This rocket is based on a kid's toy I saw a couple of years ago that was pretty amazing for the materials involved. I decided to recreate it and see how well my version would work. It was a little heavier than the styrofoam toy that I had played with, but still seemed to work a lot better than you might expect. And, while you may have a rubber band big enough to reach low earth orbits, I haven't really done anything as far as heat shielding.  If you have kids that aren't quite old enough for model rockets, this is the perfect project for them.

I put the original version together in about a half an hour, and played with it for way too long to admit.  Eventually it got tore up, and now  I've decided to create a new and improved version.  This new version boasts some new features, almost all of which are designed to add distance.  Starting at the nose cone, it now allows for retractable rubber bands.  This will also allow multiple rubber bands to be used where it created too much instability in the original design.  The new body is a bit longer, and I figured out a way to help trim down it's circumference a bit and keep it rounder than before.  The tail fins are also much larger now to create more spin and ultimately more stability.  Finally, per a user comment I now also have a tool to launch the rocket with to avoid accidently thumping your finger on occasion.

Step 1: Build the Nose Cone

The materials are very easy to find. You'll need (x2) 2-Liter soda bottles, a 20 oz. soda bottle, some paper clips and rubber bands. For tools I started with a hot glue gun and a pair of scissors. However, I also used needle nose pliers for bending the paper clip to nice angles and placing it in the body.  On the thicker neck of the bottle a saw will need to be used a few times.

To get started, we'll begin with the nose cone.  Cut off the neck of the bottle, leaving as much of the straight section in place as possible.  Next, unscrew the cap and drill a couple of small holes (the size of the paper clip) near the top on two sides.  I didn't have a drill handy, and used a small leather punch in place of the drill for now.  First, remove and save (without destroying) the sealing ring, then go ahead and put the paper clip in place and screw the lid down tightly.  Then you can mark the raised section of the neck for two more holes to keep the paper clip in place.  Unscrew the cap and make your holes.  Finally, make a hole large enough on top of the cap for at least a couple of rubber bands to fit through.

