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Future of Disc Golf Molds/Discs/Hybrids

seedlings

* Ace Member *
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Aug 29, 2020
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I just watched these two videos in a row. One about CNC discs and the other where MVP overmolded a Cloudbreaker, Buzzz, TL, and P2. With CNC discs, they claim they will be able to roll up to a tournament and make discs on the spot, and take orders for specific discs, like say you want that super flat run of FD3, but a little less stable, they will make you one with modified top and wing.

I already have an NSH disc, 3D printed from a year or so ago. Very amazing.

So, now in Disc golf we can have custom CNC discs, custom 3D printed discs, and discs that MVP will overmold with one of their wings. Imagine in 5 years!





 
Disc golf is still operating on late 60s tech. Overmold multimold, ancient. Cnc, ancient. Air bubbles, ancient. Lights out manufacturing, ancient. Laser qc, ancient. The newest tech in disc golf is the 5 axis arms that do pick and place and even that tech is ancient.

The next new wave will be composites and engineered plastics and laser sintered metallic alloys. They already could pass pdga flex tests and have been mass manufactured in other industries for decades.

There's uhmw flavors and Teflons that are nearly indestructible.

There's ptfe flavors of plastic that can manipulate incoming light like crystal structures. Think a disc that looks crystal clear in your hand and at specific angle that when tilted slightly in the light changes color. Or when spinning it changes color.

There's composites that can vary the geometry of the impregnated material to alter stiffness depending on the direction of load. Think a putter that's squishy top down but stiffer sideways or in any orientation maybe canted axis catches chains better.

There's composites that can be squishy as foam and nearly as heavy as copper.

There's sintered titanium mesh lattices that can be as light and as flexible as plastic but changes geometry under small temperature changes. Think a disc that gets domey when cold or flat when warm. Carry a cooler to change the flight characteristics off the tee.

There's so many possibilities and not one big company put any effort in during the covid boom to push the envelope.

There's a low volume designer market just waiting in the wings of the stage.

Things like tech disc type circuits aka mems gyros could easily be incorporated into the wing of a disc and charged wireless with induction or even bendable nickel and piezoelectric circuits that could charge the disc by bending it a couple times.

Discs could be rfid tagged and with a tiny transmitter could be never be lost again.

Discs could have programmable led lights.

I have a feeling that once we get back on track to sustainable progress and out of the covid slump these things may start to look entertaining for some small engineering company to tackle as a side project.
 
^Nice post. You hit the nail on the head with the "low volume designer market" comment. All those things you talk about sound awesome, but there's a reason why dg manufacturers are pretty much exclusively using quick and dirty (read cheap) manufacturing methods. I think I agree that there's a market now for higher quality or added features at a much higher price point.

Sintering technology is awesome and might have some potential for the wider dg market. IME PM/sintered parts are ridiculously inexpensive to make and the tooling is very reasonable.
 
Protoflyte is local and I felt up their discs at the Norman pro am a while back. They also had a sample of the plus, neutral and minus discs at a local shop and they let me throw each a couple times in the field. I think they rate them as 12 speed.

Plastic is very interesting, kinda flexy flight plate and mild dome. Tightly molded with zero flashing and feels pretty indestructible. I hadn't warmed up but they all had decent glide and the minus (US) kinda bombed.

Pretty expensive but if they're supposed to be extremely durable. I'm kinda intrigued by them.
 
All the technologies above can work, but they will notably be pricier, especially at high volumes. I am not sure exactly how much more cost each will be, but $20 discs may look real affordable in comparison. It was very cool to see the precision of the discs. Pros may be able to justify the additional cost, as the six sided discs video reasoned.
 
Discs could be rfid tagged and with a tiny transmitter could be never be lost again.

Just posted about a finder about to come out on market based on that.

 
Newest tech for discs being made is 3D printing discs like NSH Discs/NASH Discs does. Even Recycled discs have been out using idea from 1990's in a 100/World Class mold from Discovering The World part of Wham-O in recycler 100 mold where they use flashing that is removed before selling a disc and badly molded discs unlike Innova in 2010's when brand could have worst flashing of any brand so bad you had to put with disc as main way of removing because sanding or similar cutting and sanding made flashing worse and send out discs dented as non F2.
 
