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Homemade Vortex Discs

Supa Simple - Thinwall and Foam.

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#26 taerKitty

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Posted 14 September 2011 - 01:50 PM

I respectfully disagree - with the advent of our current level of springers and airguns, we no longer launch stock foam - we know they don't work well together.

I suspect we will first try to make replacement discs that work with stock V-blasters.

Then, someone will improve the launching mechanism's power and find that it no longer works well with either stock nor homemade discs.

At that point, they'll figure out what will work better for that up-powered blaster - heavier disc? Less compressible foam? Some other factor that I can't even imagine right now?

However, we can't run before we walk. (Actually, we can, but it'd likely lead to more faceplants.) For now, let's work on figuring out how to make a disc that works. For the next steps, we'll need to have that one basic step down pat.
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#27 Curly

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Posted 14 September 2011 - 04:14 PM

Rogue did a range test with discs that had different weights attached to the bottom. Of the tests, the stock disc went 2nd furthest, and a disc with a small plastic washer(don't know the specs) went further. There were heavier weights like a steel BB but the plastic washer was best. I, like some others think the best way to get consistent performance is to use a molded material that has near the same average density as the discs. Making discs with a soft outer core and a denser inside would be alot of work, we need one substance, pure or not.

One thing that could simplify the molding process is removing the dome under the disc. This could be devastating to aerodynamics, but it would allow a single-piece mold like what is used for Gumdrop darts. The mold itself could be constructed from epoxy just like SGNerf's replacement parts. Use a 2" endcap or something of that nature as the base and make the mold. Cover the disc in excessive silicon grease before placing it parallel with the bottom of the endcap.

The endcap method sucks by the way, just trying to get the ideas flowing. A thick wooden board with divots drilled in it would suit mass production better.
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#28 Darksircam

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 10:00 PM

(What you said about the molding process)


SGNerf used silicone as a mold and epoxy as the replacement parts.

I'll see if I can make an epoxy mold of the hard plastic section... once I get more Vortex discs to disassemble. Placed Nerf logo-side up, they can be one-piece molds. And then I make molds of the foam part, and glue them together using GOOP.

Removing the hole under the disc would make it unable to fire. I am also skeptical of a single-material disc, as the material needs to be stronger than foam but be relatively light and bouncy.
One of the strengths of the Vortex line is the ability to bounce discs off walls, so I believe you need a hard ring with foam exterior.




Has anyone tested my method of making discs? I find that it shoots well and the production method has consistent results, but a molded disc might work a bit better for feeding and prevent jams.
It takes me 30 seconds of work to make each disc, not counting the wrapping of PVC in foam.

Edited by Darksircam, 15 September 2011 - 11:13 PM.

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#29 VelveetaAvenger

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 09:22 PM

Has anyone tested my method of making discs? I find that it shoots well and the production method has consistent results, but a molded disc might work a bit better for feeding and prevent jams.
It takes me 30 seconds of work to make each disc, not counting the wrapping of PVC in foam.

Sorry man, we're too busy speculating to worry about doing actual work!

Rogue did a range test with discs that had different weights attached to the bottom. Of the tests, the stock disc went 2nd furthest, and a disc with a small plastic washer(don't know the specs) went further. There were heavier weights like a steel BB but the plastic washer was best.

As far as adding weights go, it's going to be incredibly hard to center something other then another disc/washer well enough that you can get the benefits without screwing up the spin. For a little background; I was pretty into frisbee golf with a friend of mine a couple of summers ago, and while we were looking at discs one day we found these led lights you could drill into the center of your disc to play at night. The shop owner was telling us that while people did use them, they'd only do it on discs that were already warped or not very important because even that small weight would screw up the disc's flight. So if a 1-2 gram weight is going to ruin a 170-180 gram golf disc, these much smaller and lighter nerf discs are going to have even more trouble.

Edited by VelveetaAvenger, 16 September 2011 - 09:23 PM.

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#30 arfink

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Posted 18 September 2011 - 09:52 PM

Something I'd like to know- is the launch arm pushing against the back of the disk, or pushing inside of the center hole?

Also, while the cross section is important to the performance of the disk, what would happen if, instead of an indentation in the bottom, there were simply a hole?
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#31 roboman

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Posted 18 September 2011 - 10:35 PM

Something I'd like to know- is the launch arm pushing against the back of the disk, or pushing inside of the center hole?

Also, while the cross section is important to the performance of the disk, what would happen if, instead of an indentation in the bottom, there were simply a hole?

It pushes against the inside of the center hole, towards the front. Assuming the safety device that prevents the blaster from firing without a disc is intact, it would not fire. Otherwise, I doubt the disc would go very far - the top surface of the disc is important for creating an airfoil, which gives the disc most of its lift.
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#32 arfink

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Posted 18 September 2011 - 10:55 PM

It pushes against the inside of the center hole, towards the front. Assuming the safety device that prevents the blaster from firing without a disc is intact, it would not fire. Otherwise, I doubt the disc would go very far - the top surface of the disc is important for creating an airfoil, which gives the disc most of its lift.


