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gordon

The Future Of Hardbait Making

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I have 3 different types in work. I was even trained to use one. The powder printer type you see in the vid uses a polycarbonate material but it is really brittle and will shatter upon impact. I used it (Objet by Connex) to make a solid prototype of a popper I modeled in ProEngineer 3d cad. I then used that prototype as the master for a silicone mold and casted a few in 2 part urethene. One of the other machines is a little better for this as the material is boyant. It is an ABS plastic and is laid out in layers by a giant cnc glue gun.The melting point is at about 170 f. Not good to sit in your tacklebox in the car on an August day. The machines are about $100k and the material cost for one lure is about $25. Not ready for prime time........

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Yeah, and the MakerBots and RepRap machines can't work within the tolerances of the Objet. I did find a used Objet for about 25k, but again, you wouldn't want to run production on one of those due to material costs. And that's a pretty expensive way to make a master, unless you've got access to one at a job, etc. You can use a service called i.Materialise if you wanted to put a toe in the water. I don't recall what type of tech they're using, but they'll do a one-off.

I see it as the very early days for this tech. In a few years the prices will come down and the machines will get better. I ran all the way down the road on these products last spring and am hopeful that the future holds some interesting advances. But I think it's a tad young for now. I am still interested in the DIY CNC mills, however.

Edited by sambennett
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