Single-Perimeter Rocket for Seamless Spiral Printing

by mechg, published

Single-Perimeter Rocket for Seamless Spiral Printing by mechg Sep 10, 2014
116 Share
Download All Files

Thing Apps Enabled

Order This Printed View All Apps


Liked By

View All

Give a Shout Out

If you print this Thing and display it in public proudly give attribution by printing and displaying this tag.

Print Thing Tag

Thing Statistics

41800Views 15389Downloads Found in Toys & Games


This rocket is roughly similar to a V2 design, but with a single perimeter that allows you to use the spiral vase option in Slic3r to eliminate the seams.

3D Maker Noob does comparison print of three printers using the rocket:

Check out the 15x by 19x print of this rocket at the Midwest RepRap Festival:


3D Printing Nerd prints a 24-inch rocket here:


Niklas Ramström prints an 800mm rocket here:


Rotate the model in Slic3r so the rocket is upright for printing. The example was printed on an Orion with 1.75mm T-Glase, using .6mm nozzle setting (actual nozzle is .5mm), .5mm layer height, .6mm extrusion width, 10mm/s speed, spiral vase mode, zero infill, vertical shells perimeters (min) = 1, 220 degrees temp on the extruder, 60 degrees on bed.
When you print with T-Glase this way, it is fairly transparent because it is hollow with walls that are .6mm thick. If not rescaled, the rocket is about 5.5 inches tall.
With .5mm layer height, this model is only sturdy enough to be a display model, not a flyable rocket. Any defect that occurs while printing becomes a weak area where the layers can separate if stressed.
You can print it at .2 mm layer height to get more strength, but it loses a lot of it's transparency. Or you can print it with more vertical shell perimeters, but you then have to turn off the spiral vase mode and you get visible seams where it changes Z.
If the tip ends up a bit wiggly, it can easily be straightened up with an x-acto knife.
UPDATE: 4/6/2015 - Added RocketForMegaScaling.stl. This fixes an issue some people had where scaling the rocket to larger sizes would cause Slic3r to create a tiny cylinder along the axis of the upper part of the rocket.

More from Toys & Games

view more

All Apps

Auto-magically prepare your 3D models for 3D printing. A cloud based 3D models Preparing and Healing solution for 3D Printing, MakePrintable provides features for model repairing, wall thickness...

App Info Launch App

Kiri:Moto is an integrated cloud-based slicer and tool-path generator for 3D Printing, CAM / CNC and Laser cutting. *** 3D printing mode provides model slicing and GCode output using built-in...

App Info Launch App
KiriMoto Thing App

With 3D Slash, you can edit 3d models like a stonecutter. A unique interface: as fun as a building game! The perfect tool for non-designers and children to create in 3D.

App Info Launch App

Print through a distributed network of 3D printing enthusiasts from across the US, at a fraction of the cost of the competitors. We want to change the world for the better through technology, an...

App Info Launch App

Quickly Scale, Mirror or Cut your 3D Models

App Info Launch App

Treatstock is an online platform that offers decentralized manufacturing services such as 3D printing and CNC machining for business-to-business and business-to-consumer sales all over the world. W...

App Info Launch App

3D print your favourite design with NinjaPrototype, a professional 3D manufacture with consistent quality and speed.

App Info Launch App

He credited me in his Dec 6, 2014 comment.

Comments deleted.

There is tiny spike in the middle of the rocket messing with Slic3r.

I've got that, too and the fins print as separate parts. I guess because I scaled it down to fit my printer?

My fins are printing separately now, too, at 0.8mm nozzle and layer heights between 0.42 and 0.63. Meanwhile if I print with my 0.4mm nozzle with a layer height of 0.12mm I get a perfect rocket.

Great model.

I made one 150% scale and put a time lapse on youTube https://youtu.be/tQ0rLVy6-ns

Gave you credit with a link to the object.


oh yeah. its definitely printing the fins and the tube as SEPARATE components you can clearly see they are separated in this preview shot.


interesting. IT DOES start printing vase mode at the end when it stops building that tower of plastic in the middle.

OK I chunked the other file the scalable one and its working PERFECTLY. zero issues. all one part in vase spiral mode and nothing in the center. also figured out the "closed" shape. I have to turn off top and bottom layers. so now its open as well.

so far its looking fantastic. its interesting. as "layers" its brittle and extremely delicate but as a spiral its insanely strong and rigid (the other one is and this one is looking to be the same)

I need to learn how to do this since the strength and solidness of this printing method is so great I can see single layer parts being possible again and being strong enough to work.

I'm having issues with the fins printing separately. I had great results with a 0.4mm nozzle, but upon switching to 0.8mm and a larger layer height the fins are suddenly detached upon printing. It doesn't start vase mode until it gets past the fins entirely.