OK, good to know. That definitely will affect my homemade vortex launcher design.
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#33 arfink

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Posted 25 September 2011 - 12:57 PM

I have been studying the blasters and the discs for a bit now, and I have not made any easy or very reproducible homemade discs as yet, just a little tinkering with hot glue, wax paper, and those thin Dasani water bottle caps. I might try metal bottle caps next, those can be ordered online for arts n' crafts stuff and would be an easily obtainable, reproducible part.

1- spin is critical for stability in flight. The spin is achieved by rolling the disk along the wall of the barrel during launch, so keep this is mind. The only place you want the disk to be "grippy" is on the very edge. The top and bottom of the disc can NOT be grippy.

2- because the spin is induced by pushing the disk against the side wall with a roller the exact diameter is pretty important. How important it is will depend on how much the sides of your disc can compress to fit past the roller wheel. A hot glue rim that is too wide will be crushed by the spin wheel and eventually crack.

3- the weight of the disk and the strength of the throwing arm need to be matched. Heavy discs require a more powerful arm, while light discs will tumble out of control with too much power. Adjust your blaster to suit the disc you will be using.
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#34 Darksircam

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Posted 26 September 2011 - 01:53 AM

Huh. Thin Dasani bottle caps? That was pretty much my logic too. I used Costco bottle caps because the Dasani caps here are still the thick kind. Then I discovered the glory of 3/4" thinwall.

All I knew was that the original disc measurements would work, but your info helps get toward a homemade vortex blaster with more wind-resistant (heavy) discs.
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#35 shardbearer

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Posted 26 September 2011 - 04:56 PM

I'm not 100% sure what you're getting at here, but I think we're probably not going to see great performance increases out of homemade discs like there have been with stefans/slugs/homemade darts. Heavier discs might launch more reliably (accurately), but would likely not go as far without also improving the spring in the launcher. Lighter discs might have greater velocity; but most of that would probably be lost due to air resistance.

This system works differently than our previous Nerf setups - rather than use air pressure to push a dart, these discs are being mechanically flung; as if you were throwing a baseball or using a catapult. Trying to throw a bowling ball is not going to improve range, and will only marginally improve accuracy (because the deviation won't be noticeable when the ball lands 3' in front of you). Trying to throw a ping-pong ball isn't going to either, because the ping-pong ball is more affected by air resistance. Now a golf ball might work better, but then there's our problem - has Nerf already found the golf ball for us? Is the current disc the exact weight that works best for the mechanical arm? Also, is that "ideal" weight/mass/density disc going to be dangerous? I could probably get the launcher to fire a washer; but that'd be pointless for our purposes (and dangerous - don't do it).

All that said, I think our best bet is to replicate the current discs in a cheap, simple, easy-to-reproduce, way. We can add tension/compression/torsion springs to the inside of the blaster to get improved performance if the included mod (spring-tension adjustment already in the blaster) isn't enough for you.


I know how these guns work. I think that these discs are pretty similar to stefans in a lot of ways. In stock guns, putting stefans in doesnt increase range, but once we really start making mods and homemades, there will be a point where we need better discs in order to make better blasters, and we need to start getting ready.
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#36 xtoss

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Posted 15 October 2011 - 09:26 PM

Has anyone else tryed the thinwall + foam yet? Tomorrow i'm planning on picking up the supplies needed for this so I'll report back with comparisons to stock and such.


EDIT:
I have been very busy so I will report back when i get supplies.

Edited by xtoss, 18 October 2011 - 06:15 PM.

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#37 Crotalus

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Posted 16 October 2011 - 05:44 PM

I don't know if this has been specifically mentioned yet, but it seems like the only reason the discs have a top and bottom side is because of the safety mechanisms. On the Proton pistol, there are safety mechanisms responsible for preventing firing if no disc is in the breech. The top safety mechanism detects whether or not the disc is upside down. If this safety mechanism is removed, you can fire ring shaped projectiles alongside of Frisbee shaped projectiles.

I think this can greatly simply the homemade discs if you don't need to worry about creating a top surface. You just need to create a ring.
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#38 BOSS9

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Posted 16 October 2011 - 08:42 PM

It seems like the only reason the discs have a top is because of the safety mechanisms.


The top is essential to flight. The reason they glide so well is large horizontal surface area, and small vertical area. Does a piece of paper with a huge hole cut into it fall faster than a normal sheet of paper?
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#39 Crotalus

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 02:07 AM

The top is essential to flight. The reason they glide so well is large horizontal surface area, and small vertical area. Does a piece of paper with a huge hole cut into it fall faster than a normal sheet of paper?


