[5.2021]A Rainy Day with Swedish Fish: When McMaster-Carr is Missing a CAD model

[Description]:

A simple project of creating a CAD model of a Swedish fish. This is more of a silly than practical project, but was generated because of the excitement I got when someone in MITERS mentioned McMaster had Swedish fish drawings.

[Processes Applied]:

  • Solidworks

[Summary]:

So this project started out due to some conversation that McMaster-Carr had some drawings for those tasty Swedish Fish (https://www.mcmaster.com/1983N13/). After quickly jumping to McMaster-Carr’s website and finding nothing, I was a bit let down… hoping to find a fun CAD model I could shove into my projects for fun “Swedish Fish for Scale” renders, I was left with a blank and simplistic McMaster-Carr page.

What… Where is my CAD Model! 🙁

Now left with a bit of a confused expression, I started wondering; “Why was everyone saying there were CAD models of Swedish Fish on McMaster-Carr’s website?… So I did a quick google search and found the explanation:

But wait… aren’t Swedish fish flat on one side?

And that is where I left it… or so I had thought. The next day I was settled in for a final design review (FDR) for a project I had been working on for about 2 months. And that is when my mind wandered to this silly ‘meh’ CAD drawing. I started to wonder, are those even the proper dimensions? So I took out my set of calipers and tried to approximate what I thought a standard Swedish fish was. All of my attempts seemed to be coming up longer than this model would suggest. (then my meeting started and this whole issue disappeared).

After the FDR and a lunch break, I was sitting at my desk thinking about work and for some reason that Swedish fish size question just popped back into my head! Why am I plagued by this darn candy, its not like a model of it is that valuable to have… but I still had a nagging desire to have a Swedish Fish CAD model! So I went to the corner shop near my apartment and picked up a small bag of Swedish Fish. The same 2 oz bags that McMaster-Carr sells as a box.

Wait! 30mm, Thats not close at all to 1.125″

I broke open the bag and started taking some reference dimensions. Both dimensions listed in the Drawing on McMaster-Carr’s Swedish Fish drawing were off by quite a noticeable margin (1.1811″ vs 1.125″). But who can blame them, it really seemed more like a social media gag than anything concrete. But now I was sitting in front of my computer really wanting a gosh darn Swedish Fish CAD model.

So how did I go about making this model; I took a few images to trace in solidworks to get the shape of the swedish fish (best approximation). With these sketches combined with accurate measurements (rounded to the nearest logical value [viewed both English and Metric]) I was able to scale the drawings correctly. The rest is just an attempt at replicating the details. Kind of boring to try to explain in detail how I walked through making the model, but I think the model came out delightfully silly but still accurate. And from my best guess, Swedish fish are stamped out of a sheet of the base material.

Swedish Fish Model Render

And to cap off this silly waste of time and enjoyment, incorporating it into the project that just passed its final design review (FDR).

Advanced Magnetic Spectroscopy Diagnostic; Swedish Fish for Scale

And for all of you wanting to have your own little Swedish Fish Model for scale – You can download it at GrabCab – https://grabcad.com/library/swedish-fish-for-scale-1983n13-1

2 Comments

  1. Rob Lion

    Swedish Fish are not “stamped out of a sheet of the base material”.
    Like most gummy candies, they are open-mold cast from molten candy material of the appropriate color and flavor, deposited into a multi-cavity mold formed of corn starch.

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