Make a Custom Frisbee

Introduction: Make a Custom Frisbee

About: I am a young engineer who enjoys making and restoring whatever I can in my free time. I like the challenge of making new things with the tools I have available.

My father-in-law is really into Frisbees (disc golf, freestyle Frisbee, pretty much anything Frisbee related) and being the man who married his youngest daughter I thought making a custom Frisbee for him might get me some brownie points. But before I make him one, I first needed to make sure I could even make one and if I could, would it even work well.

Now that I have a 3d printer, it was my first choice for making the disc. I toyed with the idea of making a wood one that I could turn on my lathe but I don't think I can fit very large diameter pieces on it. I may end up trying it in the future. But for now I'll stick with the 3d printer.

Step 1: Designing the Disk

I tried to look all over the internet but I couldn't find the dimensions for any brand or size Frisbee (or generic brand flying disc). The best I could find was the chart above from here that had section views of various older discs. From this I had to eye ball the dimensions to make mine close. Due to my print bed size, I could only make a disc that was 8 inched in diameter. This size would work well for a disc golf disc (mine could almost be considered a putter but I was aiming towards a standard disc shape) but I had to work with what I had. It would just be a little on the small side.

I used SolidWorks to create my disc shape. My dimensioning isn't great on this model so I would't recommend trying to replicate the exact shape. Just try to make it look close to the shapes in the chart above.

Once I had the basic shape, I just cut out the letters I wanted. You could do any letters or even symbol you want as long as you have no floating pieces. I recommend using a stencil font for letters as you will not have any problems with losing part of the letters.

Step 2: Disk Models

For those of you who don't want to make your own model, I have provided a Step file for the basic disc shape, STL files for the basic disc and for the one with the text, and I have also imported it into Tinkercad and you can find that model here.

  • If you have a modeling software then you can use the Step file.
  • If you just want to print the basic one or the instructables text one then you can use the STL files.
  • If you don't have a modeling software but still want to edit it then you can access the Tinkercad model and edit it in there.

Step 3: Preparing to Print

Now That I had the model all ready to go it was time to convert it to g-code so that I could print it. I have a Prusa 3d printer so I used the Slic3r program they recommend.

Step 4: Print It

Now to print it. I used my Prusa MK3 printer to make this. I printed at 0.2 mm resolution with a 0.4 mm tip and with 20% infill. I also used supports for this as curvature of the disc created a lot of overhang. This ended up taking about 11 and a half hours to print.

Step 5: Ready to Throw

After I cleaned off the supports and cleaned up the letters a little bit it was now ready to be tested. Overall it ended up printing great. Because of the large overhang it ended up looking a little nasty on the top side of the disc.

Step 6: Testing It Out

Now to just go outside and see how it flies. Even though my measurements weren't exactly the same as the name brand Frisbee it still flew just fine. From the chart showing the different disc shapes I could tell that the shape can vary and still be a decent disc. So, no need to worry if you design one and it is shaped a little different.

Step 7: Sanding (Optional)

As you could see everything worked great. The only issue I have is the finish quality as the one I will make for my father-in-law should probably be nicer than this. To get a better finish I figured I'd try sanding it. I only did a quick sanding but from the pictures you can see it really improved the look and finish of it. Now I know that if I need a better finish for the next one that will be for my father-in-law I can spend some time sanding and get it to a nice finish.

Hopefully this was helpful to you and you will be able to make your very own customizable one for yourself.

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    10 Discussions

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    RayP24

    2 months ago

    Congratulations! I have yet to get a printer but I'm compiling a to-do list for that eventual moment. Am I right in saying you printed the frisbee up-side-down? Does all that overhang give any problems to the print? Thanks

    3 replies

    Thank you. Yes, the frisbee was printed up side down. I did this because it it required less support structures. Even with the supports there were some loose strands that didn't attach well. This didn't effect the function but because I didn't want them I sanded the top to make it smooth and remove any loose strands. You could print it right side up but it would require more supports and the underside would have some loose strands. But that way the top would be better.

    Gotcha. Thanks. I saw an instructable a couple of years back by someone who had made a sort of chamber (big plastic box) in which they could put the 3d printed pieces so somehow, electrically or chemically or otherwise, all the little contours of the plastic would be worn down to a smooth surface. Don't remember who it was but if you were interested somebody in the community could point you in the right direction.

    That method works for ABS plastic. You use acetone vapor to smooth out the prints. That wouldn't work for me because I used PLA plastic. There is no good way to smooth PLA except for sanding or using some sort of filler. But definately an option for anyone using ABS.

    Did you get a 3D printer!!! If so, AWESOMELY AWESOME!

    1 reply

    That's a really neat idea. I just voted for you in the outdoors contest

    1 reply

    Thank you. I can only take partial credit as it was my wife who initially asked if it was even possible to make. Which of course meant that I had to figure out it I could make it.