Water Rocket (Bottle Rocket) Adapter With Fins

by kludgemonkey, published

Water Rocket (Bottle Rocket) Adapter With Fins by kludgemonkey Nov 23, 2011
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This is a derivative of my 2 Liter bottle to 1/4 NPT adapter with reasonably sturdy little fins. The adapter is designed to let you quickly turn an ordinary house hold pop (soda) bottle into a projectile by adding water and air pressure. the 1/4 NPT quick disconnect gives you a simple and easy way to add air pressure and also works as a launch mechanism when you release the collar.


Please see the parent of this item for instructions, that way I can just make corrections there as I intend to make several derivatives.

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There is an easier and safer way to do these.. I'll do a remix when i have time.. we made these all the time when i was a kid BUT using the quick release metal piece not only adds weight at the rear where you don't want it, but means you have to have your hands there to release it.. OK the solution is to use the rubber schraeder valve from a tubeless car tyre.. doesn't actually matter if it's new or been cut away by a tyre depot.. what you have is a schraeder car valve in a rubber body with a smooth bulb at the end where it is usually fitted to a car wheel.. as kids we used old style fairy liquid washing up bottles as they had a very odd-sized neck that was an exact TIGHT fit to the valve bulb..ALL modern pop bottles are the same and too big to fit direct onto the valve.. just add a little water, attach you bicycle pump with an extension hose, point the bottle at the sky with some kind of support and pump till the pressure blows it off the rubber bulb.. you just need to reprint this with a smooth bore at the rear of the correct size to fit the valve stem, tighter tolerances will mean more pressure before it blows.. too much and the bottle will blow first.. the amount of water is critical too, more doesn't simply mean more thrust..

This is the second round of these that I have printed, a couple notes, you are going to need some sort of rubber seal for the bottle side and teflon tape for the air hose end. I fired the first one off using only air and I ended up breaking a fin off. I feel this is due to printing with only 20% infill. After the fin broke air was able to escape though where it broke. So I decided to print 3 more with %100 infill and see where that takes me.

Just wanted to say my two boys, ages 7 and 8, have enjoyed this immensely. They charge them to 90 PSI with the air compressor and they fly pretty high.

What is the outer thread size for the quick release connector?
What is the nozzle inner diameter?

I'm having some problems with this one. I printed the one without fins fine but this one ends up without threads for the bottle. Slic3r made a complaint and tried to correct something.

Any tips for getting one to print correctly? :)

It looked like the stl hole for the quick release was the right size for a gift I got last year of a mentos+diet coke nozzle. It wasn't perfect but a few minutes with a file and a bit of teflon tape and it fits wit a water tight seal. I don't know how well it will work under pressure but I HOPE it will disengage easily... I'll find out this weekend.

Sweet, I hope it works. Please put up pics if it does. I have never actually done the mentos+diet coke experiment. If I have some spare time in the near future I'd like to fiddle around with it and design a dedicated printable nozzle. If anyone has experience with it and has suggestions I'd love to hear them.

Well it definitely popped off. The bottle went Plop! onto the floor and the Mentos holder went almost a foot straight back. And the coke+mentos was EVERYwhere.

It's a good thing they call that 'backyard' science. My boy (4 years old) thought it was awesome . I need a way to keep the mentos in there and build up a bit of pressure next time I think.

If the wife gets bored of poking fun at me for this one I'll try again :)

Mythbusters used a pair of magnets (one inside the bottle the other outside the bottle as a mentos shelf. When you're ready to drop the mentos, just pull off the outer magnet and the inner magnet (and the mentos it's holding) all fall in at once.

Awww man, that sucks, what failed? Was it the bottle side threads or the narrow side threads? I'm guessing by your description that it was the narrow side threads which probably weren't exactly the 1/4 NPT it was designed for. If so, can you tell me what the thread pattern you are trying to screw in there is? Maybe I can improve it for you.

I had an amazing time in high school one time doing something like this with a friend. We melted a smooth hole in some bottle caps and placed them over an aluminum tube we had connected to an air compressor. When we opened the valve (very fast blow-gun valve) it would presurise the bottle as it was coming off. Worked very well. We played around with more advanced stuff - a small clump of clay inside the bottle had an interesting effect. The tube kept the clay off the hole initially, so the bottle would still shoot off the tube and a bit of water would still shoot out to propel it upward. But then in the middle of the flight, while it was still partially pressurized, the clay would find the hole and plug it. The bottle would be in free flight for a bit while the clay was stuck in the hole, but eventually the pressure would shoot the clay out, and the remaining water and air would propel the bottle again. We had succeeded in literally making a two stage water bottle rocket with just a tube, compressor, and some clay! It was lots and lots of fun - the bottle would shoot up about 30 feet before stopping, then it would tumble in the air and eventually shoot off in a random direction. It was surprisingly repeatable, and we were able to vary the amount of clay to alter the timing. We eventually got it to the point where the bottle would come almost all the way back to the ground before the secondary "stage" fired. So much fun! It might be possible to 3D print a more reliable staging mechanism, though I'm not sure what that would look like!

There are a variety of staging mechanisms that have already been developed - see http://www.aircommandrockets.com/index.htmhttp://www.aircommandrockets.c... for some examples, but there are undoubtedly ways that purpose-built, 3-D printed items could enhance their effectiveness.