time gives you the best results with the smallest edge going onto the build plate. One more thing about this mold, it is a little tricky because it has the injection port on the side, but if you have a mold in general you want to put the injection port at the bottom. That’s going to give you the cleanest print on that injection port.

visual of tip 5- using nuts and bolts

Tip Five

All right, tip number five. Don’t use any kind of holes and keys for alignment- use nuts and bolts. I have my fiddle fin mold here and I have holes going all the way through it. I use a ¼ in- 20 which goes right through. For the ¼ in- 20, I use these wing nuts with the washers on then and then screw it down and it’s easily aligned. Now I need another one on the end but you really only need them at two or three point to be totally aligned. I can put my mold in my vice with my vice across the bottom and I’m ready to shoot. The reason why I don’t recommend keys is generally resin is not accurate enough for you to design it in Fusion 360 and move a key across and cut a hole. You’ll need to make that initial hole bigger on the other side and it’s going to depend on the resin and on exposure and I find that it’s not really consistent with a hole. With a nut and bolt, you get relatively consistent results and in Fusion 360 you can use the clearance setting in the hole which generally works without any issues.

visual of tip 6- venting in Fusion 360

Tip Six

Bonus tip- venting. Now I have some videos where I didn’t vent at all and that does seem to work fairly well. If you do decide you want a vent, only vent one side of the mold and not both. I learned from this guy on a Facebook group that does CNC molds and I use that technique on my latest big saltwater 8 inch grub and it seems to be working really well. What I do in Fusion 360 is literally turn off one side of the mold, draw lines where I want the VIN holes to be, use the pipe command and just carve only that one side of the mold and it seems to work really well.

visual of tip 7- using measurements

Tip Seven

All right, a few top secret numbers here really quickly as a bonus. The injection port size I use is 15.2 millimeters. Again, to make room in the mold. I use the whole command and I use the counterbore. What that does is the 15.2 size goes down a bit and then I can shrink my sprue hole to the size that I want in order to fit my bait right. That size can be totally dependent on what size bait you have. To not blow away the face of the bait and make it a lot easier. I also use the drill point tip and use the cone it has to poke into the front of my bait, just enough to get the plastic in there. For the vents, I use the pipe command and my pipe diameter is 0.2 millimeters. It really ends up being .1 millimeters because you’re going to use half of it which is two layer lines on my printer. That’s just enough to let the air out and not enough to let the plastisol all out unless you’re shooting like, molten hot lava.

visual of tip 8- using 15 millimeter extrusion

Tip Eight

Last tip I almost forgot for when you’re making your mold extrude each half at 15 millimeters. An easy way to do this is just to do a symmetrical extrude at 15 millimeters which is going to end up a little over an inch and a half. This should contain your lures since not too many lures are over an inch and a half in any one direction. Even if you have a thin lure, you want to print it 15 millimeters because that’s going to give you 30 millimeters total and that gives you enough area around the injection port to not cause any warping or weirdness.

 

If I missed anything guys, or if you have a tip I don’t know about please let me know. I don’t think there’s a ton of people on the planet doing what we’re doing so we all need to learn from each other!

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Simple Lure Design in Fusion 360

Flat Tail Connections Quick Tip! 4


I’ve made a few videos on designing lures in Fusion 360, but I realized that the techniques I was using were fairly advanced and I completely skipped over a lot of the simple techniques for designing lures that will produce some great baits. Today we’re going to fix that by creating a simple curly tail grub using only three functions- sketch, extrudes and fillets.

First up, I want to share a tool that I think is critical for my design, the digital caliper. I have trouble visualizing dimensions in my sketch and comparing those to the actual size of an object. It’s also great for taking measurements of existing lures, say you have a lure that has the same size body as the one you have in your mind. You can just take a measurement using the digital caliper and put that into your design, it’s really handy. The link to the one I use is here but you can find these just about anywhere such as Lowe’s Home Depot, Harbor Freight, Northern Tool. All those types of places will have a simple digital caliper, you just want to make sure it has millimeters and inches.

Flat Tail Connections Quick Tip! 5

So a few things to think about. First, before you actually dive in and start designing, you need to think about the overall length of the body and the length of the tail. If you’re making an injection mold you need to know where you’re going to split it and typically, for ease, you only have one split. So let’s jump into Fusion 360 and get stared.

