nfollmer

Anyone Use a CNC Router to Make Lures/Molds

26 posts in this topic

Hey everyone, been reading the forums a few days now, a lot of great info here!

Anyway, I'm a 3d Modeler and I've decided to branch out into lure making (been fishing for about 16 years now). I was wondering if anyone else had an experience with it? What I plan on doing is modeling my lures/molds, then having them cut on a CNC router (I know a sign maker that has one and is generous enough to cut my models :) ).

I've tried making lures on a lathe and even carving them, but I'm just no good at it. But if anyone has an ideas or wants to see something specific, let me know and I'd be glad to model it for you! I'll post some photos of my models and stuff once I get some made.

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I've been curious to see someone do this as well, like that sears unit i was thinking it would make great molds for plastics all you would need to do is pour a blank out of fiberglass resin and mill that.

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Hey everyone, been reading the forums a few days now, a lot of great info here!

Anyway, I'm a 3d Modeler and I've decided to branch out into lure making (been fishing for about 16 years now). I was wondering if anyone else had an experience with it? What I plan on doing is modeling my lures/molds, then having them cut on a CNC router (I know a sign maker that has one and is generous enough to cut my models :) ).

I've tried making lures on a lathe and even carving them, but I'm just no good at it. But if anyone has an ideas or wants to see something specific, let me know and I'd be glad to model it for you! I'll post some photos of my models and stuff once I get some made.

I do, but have just made flatsided baits, yet. So I use a CNC instead of a tablesaw.

I made the baits in Adobe Illustrator, exported the outline to correct format, and press play on tape, 80 blanks was cut out, a couple of hours later, I rounded them over.

I used to be a 3d modeller, and have just recently picked up old programs, and want to try the CNC router in all axis'.

Heres a video from a session: Egg Solution: An evening in the woodshop...

Michael

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Now those are some awesome tools! Thanks for the share, I always like a good vid...

Anyway, I have a lure almost finished (modeling that is), is anyone here interested in some tutorials/workflow? If you're lucky, maybe i'll even share the 3d files after I'm done so you guys with CNC's can cut em also :)

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What CAD system are you using?

I use CATIA V5.

Dave

I'm using 3DS Max 2010. It's not so much a CAD program, but it's close :) I don't need super accurate precision so it should work... I can export the file into almost ANY format so opening it in your CAD program shouldn't be an issue at all.

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nfollmer,

I would definitely be interested in seeing your 3D files if you are willing to share. I just love technical stuff

(designs, drawing, cad files etc.)

I am currently working on a lead mold, that I'm designing with Solidworks. It's every bit as challenging. The mold is coming along fine, I am just spread out too thin and can't finish everything. I will then export the 3d solid model to a friend and he will hopefully cut the mold and details on a CNC 5 axis machine. The mold is aluminum and I saw the machine he uses in action, talk about impressive.

Hey Dave maybe we can buy one together and start a business? I envy you, you have some cat's a** cad software. I wish they would get it at my company. I have heard so many good things about Catia, excellent software.

Edited by cadman

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Yes, CATIA V5 is top quality, but it is a real pig to learn. You would need to take a course, unless you knew someone who could help.

Also, using it to model fishing lures is quite complex, unless you are going for something simple.

Outputting to CNC is one route, a very good one if you know someone. Another route (which I am considering) is output to a rapid prototype machine. This output can either be used as a master for mold making, or, as in my case, for a duplicating machine.

Why don't we do a model swap, I would be interested in seeing what you guys are upto. PM me your e-mail addresses and I will send one of mine out. State what format you want (state a few, just incase).

Dave

Here is a list of formats that I can output to:

CAT STL IGS MODEL STP 3DMAP CGR HGC VPS WRL

Edited by Vodkaman

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Earlier when I used to do modeling for games etc. I loved a free sub div modeler called Wings3d. Its a VERY powerfull sub div modeller, and still is. You can export to many known formats. So next time Im at the CNC I will bring with me a 3d model, exported to the right format, so that the cnc operator can import it to his software, to test out 3d cnc'ing.

How accurate it will be, we'll see :) But musky/pike baits arent exactly computer parts..

It can obviously not router on the underside, so I guess the lures has to be 2 part, and glued together.

But my regular models will still just be cut out on the cnc and I will use a regular router to round of the edges.

Ill post updates here when I have them.

