A few years ago, my youngest son got me into archery. I mean, I remember shooting recurve bows as a kid, and it was fun, but I never really got into it until he got interested. We loved it, and got to where we were shooting compound bows multiple times each week. The only problem was that we were not very good, so the fletching on our arrows suffered quite often. New arrows were expensive, and we were poor, but I did have access to a 3D printer so I designed a jig to help us re-fletch our arrows. The first version worked, but it was very rudimentary. I refined the design over the years, shared the 3D files on thingiverse and even started selling them on Etsy , so I don’t know why I’ve never really discussed them on here. I tend to sell 1-2 a week, and I just do it to help out other archery enthusiasts who can’t afford the expensive fletching jigs and/or don’t have the space. I’m proud of the jigs. They’re not perfect, but they’re perfect for hobbyists so it’s something I keep doing in my spare time.
Last week, out of the blue, I was contacted about the jigs by two individuals from companies linked to archery products. It looks like they were both connected, and one expressed interest in possibly purchasing bulk quantities. Unfortunately, it takes 4 hours to print one, and then 5-10 minutes for me to assemble each, so mass production is not an option right now. I responded to each, offering to discuss the jigs with them, but I have not heard back so I don’t know if anything else will progress with it. But the experience did prompt me to finally finish my next iteration of the jig. I spent some time the past few days finally dialing everything in so I can now print the jig with no assembly required. It increased the print time to 6 hours, but it saves me the cost of the adhesive, the assembly time and the overnight wait for the adhesive to fully cure, so it’s definitely worth it. It also removes the variation in assembly, so the jigs should be able to be even more accurate.
I’ve always used 2″ vanes, so that’s what I designed the jigs for, but I’ve had multiple requests for 3″ versions, so while I was making adjustments I finally completed that version too, though I have not printed one yet. I also don’t currently have any 3″ vanes to test it on, but I plan on picking some up this week, so I should be able to verify that design and offer it for sale as-well. Each of these jigs aligns the vanes perfectly straight, and many archers like a slight twist to their vanes, so that will be the next version I need to do, but it’ll probably have to wait until the end of the year.