Picture of Cardboard rocket - It flies!
This project is the product of a collaboration with a friend of mine somewhat obsessed with rocket propulsion. We wanted to make something simple (made from little more than cardboard and duct tape) that could do something cool.

This Instructable provides the cut sheets for use with a laser cutter, precision cardboard cutter, or you and your choice of cutting implement(s). If you follow it through, you'll have something launchable!

Step 1: Gather materials

Picture of Gather materials
We used:
- cardboard salvaged from shipping boxes
- duct tape
- drinking straw
- cardboard cutting and assembly supplies (Xacto blade, scissors, cutting mat, tacky glue, two straight/safety pins)
- small hobby rocket engine (we used an Estes A10-3T)
- cladding for engine (usually included with the engine)
Optional: model rocket launch pad and controller, laser cutter

Step 2: Model the rocket

Picture of Model the rocket
Step 3 contains the patterns for the final pieces to cut from cardboard.
If you want to design your own rocket rather than use ours, use your favorite 3D modeling software (we chose SolidWorks for this project) to model a simple rocket.

We wanted to use the 123D Make web app (see step 3), which can produce the patterns for either folded paper or stacked cardboard (rather than more skeletal, interlocking pieces; that can be done through the desktop app). This meant that the body and fins needed to be separated in the virtual model and will be assembled in cardboard form. The notches in the body are made to accommodate the fins, which are formed in two segments that slot together.
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it's really a good project but is it important to fit rocket model engine can't i use soda-acid combination by fitting a thin plastic pipe inthe core?
bstrachota (author)  saksham bhadani1 year ago
Great idea! I'm sure that could work with careful placement and a strong reaction. The rocket made of stacked cardboard rings covered with duct tape isn't especially light, so it needs a bit of a push to get going to any height.