What if they were more like washers instead of Frisbee shapes? What if you could shoot a stack of three thin discs at once instead one thick disc? Aerodynamics is not my thing, especially with these projectiles that depend more on aerodynamics effects than a simple weighted stefan dart.
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#40 Zorns Lemma

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 06:59 AM

The top is essential to flight. The reason they glide so well is large horizontal surface area, and small vertical area. Does a piece of paper with a huge hole cut into it fall faster than a normal sheet of paper?


Actually a lot of disk shooters fire a flat piece of foam with a hole cut in it.

There is more at work here than just an airfoil and unless you're a mechanical/aerospace engineer or fluid dynamics specialist, the best answer is just to guess-and-check.
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#41 HasreadCoC

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 07:15 AM

Actually a lot of disk shooters fire a flat piece of foam with a hole cut in it.

There is more at work here than just an airfoil and unless you're a mechanical/aerospace engineer or fluid dynamics specialist, the best answer is just to guess-and-check.

I can attest to this.

Posted Image

My little brother had one, only shot about 15 feet or so, as the box advertises.
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#42 joeri

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 07:33 AM

Has anybody ever thought of making a 3d-printed disc?
Would be pretty easy to make one in sketch up.
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#43 Meaker VI

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 11:00 AM

I can attest to this.

My little brother had one (SW disc shooter), only shot about 15 feet or so, as the box advertises.


Those types of disc shooter use foam discs. The difference here is that they heave a soft-plastic insert with foam around the insert. They have some shaping that may contribute to aerodynamics and performance, but I think the biggest thing is the added weight. If someone who has either made a disc or has extra vortex discs and would cut a hole in the top of one could check, that's the only way we'll know.

Someone (in this thread even?) pointed out that flying discs, exist and work well- I think they're called aerobee Frisbees.

Has anybody ever thought of making a 3d-printed disc?
Would be pretty easy to make one in sketch up.


3d printing would be horribly expensive and inefficient for this task.
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#44 Crotalus

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 12:26 PM

Has anybody ever thought of making a 3d-printed disc?
Would be pretty easy to make one in sketch up.

3d printing would be horribly expensive and inefficient for this task.

That would be the most ideal case if 3D printing was cheaper. The 3D printer I run is capable of printing hard materials and soft materials simultaneously (as well as the full scale of hardness between them). It can print the entire disc in one go without having to print each soft and hard component separately. It would take 30 minutes to print 1 disc and probably 40 minutes to print 15. It's not a linear progression as you can see. The cost is probably around $0.50 a gram, conservatively.

EDIT:
Here's a weird idea. What if we made our discs with some sort of ferrite element that responds to a magnetic repulsion effect as it leaves the gun? This could potentially increase the force on the disc as it leaves the barrel; it might even provide extra spin if designed a certain way. It would also give the disc more weight to handle the force of the more powerful springs we will eventually mod into the gun.

Edited by Crotalus, 17 October 2011 - 05:14 PM.

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#45 Meaker VI

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 05:42 PM

...
EDIT:
Here's a weird idea. What if we made our discs with some sort of ferrite element that responds to a magnetic repulsion effect as it leaves the gun? This could potentially increase the force on the disc as it leaves the barrel; it might even provide extra spin if designed a certain way. It would also give the disc more weight to handle the force of the more powerful springs we will eventually mod into the gun.


I, for one, think firing washers is a terrible idea.
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#46 BOSS9

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 06:28 PM

a lot of disk shooters fire a flat piece of foam with a hole cut in it.

only shot about 15 feet


The Vortex discs are superior to others because of superior design. While guess-and-check can always achieve the same results given enough time and effort, a good starting point seems to be replicating the already effective design.
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#47 Darksircam

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 07:17 PM

I was thinking of making two sets of molds, one for the hard plastic inner edge and one for the foam if you could get it to separate cleanly.

This foam+PVC method is the "poor man's" version of that design. Actually, if you got 3/4" thinwall PVC slices and a cap, and stuck them into a mold, you could just add foam resin.

Waiting for xtoss to report on success/failure, that will be the most useful post to me from the last 2 pages.
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#48 raptorz

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 04:39 PM

I don't have a vortex gun yet, so I can only speculate, but the disks seem to look similar to something "Kellogg's cereal" gave away some years ago. And I was thinking of what type of cheap, strong, mold-able rubber you could use on the outside of the disk.......
have any of you ever made/used Oogoo? Its really strange and versatile stuff.
How to make Oogoo
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#49 Darksircam

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 08:06 PM

Again, I already tried that stuff as you can see on the original post. Oogoo is silicone. It's way too grippy for anything that touches any barrel.
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#50 raptorz

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Posted 20 October 2011 - 07:59 AM

Oogoo is silicone. It's way too grippy for anything that touches any barrel.

If you used silicon sealant strait out of the tube I would agree with you, however Oogoo is a more useable version of silicone.
the difference is that it becomes more solid, and it can be painted, so i was thinking that if you found a friction free paint you could coat it with that.
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