Michael

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what ever you do make sure you draw your model to scale, if its not drawn to scale it turns into a nightmare.

a operator wont be able to plug it into the machine and run it, he will have to use a cadcam software to covert it to machine code using the tools needed to make the part.

don't forget just because you can draw it doesnt mean it can be made.

for none machinest making 3d drawings of parts the best way is to have a pencil handy, hold it straight up and down thats your cutting tool, it doesnt move at an angle only up and down..

in making a 3d part its a good idea not to make any filliet radius's too small as the machine needs to run tools and if they are too small 1 they wont work or 2 it will be so time consuming its not worth running

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what ever you do make sure you draw your model to scale, if its not drawn to scale it turns into a nightmare.

a operator wont be able to plug it into the machine and run it, he will have to use a cadcam software to covert it to machine code using the tools needed to make the part.

don't forget just because you can draw it doesnt mean it can be made.

for none machinest making 3d drawings of parts the best way is to have a pencil handy, hold it straight up and down thats your cutting tool, it doesnt move at an angle only up and down..

in making a 3d part its a good idea not to make any filliet radius's too small as the machine needs to run tools and if they are too small 1 they wont work or 2 it will be so time consuming its not worth running

Yeah, I made sure everything was to scale and I also made sure there was no parts that went under others (that pencil thing you were talking about :) ). I did know about the software that turns the model into machine code. I did a little research before I started modeling. I'm not sure how small I can make my details with his style of CNC, that's why I made this swimbait kind of bigger and didn't add a lot of detail (once we get cutting, I'll know more about the machine's limits).

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Yeah, I made sure everything was to scale and I also made sure there was no parts that went under others (that pencil thing you were talking about :) ). I did know about the software that turns the model into machine code. I did a little research before I started modeling. I'm not sure how small I can make my details with his style of CNC, that's why I made this swimbait kind of bigger and didn't add a lot of detail (once we get cutting, I'll know more about the machine's limits).

I just finished making a mold. I drew the model in Inventor and exported it as a stp. file and it worked great. The biggest problem I had was finding someone to actually do the machining. Called about a dozen places and no one was interested. They are too busy and don't want to do a run of one part. It took 3 months to get the mold made. A big reason no one wants to do it is because of the time it takes. it will tie up they machine for hours (depending on details).

Here are some tips for making the cut faster (this should save you time and money): Don't use small inside radius', keep it above a 1/6th of an inch. Make as few cavities as possible. When creating the mold model, only include one cavity and let the CAM operator copy it. This will cut down on the number of lines it will need to calculate and speed up the process. If your mold model has multiple cavities the bit will have to go up and down many times as it goes across to each cavity. Its better to have it cut one at a time so it can just go back and forth inside one cavity. (this is probably getting too confusing now). And the last tip I have is use the model if possible to cut the mold. This may not be possible for all designs. For instance, I gave the CNC Shop a model of a mold as opposed to the actual lure shape. If you can get away with it, use the lure shape. ( I couldn't because I needed to make some air vents, and expansion areas for part insert tolerances.)

I have a couple more molds I would like made but at this rate it will take me a year to find someone who will do it and not charge an arm and a leg. Hope this helps some.

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Have any of you guys ever done 3d/elliptical turning on a cnc lathe? Looking for a g code file to test a machine. I don't have much cad experience.Or looking for a 3d lure style image if anyone has one I'd love to test that too.Will trade for some blanks if you want.

Edited by saltybugger

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I do, but have just made flatsided baits, yet. So I use a CNC instead of a tablesaw.

I made the baits in Adobe Illustrator, exported the outline to correct format, and press play on tape, 80 blanks was cut out, a couple of hours later, I rounded them over.

I used to be a 3d modeller, and have just recently picked up old programs, and want to try the CNC router in all axis'.

Heres a video from a session: Egg Solution: An evening in the woodshop...

Michael

Wow! Talk about a cool piece of equipment.

Does your Mom know what you do up in your room? :lol:

Seriously, that's terrific.

A question from a carpenter who is computer/CAD illiterate.

Could you space out the blanks a little, and use a round over bit first to do some of the edge forming, before you use the straight bit to cut them out?

Is there some way you could register the blank stock, like cutting it to exactly the same size and shape first, so you could cut 1/2 depth from both sides, and eliminate the straight cutter altogether? Or leave just a thin mid section to hold everything in position before you cut the blanks loose with the straight cutter?

I'm just riffing here, I have no clue what you can do with that machine.

But it does set the imagination on fire!

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looking for a 3d lure style image if anyone has one I'd love to test that too.Will trade for some blanks if you want.