First, I’m going to sketch the front of the lure. In this case, I’m going to use a simple 10 millimeter circle. The important thing here is that I’m placing the center of the circle on the center point of the Fusion 360 plane. This will make lining everything up and keeping everything symmetrical much easier. Then, I want to draw a center line that is the same length that I want the body of my lure to be. Now, I could have done this first and I probably should have, but the order at this point doesn’t really matter. The center line is just going to sit here to give me an idea about how far to actually extrude when I’m ready to. This is about simplicity, not accuracy. I work in millimeters because I’m going to 3D print this and 3D printers work in the metric system. Luckily Fusion 360 is smart enough to do the math for me. I can pull out this line and I can simply type 3 I N (for inches) and Fusion 360 does the math for me and converts those three inches directly into millimeters which is really nice.

Flat Tail Connections Quick Tip! 6

Now the fun begins! The extrude command takes a sketch or a face and just pulls it out and makes it solid. It’s a very simple yet very powerful function inside Fusion 360. I could take this circle and pull it all the way down to the end and have a basic tube, but that’s pretty boring. What I want is my grub body to have a little hump in the middle so to do this we use the taper angle feature in the extrude command and make it a positive number. It’s going to grow out as I extrude and I usually just eyeball this step until something looks right. Again, we’re going for simple here not exact. So I get it stretched out to something I like then hit enter. I want to stretch out the hump section a little bit so I click on the back face of the taper and just extrude it out. Again, I’m just pulling and eyeballing it, we’re not engineering anything to specs at this point. Now, what I want to do on the tail is to take this hump section and taper it down relatively small, at least compared to the front of the lure. To do that I’m going to use the same extrude command, click on the back face, but instead of a positive number I’m going to put in a negative number. The negative number will shrink it down as it tapers and again I’m eyeballing this process.

Flat Tail Connections Quick Tip! 7

So now that we have the basic shape of the body of our grub, what I want to do is smooth out these very sharp angles. So I’m going to use the fillet command and sand down those edges and make them a bit rounder. I click on the front face and hit the fillet icon and, again, just eyeball the process. You can type in a number if you know the number you want to use. Sometimes it’s easier to type and change the numbers but I’m just going to move it and see what I like. I’m going to hop over to the backside and do the same. What I’m going to do on the backside is I want it to be as close to a circle on the end as I can so I’m just going to pull it out until it gives me an error message. That error message means I’ve gone too far and from there I’ll back it up just a little bit.

Flat Tail Connections Quick Tip! 8

So now that we have our body shape, let’s work on the tail. The tail is pretty simple, what I’m going to do is draw a sketch on the middle plane. Since I centered my circle in the beginning, I know that the middle plane is in the center of my lure body. So I draw a line across and I’m not too worried about getting it in the center and you’ll see why. I’m just giving it a basic width at the base then I use the fit point spline tool, which is how you draw curves in Fusion 360. The more points you have, the more control you have so you can usually be pretty “click happy” as you go around and make your points. Don’t try to add too many, but definitely have more points than less. If you want to add another point, you can simply right click and the click on insert fit point spline.

So I’m just going to sketch out a rough diagram on one side and try to match it up to the other side. I’m pretty terrible when it comes to drawing curly tails and I’m sure there’s a better technique out there to do it. Again, I’m just trying to show you an easy way to get a basic lure design. You can sit here and fiddle with these fit points all you want. Once you draw these out, hit the escape key t get out of the fit point spline tool. You can drag and click any of these points and you can also click a pint and then it has these green handles. The green handles let you move around and shape the angles of your fit point spline.

Flat Tail Connections Quick Tip! 9

So again, we’re going to go back to the extrude command and exit out of the sketch. Hit extrude then select your drawing. The difference we’re going to make here is we’re going to make this a symmetric extrude and what that does is it takes the plan and instead of extruding the sketch one direction it extrudes it in both directions the same exact amount. So the number you type in here is going to be doubled to make the overall width, depth and height of your tail (how thick it is). So in this case, I want about a four inch thick tail, again it’s totally up to you on what you want, but I want four inches. So I type two in the box and we have a four inch tail. It’s not perfect, in fact it’s terrible.

So what I’m going to do is actually change the sketch that I had use in the original tail, this is a very powerful feature in Fusion 360. I simply right click on the sketch down in the timeline- hit edit- sketch- and that bring me back to my lure. I grab the points I made and I’m going to bring them to the inside of my body. So now it comes out of the body around and I actually find it easier to start wide, do the tail, and then come back and change the sketch. I’m not sure why, it just works for me better.

Flat Tail Connections Quick Tip! 10

So now, we got our tail and we go back to the fillet command. Make sure you fillet the top and the bottom to make sure you can select them both at the same time. Now we’re done! We have a very simple curly tail grub. Next what you would want to do is probably make a mold so I have a couple of mold making videos and I’ll be doing a new one that has a simpler technique if you want to check it out. If you want to see how to add details like ribs and eyes to this lure, click here.

 

Take care everybody- tight lines