Greenhornet

3D Printed molds

17 posts in this topic

This is my first post. I've been browsing around for quite some time and I felt like it was time to give back to the community who helped get me started in soft bait making. 

After much trial and error I have been wanting to put out some info about 3D printed molds, 

First, you don't need a super high tech printer to make a good bait mold. The printer I started with was less than $170. Most CAD software worth having can be had for FREE to a hobbyist( I recommend Autodesk Fusion 360). With that being said, most frustration for me has come in the form of learning to design in a virtual space. If you can do that you have it licked. If you are new to CAD, youtube is a wealth of info but I promise YOU CAN LEARN!!!!

On to the details: (Steam-lined)

#1.Printing open pour molds is surprisingly easy. PLA is very capable of holding up to the rigors of pouring softbaits. Settings that seem to work well for me are 1.4 mm wall thickness with  at least 20% infill. Perhaps printed molds have a shelf life however with over 125 documented pulls  on my double cavity, open pour,  chunk mold I think for personal use it more than does the job ( I have the file stored to print a new mold if needed, which takes roughly 2.5 hr print time).

#2 If you want to make a custom mold for yourself the cost to quality cant be beat.

#3 I have found injection molds I printed to be less than stellar. I have had more luck designing a 2 piece mold in two sections and the making a silicone mold of each side, then injecting. With this process it allows you to have a mother mold which you can reproduce as many times as you would like.

#4 Sometime printing a actual model and then making a silicone mold is a good option

#5 If you don't own a 3D printer their are plenty of 3rd parties that can print you design at reasonable prices

I'll be happy to answer any questions anyone might have. 

Attached Pics are my chunk mold with a printed chunk that I made silicone molds off of as well as a two piece mold with masters

 

IMG_3039 (1).JPG

IMG_3040.JPG

IMG_3038 (1).JPG

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Printing with 20% infill molds have held up just fine for pouring both hand poured and injected plastisol. I think silicone is a better option for larger runs with injection molds. Standard printing will not hold up to lead. DMP or Direct Metal Printing may be a better option. I don't have any experience with DMP as base models still run $50k and up. A cnc milled aluminum mold seems to be more cost effective at this point than DMP for simple lead molds. I priced having some jig molds DMP and it was several hundred bucks. Machining is still expensive but I would rather have a experienced mold maker (machinist)to possibly catch a flaw in my drawing vs a tech just printing it. Hope this all makes sense. Any more questions?

Edited by Greenhornet
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I also use No3 for two part molds. I also design my mold master so that the two halves are identical, this way I only need one 3D printed master. Also, because all the silicone halves are identical, I don't need to match them as they are all the same.

Dave

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I design my molds with the injector built-in. For the first pour, I block off the exit of the injector cavity, and then fill the injector. This gives me my injector piston.

Probably not a good idea for hot plastic, but I only pour resins, for which this method works perfectly.

Dave

Edited by Vodkaman

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I REALLY wish you hadn't posted this!:rolleyes: 

This is too cool not to try!

Oh well, it's only time and $$ ...and it's a long winter up here in Minnesota!

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Let me know what you need bro.... I'm here to help. This is to push creativity for the community. I'd be happy to print some things for anyone needing to do some prototyping!

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13 hours ago, Greenhornet said:

Let me know what you need bro.... I'm here to help. This is to push creativity for the community. I'd be happy to print some things for anyone needing to do some prototyping!

That is an amazing offer. I hope someone takes you up on this opportunity. Good attitude :)

I will chip in with some free CAD design work if anyone needs it, to support the above offer.

DAve

Edited by Vodkaman

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I have had a 'taker ' for my offer. But unfortunately my work situation has changed, and paid contract work has to take precedence. My customer understands the situation, and I fully intend to fulfill my offer, and the shrimp will be delivered, but timescales are out of my hands.

Regretfully, I have to withdraw the offer for anyone thinking of taking me up in the near future, but I may well open the offer again. I find this work interesting and challenging, even comparing with my normal work as a car designer.

Dave

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I have been thinking about this for a while.. I have 3 printers at the house, and would gladly do some experimenting for some folks. I have a few bait mold I have created, and may have to try my luck with them soon. I have 2 cnc mills in the garage as well.. Anyone have any designs they would like me to try and print?

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Thanks for posting this - good to see some warm reception. This is what actually got me into lure making. 3 printers later I am still addicted. I recently went to an SLA printer and cannot believe the level of detail!

 

good call on the thickness. I have been getting away with 1mm on ABS on 4.5" open pour baits. I am going to make a huge 10" one and will let you know if it takes the heat!!!

 

also - check this guy on out Grabcad. He has a ton of cool models ready to print:

 

https://grabcad.com/cooler-3

 

 

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Vapor Smoothing

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kh60wlF-Opk

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=pla+acetone

 

my setup on PLA is just a airtight plastic box and in it I got a small chopping board on 4 legs and below is a rag I put some acetone on

and I use Sketchup Pro

(youtube got a lot of how to)

https://www.sketchup.com/products/sketchup-free

Edited by OIR
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