I can email you a CAD file of a lure body solid. Here is a list of file types that I can save to: catpart, stl, igs, model, stp, 3dmap, cgr, hcg, vps, wrl.

I can make the model any size you want, just let me know. I have included a side and end view.

No charge, Just pm your email addy.

Dave

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Wow! Talk about a cool piece of equipment.

Does your Mom know what you do up in your room? :lol:

Seriously, that's terrific.

A question from a carpenter who is computer/CAD illiterate.

Could you space out the blanks a little, and use a round over bit first to do some of the edge forming, before you use the straight bit to cut them out?

Is there some way you could register the blank stock, like cutting it to exactly the same size and shape first, so you could cut 1/2 depth from both sides, and eliminate the straight cutter altogether? Or leave just a thin mid section to hold everything in position before you cut the blanks loose with the straight cutter?

I'm just riffing here, I have no clue what you can do with that machine.

But it does set the imagination on fire!

Hi

Im not the owner and operator of the CNC (Im just lucky to know someone with the machinery), but you program everything, the spacing etc. That was actually what took most of the time, cutting out 90-100 blanks or so.. Im not sure if you can use a roundover bit in the machine, but the cutter can move in the Y axis aswell (up and down), so you can actually have it round your baits, BUT then I have to make 2 piece lures, because it cant router on the underside. But I think its faster to round them over the old fashioned way anyway. But we've had a project going to make a lure in 3d (again 2 part) and use the cnc to sculpt it, or use it for a master/prototype for moldmaking. But with both of us having kids, and he has a busy tour schedule with his rockband, its hard to find time to all these projects :)

Michael

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Hi

Im not the owner and operator of the CNC (Im just lucky to know someone with the machinery), but you program everything, the spacing etc. That was actually what took most of the time, cutting out 90-100 blanks or so.. Im not sure if you can use a roundover bit in the machine, but the cutter can move in the Y axis aswell (up and down), so you can actually have it round your baits, BUT then I have to make 2 piece lures, because it cant router on the underside. But I think its faster to round them over the old fashioned way anyway. But we've had a project going to make a lure in 3d (again 2 part) and use the cnc to sculpt it, or use it for a master/prototype for moldmaking. But with both of us having kids, and he has a busy tour schedule with his rockband, its hard to find time to all these projects :)

Michael

It's a drag when small stuff like kids and jobs get in the way of important things, like lure making and fishing. :lol:

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Hi all

This is a very interesting topic.

I'm very new to this art ....yes ART you guys are real artists.

Although I still prefer to make my lures by hand, I'm also involved in 3D modelling due to my work in design for the lighting industry here in Australia.

Just wanted to make you all aware (if you are not already) of rapid prototyping companies. Recently we were developing a new product and we've came across several companies that specialise in doing exactly what you require, a prototype or even small runs.

If you are interested in developing say a mold for a plastic bait you want to make in mass, they are the ones to approach, you can even get quotes online by just uploading your file.

Here are a couple of links you might find useful:http:///www.formero.com.au/

http://www.rapidpro.com.au

Hope this help

Greetings from Oz

Humberto

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Hi all

This is a very interesting topic.

I'm very new to this art ....yes ART you guys are real artists.

Although I still prefer to make my lures by hand, I'm also involved in 3D modelling due to my work in design for the lighting industry here in Australia.

Just wanted to make you all aware (if you are not already) of rapid prototyping companies. Recently we were developing a new product and we've came across several companies that specialise in doing exactly what you require, a prototype or even small runs.

If you are interested in developing say a mold for a plastic bait you want to make in mass, they are the ones to approach, you can even get quotes online by just uploading your file.

Here are a couple of links you might find useful:http:///www.formero.com.au/

http://www.rapidpro.com.au

Hope this help

Greetings from Oz

Humberto

Hi

Yes Ive been looking into this, but when I did, it was to exspensive. I dont make lures to sell them en mass, so the price doesnt justify rapid prototyping for me. But its a very nice way of making masters, thats for sure. And btw, I also like to make lures "by hand" more, but I dont have a woodshop at all, so when I get the chance I make blanks on the cnc, and then I have blanks to paint, and when Ive visited the cnc I usually have blanks to last a couple of years :).

Michael

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Just wanted to make you all aware (if you are not already) of rapid prototyping companies. Recently we were developing a new product and we've came across several companies that specialise in doing exactly what you require, a prototype or even small runs.

I too am considering this. Rapid prototype would produce a perfect master for my duplicator machine, even down to the spindle hole. All I would have to do is give it a coat of D2T, to prolong the life of the master against wear of the stylus.

