Launchable Cartoon Rocket

by pleppik, published

Launchable Cartoon Rocket by pleppik Jan 21, 2012
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When I was printing and launching the model rocket, the thought struck me: why does every printable model rocket have the same tube-with-fins-and-a-nose-cone design? We've got 3d printers, goldangit! We can do any design we want!

Thus was born the concept of the launchable cartoon rocket. This is the love-child of my Cartoon Rocket model ( http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:15618 ) and the printable model rocket ( http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:13616 ).

I used the Cartoon Rocket as a basic design concept, and added the functional components to make it launchable: an engine mount, a nose cone which pops off easily, space for a parachute, a tube for the launch rod, and extra fins for stability.

A word of warning!

As of this writing, this rocket has not been launched. I have satisfied myself that it will launch safely and stably as long as you add enough ballast to the nose cone, but I don't know what will actually happen the first time it launches. Be sure to test the stability before you launch and follow all model rocket precautions. Launch at your own risk!


1) Print out all three parts. Remove as much internal support from the tail section as you can.

2) Procure some play-dough or modeling clay and the following model rocket supplies: shock cord, parachute, A, B, or C engine, and recovery wadding.

2) Tie one end of the shock cord to the tail section using the round holes in the cone surrounding the engine mount.

3) Line up the launch rod tubes on the tail and body, and clip the tail and body sections together. Once attached, it will be very difficult to get these apart without breaking something.

4) Using a pencil eraser, pack the nose cone with play-dough or clay until the nose weighs at least 16g. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT! Without this extra weight, the rocket may be tail-heavy and unstable when launched.

5) Attach the shock cord to the nose cone and parachute. Pack the parachute in the body cavity with recovery wadding. Wrap a rocket engine with masking tape to give it a tight fit in the engine mount and insert it in the engine mount. Put the nose cone on top of the body (it should be a loose fit so it pops off easily).

6) Perform a stability test.

7) Launch!

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So.... did you ever launch it?

Yes, but it turned out not to be stable.