Fishing transformed through 3D printing and thanks to Saluki ingenuity

Every product starts with an idea. But then it needs a designer.

An undergraduate student at Southern Illinois University Carbondale is taking ideas from community members and bringing them to life through 3D printing, laser cutting and lots of trial and error.

Bringing an idea to life

When Cain Hassim, a junior from St. Catharines, Ontario, first heard about the opportunity to design a product that would transform basic fishing practices, he was ready to jump in.

The idea came from a local man who wanted to create a light-up strike indicator for quicker bite recognition on a fishing line. With the concept in hand, Hassim was ready to make the dream a reality.

In its completed version, the small device works rather simply.

First, strap the bite lite onto the rod, right under the first guide. After casting the line, place the cast line in between the clamps. Then simply wait for the device to light up, and you will know you’ve got a fish.

Trial and error process

As an industrial design student, Hassim was pretty used to combining art with science. Using the Subtractive and Additive Maker Laboratory at SIU, he carefully tested one prototype after another, until he, his professor and their client were satisfied with the work.

From 3D printing to vacuum forming and metal casting, Hassim worked to perfect the device so it was both efficient and cost effective.

“It was a lot of trial and error, especially because it was a combination of us knowing what was going to work 100 percent, but we had to get it to where it was the most minimal cost printing one part,” Hassim said.

Week after week, Hassim would craft one prototype, test it out with the client, then take it back for more modifications. Finally, the final product was ready, and Tom’s Bite Lite was launched.

Several other SIU students were involved in the process of designing and marketing the launch for the product, all under the supervision of Aaron Scott, an assistant professor in the industrial design degree program. The team plans to continue making necessary modifications and adjustments.

Future work

Going forward, Hassim plans to continue pushing his design limits. Whether that is freelancing with a design company or using his collegiate cross country and track experience to work with an athletic company, Hassim is ready to create practical products that solve the common problems around him.

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