I have sourced a company locally, but have not contacted them as yet. I am expecting the prices to be a bit more reasonable than you guys will have to put up with, but I am not expecting it to be cheap.

Can't believe I haven't mentioned it before. I wasn't keeping it a secret, honest!

Dave

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I too am considering this. Rapid prototype would produce a perfect master for my duplicator machine, even down to the spindle hole. All I would have to do is give it a coat of D2T, to prolong the life of the master against wear of the stylus.

I have sourced a company locally, but have not contacted them as yet. I am expecting the prices to be a bit more reasonable than you guys will have to put up with, but I am not expecting it to be cheap.

Can't believe I haven't mentioned it before. I wasn't keeping it a secret, honest!

Dave

A friend here made, in 3d, some kitchen magnet models, small ones, and sent them to several companies for both price and quality comparison. And to me even those small, not to much detailed models seemed kinda exspenive, I could just imagine what a 8-10" pike lure model would cost, maybe Ill send a model for a price estimate. And what I would have done to make the master to live longer is to make a rtv mold and made up more masters in resin.

Michael

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A friend here made, in 3d, some kitchen magnet models, small ones, and sent them to several companies for both price and quality comparison.

I would really like to know how much was quoted for the work, so I have something to compare and expect when I go to the provider. Probably not a good idea to post the numbers here, as it is skirting the boarders of the site rules. I would appreciate a PM though.

Dave

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I've been curious to see someone do this as well, like that sears unit i was thinking it would make great molds for plastics all you would need to do is pour a blank out of fiberglass resin and mill that.

From the reviews and the comments I have read the Carveright is a hunk of junk. I even contact the MFG and they basically said its a toy and any real use constitutes commercial use and voids the warranty. I am paraphrasing, but the Sears one and the other one on AMAZON are the exact same unit.. Heck, just read the reviews on Amazon.

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Hey everyone, been reading the forums a few days now, a lot of great info here!

Anyway, I'm a 3d Modeler and I've decided to branch out into lure making (been fishing for about 16 years now). I was wondering if anyone else had an experience with it? What I plan on doing is modeling my lures/molds, then having them cut on a CNC router (I know a sign maker that has one and is generous enough to cut my models :) ).

I've tried making lures on a lathe and even carving them, but I'm just no good at it. But if anyone has an ideas or wants to see something specific, let me know and I'd be glad to model it for you! I'll post some photos of my models and stuff once I get some made.

I have made a bunch of bait molds (for my own use) out of 6061 aluminum on my CNC mini mill. It works great, but takes a long time. If you go with the gantry style router you should be able to cut faster if you pick the right spindle like one of the palm routers as it turns at a much higher RPM (upto 30K for the Bosch Colt) than the current spindles I am using in my mini mill (10K & 15K) One of my more detailed molds takes about 8 hours to cut one side, but I have made a dual spindle mount so I can cut them two at a time. I do not see any reason why you can't just scream through cutting lure blanks on a machine like this. You can cut much deeper and faster per pass even on hard woods than I cut on aluminum. Its just a matter of time allocations, but I have designed a couple hard lure blanks for cutting on my mini mill. I have not cut more than some test ones, but they cut fast.

I would strongly suggest you go with an aluminum machine with extrude major stiffening components if going with a CNC router. Accuracy is fine, but you don't want it to flex to much on a hard cut or a direction change and put to much additive stress on the cut when it starts to spring back from flexing like would happen with a plastic machine. If I thought the HPDE machines would do it I would already have a Probotix V90 or a Zen Tools 7x7 machine setting next to my mini mill. Of course they would probably be fine for making wood blanks, I'm just a little leery of cutting aluminum aggressively with a plastic frame machine.

I like the design of the K2CNC routers, and when I set aside a little more cash I plan to buy one for a second machine. Third actually, but the 2nd one needs a lot of work before I can use it. I have a Taig mini mill now and it works ok, but has its issues. I think if I was going to buy another mill I would either retrofit one of the larger Chinese 700-800 pound benchtops over to CNC or I would look at the MaxNC machines. My project machine that I need to work on is a MaxNC and I really like the tolerances even though its all just hard anodized aluminum construction. (My MaxNC was bought used and I need to replace the lead nuts, and I plan to upgrade the stepper motors.)

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One thing to remember when machining wood is that the faster the cutter speed, the faster it will scorch/ burn with a dull cutter. Sharp cutters are vital, and much safer.

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