Thad

Getting a custom aluminum mold?

18 posts in this topic

Hey, I've seen some places on the internet but can't find them anymore. Do any of you guys know where I can get a custom aluminum mold made? Like specific companies or links? Also do you know what files they use to make the molds. I know you can send them actual things to replicate and they can use CAD files but can they use Photoshop layouts?

Edited by Thad

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Yes, CAD files can be processed to cut molds. But many machinists will not use CAD data, unless it has come from a trusted source. I had this discussion with DelW, a machinist who advertises on this sight. I myself am a designer using CAD.

Photoshop files do not contain 3D data and so cannot be used for mold cutting. There are examples on the web, of photo data being used to cut photo's into the wood surface, using shades of grey as depth commands, but no good for molds.

Dave

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Yes, CAD files can be processed to cut molds. But many machinists will not use CAD data, unless it has come from a trusted source. I had this discussion with DelW, a machinist who advertises on this sight. I myself am a designer using CAD.

Photoshop files do not contain 3D data and so cannot be used for mold cutting. There are examples on the web, of photo data being used to cut photo's into the wood surface, using shades of grey as depth commands, but no good for molds.

Dave

So what do they prefer?

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I might have some solutions for custom mold work. I have a meeting with my mold maker on Thursday if anyone is interested? We can use Photoshop to an extent. We always make mock lures in PS and then design from that file into a 3D cad program.

Edited by wildtail97

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I might have some solutions for custom mold work. I have a meeting with my mold maker on Thursday if anyone is interested? We can use Photoshop to an extent. We always make mock lures in PS and then design from that file into a 3D cad program.

What CAD program are you using?

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Pro Engineer. But you could do it with others. Depends how much detail you are working on. We could also talk about designing them for you if your interested.

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Another option, with multiple choices, is the navigation bar on the left side of this page. Check under 'luremaker directory'.

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Has anyone tried Google Sketchup (sketchup.google.com)? The free version is 3D and downloadable.

I just got it for my woodworking but haven't tried it for lure design yet.

Gary

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Looks like a good trial program, not sure that its ready for mold making but you could get an idea of what you want to create.

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The hard part about CAD modelling is getting the system to draw what you want and not just accepting what it gives you.

That simple little lure in my avatar, took me about ten hours to model. But now that it is modelled, I can quickly alter the parameters and change its size and even modify its shape.

The plan was to use it to model up the aluminium molds and get them machined. But I have decided to stay with wood. I still use the model to work out the final weight of the lure and centre of gravity, before starting to cut wood. All non-essential, but I enjoy.

Think hard before starting the CAD route. It sucks up a lot of time. You would be much better off carving a good quality master and making RTV molds.

Dave

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Amen to that Dave! I spent close to 30 hrs on a topwater frog mold this winter. We are still testing it but hope to have it finalized in a couple weeks. CAD is a timely route but if you want to design something that looks perfect, and that no one else has then CAD is the only solution that I can think of.

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The pic shows the patch work of surfaces involved. To achieve the cross section shape I wanted, all the surfaces are driven by conics (elipse shapes). Lots of head banging involved to get it to work.

Lip removed, the world is not ready for that yet!

Dave

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Very nice, that is our next adventure. crankbaits. all we do right now is soft plastic. we are working on some fun muskie lures too. we are from the great state of Minnesota, so we try and make everyone happy. once our site is done I will have to learn how to link it here like everyone else. Im glad I found this site you guys are all great!:yay:

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@ vodkaman

That is some sweet skill on that lure of yours that you made in CADD:worship:. But i was wondering what CADD program you used? At school I am in a CADD class and we use inventor. Im not that good at CADD but still cant figure out on how to make a lure using the program:mad::huh::lol:.

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For anyone that is starting to look at modeling their baits or ideas I would strongly suggest looking at Rhino. Its pretty intuitive and is a great surface/solid modeling program. On top of that there is a pretty easy plug in available to get your work prepared for CNC work.

Now getting the CNC mill to run smoothly; that is another issue..........;)

Sketchup is alright, it is a purely a surface modeling program and is limited in that you cannot perform an boolean functions nor can you really work with any subtractive processes. Also it is based on triangular components so curves are usually poorly achieved and can be choppy or completely erroneous. If you do find that you like Sketchup for a modeling program then check out Vray for rendering functions (or at the very least kerkythea, googles rendering software for sketchup). You will be much mor satisfied with the results than with sketchup's rendering capabilites.

Edited by Illini Nate

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For anyone that is starting to look at modeling their baits or ideas I would strongly suggest looking at Rhino. Its pretty intuitive and is a great surface/solid modeling program. On top of that there is a pretty easy plug in available to get your work prepared for CNC work.

Now getting the CNC mill to run smoothly; that is another issue..........;)

Sketchup is alright, it is a purely a surface modeling program and is limited in that you cannot perform an boolean functions nor can you really work with any subtractive processes. Also it is based on triangular components so curves are usually poorly achieved and can be choppy or completely erroneous. If you do find that you like Sketchup for a modeling program then check out Vray for rendering functions (or at the very least kerkythea, googles rendering software for sketchup). You will be much mor satisfied with the results than with sketchup's rendering capabilites.

Do you know of a program like rhino for a MAC?

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