3D Printed Discus Plates

  • Now this is only an idea but possibly a very good idea. I'm sure many throwers have a few discs that they can't throw or don't enjoy throwing because of a cracked or broken plate. Many discs you can't buy replacements plates (Denfi you can but expensive. Gill may if you contact them) which means a discus can go from your competition discus to a training discus or spare parts.

    My idea is to use a 3D printer to make possibly cheap replacement plates. With 3D printers coming down in price and many people having them in their own homes all it may take is getting the measurements of different plates, entering them into a program and you'll have replacements plates and discs that can be thrown again.

    I'm looking into this to see if I can find anyone that could help but if there is someone in the throwing community with access to these resources it could be an interesting project to look into.

  • The entire disc? As far as I know, most of them are only capable of printing with plastic or carbon fiber spools. To get your optimal rim/center weight differential, you'd have to go with a material with a much higher density. I'm not sure of the heat thresholds of the working parts of the machine, but the melting point of steal is 1375deg C, about 2500deg F. There's no way a tabletop apparatus of the size they are marketing now could handle that; great idea, though, I'd say yes on the plates. Use a lighter weight(which means it will have to be thicker), higher tensile strength/higher impact carbon fiber material for a more durable disc.

    And hell, if we could work with metals, there'd be no need to pay Nelco or Nishi $300-$400 per perfectly balanced shot, we could just print them for the cost of materials =O

  • @Odysseus the metal rim would be left alone. I'm talking about the side plate or anything that's plastic on the discus.

    But I did look into it and right now it wouldn't work. Any home machine can't produce the rims fast enough, strong enough or smooth enough. A professional machine would need to be used and even in that case it wouldn't work.

    As technology gets better with 3D printers this may become possible, for now it's just an idea.

  • I'm currently a third year engineering student at Virginia Tech. Unfortunately, I don't have much free time at the moment, however, I would be willing to give this a shot. I imagine that the most difficult challenge will be making sure the weight is correct. It may also be difficult to get my hands on a printer that can do the whole plate in a single run (most of the printers at my disposal won't be able to do the whole side plate in one go, which would result in two prints). I actually have a discus with wooden plates that is starting to fall apart. I will run a trial with my own disc and update as I go.

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