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Newest tech for discs being made is 3D printing discs like NSH Discs/NASH Discs does. Even Recycled discs have been out using idea from 1990's in a 100/World Class mold from Discovering The World part of Wham-O in recycler 100 mold where they use flashing that is removed before selling a disc and badly molded discs unlike Innova in 2010's when brand could have worst flashing of any brand so bad you had to put with disc as main way of removing because sanding or similar cutting and sanding made flashing worse and send out discs dented as non F2.
Man that was hard to read.
 
Regardless of the tech, just consistent molding would be great. No more wondering if you're going to get a normal disc or some domey, over stable freak show. That or trying to track down some obscure run of a mold with a particularly flat top whatever.

Just fill a bag with discs that do what the numbers say they do and feel good in your hand
 
Meh, I like the variety. Sure it makes replacements more difficult but it's nice to have several ______ that all have their nuances.

I'd rather buy a Gstar Destroyer to replace my beat Champ/Star than be FORCED to beat one to where my lost one went. If every disc was PERFECTLY recreated ALWAYS we'd all have 97 molds in our bags. That imaginary beat Champ/Star Destroyer I just mentioned would have to be replaced with...a Tern? Much more shallow and different rim feel. Giant? Different plasitcs than Innova and also more shallow like a Tern, though more similar rim feel. etc etc

Favorite Buzzz for a....Buzzz SS or Hex or Mako or something? Still not the same.

That #4 Roc? Good luck buddy. Even a Cobra or Comet wouldn't suffice.

/pessimism
 
Regardless of the tech, just consistent molding would be great. No more wondering if you're going to get a normal disc or some domey, over stable freak show. That or trying to track down some obscure run of a mold with a particularly flat top whatever.

Just fill a bag with discs that do what the numbers say they do and feel good in your hand
Maybe Im weird...but this is one aspect of the sport that I just love lol.

Yes, its stupid if you really want to argue but like...its also magical to finally find some perfect disc, or have one become perfect, and it is truly unique and basically irreplaceable.

But it does mean you will cry about it some day.
 
Maybe Im weird...but this is one aspect of the sport that I just love lol.

Yes, its stupid if you really want to argue but like...its also magical to finally find some perfect disc, or have one become perfect, and it is truly unique and basically irreplaceable.

But it does mean you will cry about it some day.
Definitely one big reason not to trust "in the bag" videos because it's basically never discs that came off the line yesterday 😅

p.s. those cnc guys either ate my money or got swamped with discount orders and will never catch up.
 
Regardless of the tech, just consistent molding would be great. No more wondering if you're going to get a normal disc or some domey, over stable freak show. That or trying to track down some obscure run of a mold with a particularly flat top whatever.

Just fill a bag with discs that do what the numbers say they do and feel good in your hand
I feel 3D Printed Discs from NSH/NASH discs would solve this issue and be an ecological way of making molds as you never have to worry about molds failing with the resulting what happens with dead molds metal and what to do with flashing/very badly molded discs. Sure, you may have a flop disc where ink ran out during printing said disc, but no molds to ever wear out so as long as files on said disc do not get lost, a disc model can be made over and over again exactly the same, really close if mold is remade from an existing disc using a former disc models dimensions because of a lost file.
 
They shipped them. Like I said 12 speed is maybe not a great speed for me to use but who knows.

I'd like NSH if they had some normal models? They just seem weird for the sake of weird at this point.
 
I feel 3D Printed Discs from NSH/NASH discs would solve this issue and be an ecological way of making molds as you never have to worry about molds failing with the resulting what happens with dead molds metal and what to do with flashing/very badly molded discs. Sure, you may have a flop disc where ink ran out during printing said disc, but no molds to ever wear out so as long as files on said disc do not get lost, a disc model can be made over and over again exactly the same, really close if mold is remade from an existing disc using a former disc models dimensions because of a lost file.
I'm not normally one to be a bubble burster but here goes. 3d printing in the conventional sense with commercial 3d printers in open atmosphere will never compare in tolerance and repeatability to injection molding. Resin printers that use laser point to point crystallization in a suspended medium can on paper be higher tolerance but flexible resin is stupidly expensive and extremely uv sensitive and it takes foreverrrrr. Time is the big factor here. Manufacturers don't release all their trade secrets but I would bet big money that for every 1 3d printed disc a conventional stock run injection molding setup at any one of the big disc golf companies could spit out 1000 or more discs.

