The printing is an eco-friendly process called Ultraviolet (UV) curing. It is a low-temperature process that does not involve solvents. The UV light hardens the inks, coatings and adhesives. It is generally scratch and abrasion resistance, is very thin, and has a slight texture.
This is one of the first questions I had for the folks at the UV print shop. They told me that they have done extensive testing and the UV printed discs are very durable and scratch-resistance. I have tested a few myself for one year. One of the discs in my bag has been thrown around 100 times, including shots into trees and shrubs. There is no visible wear or tear that I can see. I have a few friends that have been throwing the first and second runs for a few months and those are holding up well.
With that being said, no disc golf printing processes are 100% bullet-proof. From what I can tell, however, is that UV prints hold up as well or better than foil stamps, and just as well as other full-color printed discs that I’ve thrown over the years. I do have some reports of the mini discs having some wear on the printed areas from multiple passes in and out of the pockets of the player’s bag.
If you purchase one of my discs or minis, and feel like the printed art is showing signs of deterioration prematurely, please contact me, and we will come up with a solution. Please read the Return Policy Page for more details.
This is something I’ve been engaged with for several months now. The short answer is “not at this time”. I have had discussions with some folks at the PDGA regarding this matter. The PDGA Technical Standards Working Group (TSWG) , along with the rules committee and board of directors, have been working on a revised official stance and regulations for post production modifications, including surface treatments, such as dyes and other forms of printing art on the flight plate of a disc.
The main concerns with UV printing (in my opinion) are with the thickness and added weight of the surface treatment. Currently, any post-production modification that alters original flight characteristics or adds a material of detectable thickness is illegal. Adding weight to a disc that is already at max weight would also deem the disc illegal. There are two things to note here:
- In research done by the PDGA TSWG, the thickness of the UV prints compared to Foil stamps using various methods for both, the average thickness for the UV prints was 8-10 microns, which is 2-4 microns less than the typical thickness foil stamps.
- After weighing several discs before and after printing, I have come to the conclusion that the UV prints do not add any significant weight to the disc. All of the blank-top discs weighed nearly the same before and after the prints.*
In my opinion, the UV-cured printed discs that I offer do not change the flight characteristics of a disc any more than a disc from any of the current manufacturers. In fact, the printing company that I use for my disc art has been printing for several disc golf manufacturers for a few years, so I feel good about selling my discs with or without any official approval.
The main determining factor at the moment is in this statement in the PDGA rules 813.01 Illegal Disc:
- Allowed modifications to a disc after production are limited to:
- Wear and tear from usage during play;
- Moderate sanding to address wear and tear or small molding imperfections;
- Marking with dye or permanent marker ink.
If and when the PDGA makes any changes to the rules and/or technical standards concerning the matter, this FAQ will be updated.
*My personal scale only weighs in whole grams, and not fractions of grams, so I cannot, for example, detect if there was a difference in a half of a gram. I may invest in a more accurate scale in the future. I have added weight info for each disc in the product descriptions. There may be a few discs on this site that are above the maximum approved weight for the specific model. These discs were overweight before the UV printing process, so they somehow slipped through the cracks from the manufacturer. In these cases, I have made notes in the product description with this specific weight info.
At the moment, I am unable to get wholesale prices on discs, so I buy discs at retail prices and pay for printing costs as well as shipping to and from the print shop, which is in a neighboring state. I try to look for deals on discs if I can find them as well as blank top discs that are perfect for printing art on top of.
At some point, I may be able to order some discs straight from the manufacturers, but I will have less control over the disc selection and will have minimum quantities, usually 25 or 50 with the same model and art variation. With the current print shop that I’m using, I’m able to do one-offs, meaning I can have a single disc printed with one version of art, making each printed disc unique. Talk about limited runs! At this point, each disc is 1 of 1. In my opinion, that makes each disc more collectible and unique. I do order minis in multiples, so there will usually be more than one available.
My goals are to have fun, hopefully break even, and to get my art into the hands of folks who appreciate it. Some of my existing customers buy the discs for wall-hangers and not for throwing. I’m trying to keep the retail prices as low as possible while staying in the black.
All of the images are digital art created with a variety of apps. Much of my art is fractal-based. You can read more about fractals here. The graphic design and art software apps are quite powerful these days, and I’ve spent countless hours working with them and creating art and designs. I occasionally use my own photography is the designs as well as a new and upcoming technology – neural network rendering, which uses artificial intelligence to create images. Some of my 2022 minis have art that was created using AI.
If you would like to check out more of my art, I plan to post more on this website as portfolio pieces and/or blog posts. You can also check out my Instagram, which includes other topics, but is mostly art.
Read the About Me page for more info on my involvement with the digital art and disc golf.