Intro: How to Design and 3D Print a Model Rocket
Creating a model rocket and launching it in your backyard can be super cool! But some people don't have the money or time to go pick up and build a rocket kit, or maybe you are just interested in making your own. I wanted to challenge myself to design a rocket and launch it, and now I am sharing it with you guys. This is a very basic project and it is perfect if you are new to 3D design or rockets. If you don't feel up to designing your own rocket then you can also use my design here . I used a C6-5 rocket motor so make sure that yours is the same before you print the model. If you would like me to design you a rocket feel free to comment below with your rocket diameter and hight and I can create you a model.
Step 1: Designing Your Rocket
To design the rocket I used Tinkercad ( https://www.tinkercad.com) since we are just designing a basic rocket. If you want to design a more complicated rocket you might want to use some software that is more advanced. There are also many Tinkercad tutorials on YouTube and Instructables that you can use if you would like to add something extra on to your rocket that is not shown here.
Step 2: Create the Motor Hole
Now you will want to go ahead and measure the diameter of your motor. My motor had a diameter of 18mm so I created a cylinder that was 18mm x 18mm. Then you can measure the height of your motor and change the height of the cylinder to match it. TIP: I made the hole a CM less tall than the motor so that I can pull the motor out of the rocket after it has fired. Once you are happy with your cylinder click the Hole Button under your shapes preferences. Also if your hole is to small you can drill it out after it has printed.
Step 3: Create the Rocket Body
Now you will want to decide how big you want your rocket to be. I choose a diameter of 30mm since I have a relatively small motor. Once you have successfully created a cylinder with the diameter you want you can go ahead and drag the hole piece you made earlier into the middle. Then you can change the height of your rocket. I used a height of 15cm.
Step 4: Create the Nose Cone
For the Nosecone, I used a dome shape but if you wanted to you could also use a cone. To do this just drag the Paraboloid shape onto your workspace and the position is on top of your rocket. You can adjust its height to what you like, I used a Height of 40mm.
Step 5: Add the Fins
For the fins, I used a wedge that is 3 x 20 x 55mm. You can use 3 fins, 4 fins or even more if you want! I used 4 fins because they were easier to line up. Make sure that the fins are connected to the rocket otherwise when your print them they will be separate. Just like the nose-cone, there are many different shapes and ways of creating the fins so have fun and be creative with it!
Step 6: Optional: Rings
My model rocket launcher that I use has a metal rod that runs up the middle to keep the rockets straight. So I wanted to add rings that would guide the rocket. To do this I used a tube as the ring part and created a 30mm cylinder hole so that I could glue the rings on and they would look nice.
Step 7: Printing the Rocket
I printed my rocket in grey PLA on my Creality Cr-10 with 20% infill. I also didn't use any support and printed at .3 mm. If you would like a stronger rocket then I would suggest using more infill, especially since this design doesn't have a parachute mechanism. My rocket took 2 hours and 40 minutes to print. If you want your rocket to look nice I would suggest printing at .1 or .2 and sanding and painting. You could also add stickers to give it a nice look.
Note: The rocket came loose on the bed before the nose cone printed so I printed a new nose cone and glued it on.
Step 8: Preparing for Launch
To get your rocket ready for launch all you have to do is put your motor in the bottom (It should be tight to that it doesn't fall out). Then you will want to find a location that you can launch at with no people or buildings. I do not take responsibility for any damage that you cause. You will also need something that you can use to ignite your rocket. I have an electric igniter but I ran out of the parts that make the sparks so I used a barbecue lighter. There is an awesome toutorial Here that you can use to make ingniters aswell.
Step 9: Launch!
Now you can go ahead and launch your rocket! It is so cool seeing your own rocket that you have designed fly super high up into the sky! If your rocket is grey like my rocket is then it may be a little tricky to spot so you might also want to consider painting it. If you wanted to add something extra to your rocket then you could also add a parachute.
Thanks for reading my Instructible! I hope you had fun blasting your own rocket into the air! As a side note, I would really appreciate it if you vote for me in the contest because it helps me get new materials that allow me to make more Instructables.