Environmentally, tool steel is infinitely recyclable. As long as it does not completely rust and turn to dust it can be re melted in a vaccum furnace and turned to raw die grade tool steel bar stock indefinitely. Same story with aluminum molds.

If you are concerned with waste and sustainability in manufacturing I encourage you to never buy anything new and only repair old things. Nothing reduces overall in out energy used and reduces waste more than repairing something vs buying new.

So far as plastic waste is concerned, I'm not. For every person worried about a disc or ancillary disc manufacturing plastic waste contaminating the environment there's at least a million of pounds of plastic fishing net stuck on the bottom of the ocean in a tangled mess getting shredded into inconceivable numbers of microplastic particles.

Having graced the edges of the environmental rabbit hole, I do belive the pdga flex standards are preventing more sustainable disc products. If we had no flex standards it would be quite easy to heat press scrap cardboard into discs that would be water resistant but also biodegrade completely in a couple years if left exposed to the elements.
 
I'm not normally one to be a bubble burster but here goes. 3d printing in the conventional sense with commercial 3d printers in open atmosphere will never compare in tolerance and repeatability to injection molding. Resin printers that use laser point to point crystallization in a suspended medium can on paper be higher tolerance but flexible resin is stupidly expensive and extremely uv sensitive and it takes foreverrrrr. Time is the big factor here. Manufacturers don't release all their trade secrets but I would bet big money that for every 1 3d printed disc a conventional stock run injection molding setup at any one of the big disc golf companies could spit out 1000 or more discs.

Environmentally, tool steel is infinitely recyclable. As long as it does not completely rust and turn to dust it can be re melted in a vaccum furnace and turned to raw die grade tool steel bar stock indefinitely. Same story with aluminum molds.

If you are concerned with waste and sustainability in manufacturing I encourage you to never buy anything new and only repair old things. Nothing reduces overall in out energy used and reduces waste more than repairing something vs buying new.

So far as plastic waste is concerned, I'm not. For every person worried about a disc or ancillary disc manufacturing plastic waste contaminating the environment there's at least a million of pounds of plastic fishing net stuck on the bottom of the ocean in a tangled mess getting shredded into inconceivable numbers of microplastic particles.

Having graced the edges of the environmental rabbit hole, I do belive the pdga flex standards are preventing more sustainable disc products. If we had no flex standards it would be quite easy to heat press scrap cardboard into discs that would be water resistant but also biodegrade completely in a couple years if left exposed to the elements.
Yes, and use Hemp, corn oil or Soybean oil only in plastic Discs as well where discs are breaking down faster, Right now only one company is using hemp becuse plastic is needing to be mixed wih regular and one other company is claiming to use Vegetable oil for discs. Only a few companies 3 as of now are using recycled plastic because Finding used plastic in right types so you do not have a stiff brick is hard and few places are recycling said plastics or finding old plastic for regrinding yourself. Trash Panda, One in PNW USA, and Discraft are recycling plastic and Discraft is making enough discs in specific plastics where they are using old oops molds provided discs are a single plastic no big mixed opps or trim off flashing on some molded discs where they had a bunch of flashing. I will buy when I need a new Discraft disc for one part a recycled disc provided they have a mold I use. Dynamic Disc had an Organic line but when Latitude 64 made discs in better upgraded maufacuring hey could no longer supply enough scrap plastic for discs, when Innova was using in Pro models/stamps Star or G-Star discs for a players touring series a recycled plastics for up to 50% of discs, Echo Star was no longer made.

Disc Golf is one of greenest sports out there only surpassed by trail sports in amount of land in wilderness/city wilderness being saved.
 
On the topic of finding a perfect version of a mold I think post production hot stamping could solve 25% or more of the "I want this mold to do x when most of them do y".

Did this come up for pdga vote or is it still illegal?
 

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