Friday, May 7, 2010

Retry for Disc Dye.....anyone???

Over the weekend in auburn I noticed that disc golfers have neat discs. Either badass Ebay plastic circa 1992...or discs that have been dyed and look way cool. It was easy to imagine using this dye process with our logo instead of hotstamping in order to save a few $$$. Vader is an example of what a dyed disc can look like. The disc was originally white, and the red is all dye.

Here is a rundown of the dyeing process. You get some sign vinyl (cheap), which is a thin plastic film that is sticky on one side. You cut out the design*. Apply the decal to the disc and your ready to dye it. Regular Rit dye works well, and you can either paint it on, or let the disc float face down in the dye pool.
* Wait, cut out the design? Are you kidding me?!

Well, there is an easier way. The machine to the right cuts out your design for you.
It's a printer that cuts, called a plotter. It's $250 and will cut out any design you make on the computer. We would also need the software to run the plotter, $70. There is definitely some skill involved like positioning the logo on the disc, making sure there are no airbubbles, etc. The plotter could also make great vinyl logo stickers for car windows.

As far as what discs can be dyed, all candy and star discs work well. Pro and Dx not as good. Any disc can easily be turned into a blank canvas with a cloth dipped in acetone. From what I have read gold and silver hot stamps are the easiest to remove, while the rainbow stamps are the most difficult. Also, Discraft stamps are harder to remove. I watched a video online of this process on a star disc and it took 10 seconds to wipe the stamp away cleanly.

If the MFC was into it we could dye our own discs instead of handing Innova $800+ to hot stamp 100. The way I envision it, the club would purchase the materials and plotter. There would have to be a couple of people interested in learning how to dye and willing to donate time to fill the orders. Maybe a dyeing party? I'm really not sure how much time would have to go into each disc, maybe 3o min's, 15? It would have to be something people enjoyed doing.
People who wanted a custom disc would supply their own disc to be dyed. A fee of 5-10 dollars per disc would go to covering the materials & plotter. If we dyed just 35 discs @ $10 each that would cover the initial investment. What does everyone think?

Here is a link to a cool disc dyeing forum:
Also, a link to a how to video:


  1. Erin spent some time yesterday cutting out our logo by hand and dyeing a brand new baby blue destroyer. Wait 'till you see it. It looks pretty awesome, and I was skeptical in the beginning ~ .

  2. WOW! I can't wait to see it. How much can I buy this disc for?


  3. You. Must. Post. Photo. Of. This. Disc.

  4. that looks killer erin, good job,how hard was it to get the contact vinyl on and how long did it take, once you had the design cut out?

  5. Erin,

    Does the plotter read any image on a computer, or only an image done within a certain program on the software? In other words, I'm curious how hard it is to create the images that the plotter can cut. Can you just scan any image onto a computer and then have the plotter cut it?

  6. Thanks D roc, It was a fun Mothers day project. Cutting a design by hand takes time. The cutting part of our logo disc took about an hour and a half. Putting the vinyl on the disc is pretty easy. I used contact film (shelf liner) to transfer the cut out vinyl onto the disc, then peeled of the film and it was ready to dye. I left it in the dye for 20 min's. I imagine if we had a person who was the vinyl aplicator, somebody tending the dye pots, somebody removing the vinyl, etc we could crank out 25 discs in an evening.

    The plotter cuts using vector files which is an uncommon file type. This is the main reason why you have to use the plotter specific software to run the machine. However, you can create an image in photoshop or whatever and import the file into the plotter software. That aside, you still need to create block-print-esque images that will not only cut out easily, but make for easier dying. For example if you told a plotter to cut out a photo of Mae it would not know what to do with each strand of hair, eyelash, etc. But a photo of Mae could be manipulated in photoshop to look more like a stencil outline that a plotter would use.

  7. E,

    So it sounds like one needs to create a two-color (i.e. black and white) image with clearly delineated shapes, and then import the file into the operative program? Sounds pretty easy? Does the plotter work with a Mac, or do you have to have a PC?

  8. Thanks Brodys!

    I hope we get a plotter so everyone can get a disc. Too few seem interested though, so I might just go independent with it. By the way how did your tournament go? Derrick was short on details.
    Hope to see you guys soon.

  9. I think we need a MFC meeting to make a decision on the plotter, as well as a bunch of other issues (sorry Davey, this may need to happen while you're out of the country). I'd be happy to host a MFC meeting/poker night in my barn sometime before the baby comes. Can people look at their schedules and chime in about what evenings might work for them? Coolio.

  10. Our tourney went really great. We had 36 players in four divisions. I sat out and TD'ed. It was a blast to do even though I didnt play. Jody took 1st in the womens, beating what she thought was an unbeatable opponent. We had many people tell us it was the best tourney they had been to and thought we had been doing it for years. There was a ace on the day. We had a really fun glo round later where a 10 yr old and a beginner got teamed up and beat everyone. This 10 yr. old could play, he came in 3rd in a tuff beg. div. Hope all is sailing smoothly down there and hope you guys start dying discs! Hope to see you all sometime this summer.

  11. brodys, what you mean sometime this summer you mean at the koa right?,

    jim ill throw a date out there hows about next wed may 19th

  12. i am totally for the plotter, i do wonder how well it will cut out the holes for the chains, but i know it can work great one way or another , and remembering my 8th grade silk screen experiences i bet it would work to cut out the emulsion paper for silk screens to , lets get some shit done in time for willitts one way or another

  13. Erin,
    Let me know next time you wanna dye discs...I'll be there...I wanna get in on that action. Just tell me when, where, and what to bring :)
    U.T.M. (future tourney winner)