Now it's time to put it all together.  Take the paper clip out, and put the rubber band(s) on.  The strength, quality, and number of rubber bands you use will make quite a difference on how the rocket performs.  This design is a little heavier than the original, and needs a little bit more power to fly well.  The paper clip on the inside keeps them from falling down into the rocket later on, and you'll be able to dig them out with the launcher (built in the next step) if needed.  I placed a golf tee under them so they wouldn't fall back through.  I had to use a pair of needle-nose to get the paper clips forced through the holes further down the neck, but that will keep it from falling out.  If you need to replace the rubber bands later, it's probably just best to also replace that paper clip.
<p>this is badass</p>
<p>Thanks... I haven't &quot;played&quot; with it in a few years, but still have it sitting on my desk!</p>
what did you do to your knuckle in step 5? nice instructable, by the way.
It was collateral damage from cutting all the cardboard used to make <a href="https://www.instructables.com/id/The-QUB3-An-All-Purpose-Child-Booster/">this instructable</a>. Good eye, and glad you enjoyed the instructable. :)
This has me pretty intrigued... I'll have to make one for myself and mess around with it. I have a few extra airsoft springs floating around my workshop somewhere, kinda thinking that if the weight isn't too much i could potentially make a mechanism on the inside of the rocket that allows it to get power from the spring once the rubber bands are at the tension point and won't stretch anymore. I'll let you know how it goes :D<br><br>Also, Great 'Ible! its things like this that keep me addicted to this site =p
Thanks, I've just got a chance to repair my new model, and hope to start testing again... I'm pretty sure before I'm done playing with it that I'm going to hit 100+ feet. I've had a shot in the upper 80s now, and still don't think I've really reached the full potential of the rocket yet! :) If you make one, please post pics and flight results too, I'd love to see how someone else fares with this.
eh can't argue im in florida there is nothing to do here other than orlando
nah u cant argue with me... I'm from Singapore... there really isn't much things to do, since you get arrested for holding a weapon, or meeting with three or more people if u look suspicious. There really isn't as much freedom here than america, cos the freedom is sacrificed to make way for security... which is why there ain't much crime around here in Singapore
best state ever:
pardon my ignorance but what does the bear on the flag signify??
the origin is accually a typo, it was suppose to be a &quot;Pear&quot;, instead of a &quot;Bear&quot;, but then what would the pear signify, i dont know....
jello biafra !<br />
i now a kid in 8th now that got shot in cali in like 5th grade so it sucks too...
In updating this instructable, I deleted the last step, which I didn't realize would also delete a bunch of the comments. So if you made a comment on this that is now missing, that is why, sorry.
cool <br>
excuse me but that isn't the louisiana flag...
no,loisiana is this, and it da best
i know i was pointing out that he should have louisiana up there
ooooooooooooooooooooooooooo lol i stupid
LoL. 50 ft? LOL
I knew this would likely meet some skepticism, thus bothering to take the time to add video. Check it out in step 7, see for yourself.
No, 50 ft is not that much. Plus, that does not look like it is 50 ft.
<strong>No,50 feet is not that much</strong>.In other words,you are saying that it is more than 50 feet.<br/>
No, I am saying something that only goes 50 ft doesn't go very far. And in the vide it doesn't look like it goes a full 50 ft.
its 1 rubberband.could u make a rubber band powered thingy go 50 ft using a 2 liter bottle(not using his design in any way) .
Well,build one and try it for yourself.I did and mine goes just as it should.
Congratulations on winning the contest.
thank you. :)
it needs to be heaver for more wind resistance
I've tried both, less weight flies much (up to a third) better than with weight added to it. Neither will really fly into the wind, but they float very well with the wind.
Wow!I love this thing.Made it myself and was amazed at how far it went.
I think this one might have had a better chance of winning a contest if it was entered into the tap'dny contest :P just my 2 cents. Great idea!
I considered it, but just a matter of time really. My original goal for that contest was actually a pontoon boat of sorts, and someone ended up making a raft anyway. The problem was, I just didn't have time to do anything except design it on paper. It's a little cold here in February/March anyway for boating adventures. With that said, I think this has a decent chance in this contest... rubber band power is somewhat limiting without quite of bit of imagination, and this fits very nicely with what they say said they're looking for (cheap, quick and easy to make, re-usable materials, and even the special flight requirement). I made it for free, from common household items, in under an hour total (including documentation for ible). IMHO, 50 feet will also be a tough mark to match/beat in the flying department. Anyway, thanks reading through and taking the time to drop a couple of lines.
Actually, I think I'll have to really agree with you on those points. Good luck on winning the contest! haha :D
Yeah!Enter this in the epilog challenge and say its green because it reuses a plastic bottle.
True, but I don't consider this to be "epic". :) However, I've been working on a project since January that I hope to get entered in the Epilog contest... details to come shortly!
My project I entered insn't epic either.
i might just vote for this
*waves hand in Jedi motion* You were just about to vote for the rubber band rocket... You were just about to tell all your friends to vote for the rubber band rocket.<br/>
what state flag is that ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
you know what it is... step one said so!<br/><br/><sub>but it might be Missouri</sub><br/>
I can see peoples breaking their fingers from this :S, made one myself but i also made a little wooden rod to fire it from :D
I don't know about broken fingers, but I have smacked my own fingernail a couple of times, and it does hurt like the dickens when you do so. :) A launching device of sorts is a most excellent suggestion.
im thinking a wooden plank with dowl rails to keep it from swerving to the side and a spring loaded hook at the end that sinks into the wood so it doesnt hit the tube... or use a ruler
How do you launch it?
There is a video at the end...
Yeah I know but the stupid computer blocks YouTube...
thumb and forefinger on the hollow back end of the tube, and index finger of other hand to stretch the rubber band, then let go of the tube. You may also consider replacing index finger with wooden dowel as suggested below by D4NG3RNL in order to avoid smacking your own hand with the rocket.

About This Instructable



Bio: Whoever first said "sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me" obviously never attended a ninja poetry slam.
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