3D Printing a Custom Fishing Lure

Published 06/08/2015

By Matt McCabe | Applications/Customer Support Engineer

Now that the winters’ snow has melted away, the water temperature in Narragansett Bay has finally hit the mid 60’s. For us Rhode Islander's that means it's time take to the seas because the striped bass are swimming in. Being an avid angler, I have experimented with a wide variety of store bought baits, lures and plugs through out the years. However there is always something deeply satisfying about pulling in your quarry on the lures you have crafted yourself. I have decided that this season I will be combining my passion for 3D printing and insatiable desire to set the hook by creating my own, one of a kind fishing lure.
Mating features for custom 3D printed fishing lure

The geometry of my design was created to ensure the lure would float on the surface but it also included a little scoop in the front to allow the lure to dive while trolling under power. It’s profile will control both the depth and the oscillation of the lure below the surface at any given velocity. Based on my experience with other commercially made lures, I had a good idea of how I wanted the lure to be shaped so I created my design in SolidWorks and with a few clicks of the mouse the pieces began to fall into place.

3D Printed Fishing LureIn the image above you can see several profiles which will be on the mating surface of on half of the model. One of which is a channel for a wire to pass through which the hooks will be secured to. The other, a groove to both ensure the two halves will be properly aligned during the assembly, as well as increase the surface area for gluing. I set our Fortus 380mc to build the models  in Polycarbonate with a sparse interior style and pressed play. The next morning my pieces were anxiously awaiting my arrival and I began the assembly.
The beauty of Stratasys 3D printing materials is they are very easy to post process; gluing, sanding and painting are a snap. Once the through wire was ran for the hooks, a 2 part epoxy was used to join the two halves together.  Preparations were made for the custom paint job as the epoxy was curing. A quick dusting with a good old rattle can created a terrific color gradient for the background and the finer details were created with some red nail polish. This batch I opted for a pogie (bait fish) type appearance because the bay is loaded with them right now and Striped Bass are just beginning to key into them.Painted 3D printed fishing lure

After the paint had some time to dry, the lure was then coated inside and out with a 2 part marine epoxy. This would not only ensure the lure will remain water tight but also create a nice smooth glossy appearance and protect the custom paint. Below are a few pictures before and after the post processing. I have to admit the final product definitely looks pretty appetizing to me, but then again, I may be a bit impartial… I guess we won’t know for sure until I get’em wet!

Check back in in a week or so for a follow up video of them on the water!


3D printed fishing lure curing

3d printed fishing lure custom

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