Disposable Rocket

by kebes22, published

Disposable Rocket by kebes22 Aug 4, 2013
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Disposable Rocket by kebes22 is licensed under the Creative Commons - Attribution license.

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UPDATE 2013/08/07
Added files for B/C size engines (and some A's)
Tested 2 stage rockets with both A and B size engines -- They both fly great.


Just a simple nose cone and tail fins that can be attached directly to a model rocket engine to become a complete rocket. (Thanks to my friend Chris for the idea).

Files are included for both 1/2A size, and B/C size.

This thing flies great as long as you use the guide tubes on a proper rocket launch pad. I just used a bamboo skewer in a block of wood. Just make sure it slides off easily.

The single stage version shot off the launcher, and was amost out of sight in seconds, until the ejection charge created a puff of smoke in the distance.

Don't launch direcly from the ground without a guide rod (don't ask me how I know... sorry Chris)

Don't plan on recovering the pieces, since they will probably not survive. That is why it is called a "Disposable Rocket". It only costs around 25 cents in material to make, and 15-20 minutes to print.

I am in no way responsible for how you use this, so please use good judjement in launching it, and please don't launch near people, buildings, or other important objects.


Print 1 each of the nose cone and fins for a single stage rocket. Pretty much any settings should work, it is designed to only be 2 extruder widths thick almost everywhere, and layer height is not critical.

Attach the nose cone to the top of the rocket engine, and the tail fins to the bottom, and make sure the launch guides line up with each other.

For a 2 stage rocket just print an extra fin section, and add to the bottom of another rocket with a second engine.

Depending on how your printer does on the first layer you may need to shave a little off around the openings to get it to fit over the engine. If it is too loose, just shim with a little tape.

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Awesome design, minimum dead weight!
Have you ever tested the 2-stage setup on the ground to see if the ejection charge reliably starts the second stage engine?
I did see the 2-stage launch video, but it is hard to tell if it has really worked.

I have launched several 2 stage rockets, and they have always worked great. I have never needed to ground test, because it is easy to see and hear in person that it is igniting the second stage. In the video it obviously isn't as easy to tell.

These are fun. A great thing to do with those left over engines after your kids lose their rocket.

will this work with c motors

Oct 19, 2015 - Modified Oct 19, 2015
ericmoritz - in reply to cool45

I scaled up the model to 1.1 in Cura to fit an A motor. My friend had a couple C's laying around. I had to carve away some of the casing with a pocket knife on the C motor to fit but it worked.

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Love this project and will be using it with my 8th grade Science students. I would love for them see the difference in flight time and altitude with different sized nose cones and/ or fins - is there any way to alter this file?

Nice rocket, made a few. Scale to 1.4 for a c engine. Would really like to see this with straight fins also. We did not recover any pieces of the c-11. Thanks

Just flew it, it worked great came down great with A and C engines but the nose cone is gone :( Don't print in green (don't ask how I found out)

Lol the cap is gonna fly off when the eject charge comes :)

Do you have a source code for it (openscad preferred)? I printed it, but the overhang angle of the fins is close to what I am able to print (Prusa i3, Formfutura filament), and the edges of the fins were uneven. So I would like to modify the fins to have less overhang.

Finally got to fly the models I made back in Jan / Feb. Worked a treat - went straight up without a problem!

are the angled fins supposed to produce spin? I am kind of a rocket noob and don't really know if the spin is good for the launch.

Yes, spinning makes it go strait

this rocket set worked great. I used a b6 rocket engine to shoot off the rocket and it easily went 800ft or higher. Very impressed i would recommend trying it out

I have not flown one of these yet but they look like fun. I'm printing one now.

The engine was to big, it didn't fit. I had to dremel it out.

Most printers smash the first layer a little. I found that just scraping the opening with a razor blade usually fixes the problem. If not you can probably scale it up a tiny bit in your software so you don't have to dremel it.

I ended up taking off a few layers of paper from the engine, it fit together fine then. I couldn't find my old controller so I built a new one, I had to build a launch pad too. I set it off today, and I found the body when it came down, surprisingly everything held together okay. The bottom is reusable and it didn't melt, but the nose got destroyed. I'm going to make more, I'll try to remember to post pics.

how are you launching these rockets?

With a bamboo skewer in a piece of wood. A regular rocket launch pad should work fine too.

Are you just putting a piece of fuse in the bottom of the engine and lighting it on fire?

Yeah, the first ones were launched using a piece of fuse, before I built an electric launcher. I just stole the fuses from some old fireworks.

:-) very neat idea.... i have 4X A10-3T engines awaiting in my tool-box......fins already printing.... 5....4...3..2.1.Zero

Thanks. Let me know how they fly for you.

what kind of estes engine should i put in

Any of the A/B/C sizes should work, 1/2A's and some A's are smaller, and require the smaller nose cone and fins. I have found that the ones that are more filled (usually a higher first number) tend to fly better because the weight is more toward the nose.

Letter is thrust (B is 2x of an A and C is 2x of a B) First number is burn time. Second number is fuse before ejection charge. If u are doing multi-stage use an engine with 0 fuse