I'm a bit confused with your wording; did you have better success with the scalable file or the older one?

That actually makes more sense than you might think what happens when you tell your slicer to do something that is smaller than the width of your nozzle? It ignores it because it can't print it you have a gap that .8 you're probably forming a gap because a certain part of the model is less than .8 millimeters thick this Gap if this is the case should be visible in your slicer preview if it is you just confirmed it make the model larger until the Gap disappears if you're using simplify3d you might be able to get away with single Extrusion Phil

I was using single extrusion in S3D. I ended up remodeling it using a loft function instead and was able to slice at any layer height.

I have a replicator mini and am using simplify 3d (ouch on the price! but wow it really actually does make the prints seriously better!)

anyway I had to squish it below y max 120mm limit. I squished ONLY the z axis. maybe that "broke" it ??

can you upload a model that is 120mm tall? same width etc.. just "shorter" (I don't want smaller just under my 120mm limit) or is there some other setting I am missing ??

it won't print in "vase mode" it prints the circle (the fuselage/body) and then the 4 fins then the body then the 4 fins. its not doing a spiral one path creation ??? I did select vase mode.

what am I doing wrong?

mine also printed a "floor" its not "open" like the one in the pictures.

it also see's this phantom central axis someone described as it squirts a little plastic in the center.

The rocket is side ways help. i'm using slic3r is there a way to make it upright

Click on the object in the plater.
Click on the menu item "Object"
Go to "Rotate" -> Around x axis
type -90

I scaled RocketForScaling 250% and a thin axis appeared inside.

The rocket body is made by taking a 2-D outline and rotating it 360. This seems to create a thin axis for some slicer programs, so I added a solid cylinder along the axis, but only along part of the length of the rocket. This filled in the axis so that a zero-percent infill would eliminate the phantom axis, but I have never printed it at 250%. So, tell me, in what portion of the rocket did the axis appear, upper or lower?

Lower part. I did some manipulations with surfaces in S3D and the axis seemed to disappear. But that was after I printed the thing, so the lower part printed a bit worse.
Also, the rocket body is somewhat low-poly when upscaled to 250% and higher.

Try RocketForMegaScaling that I just added. I made the cylinder larger. I can't do anything about the low poly as the original outline was coarse.

OK, no axis even at 500%. Thanks!

But to print it at 500% scale I'll probably have to make another model with finer tesselation.

If I had it to do over again, instead of making a longitudinal outline and rotating it to make the solid body, I would probably make a series of cross-section circles and use the loft function in FreeCad, as that would make for a smoother body. That is how I did the rocket plane (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:492176) . That seems to result in much smoother curves that are scalable.

Single-Perimeter Rocket Plane for Seamless Spiral Printing
by mechg

If I had it to do over again, instead of making a longitudinal outline and rotating it to make the solid body, I would probably make a series of cross-section circles and use the loft function in FreeCad,

Hey there, I ended up doing this in Fusion 360! I uploaded the result here (https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2753462). I also added instructions for other people to learn how to do the same.

Single Perimeter Rocket - Designed for Vase Mode
by mbuc91

I just made a similar rocket 700mm long in Fusion 360. I used revolve to create the body and it's really smooth. But I had to set very low export tolerances to get a smooth STL model... 134K triangles. I'll try to print it one of these days and then probably share it.

It's just a matter of export parameters. Mine vs yours http://i.imgur.com/Bo9WXUL.png

Can you tell me what parameters you changed?

Sure. Fusion 360 has a lot of parameters, I just seriously decreased everything http://i.imgur.com/PyTRNFm.png
Some settings produced visually smooth STL, but slicing shows artifacts. Not sure if it's a problem of Fusion or slicer.

I think the cylinder I added only extends through the top half because that is where the problem was without upscaling. Sometime today I will lengthen it to cover the whole rocket, and I will export it using finer tessellation so it will scale better. Stay tuned.

Love it - very cool model, "RocketForScaling.stl" printed really well with 0.3 mm layer vase setting on Slic3r/Repetier on my hacked Da Vinci. I increase the flowrate by 25% for vases to add a little bit to the width of the walls for strength.

This is a perfect demo model to print while talking to students about 3D printing - takes around 30 mins and looks really impressive. Thanks for sharing it!!

Comments deleted.

it's not only perimeter...slic3r do it full ...why?

Choose the spiral vase option, and set the number of perimeters to 1.

Thank you so much and sorry for the question but I'm not very experienced because I have my printer from just 1 week.

No problem! Click the Instructions tab above, and you will see all the settings.

Anyone is able to scale it ? When I scale it at 200% it starts trying to do a 'square' inside shape at about 120mm high... .I'm using slic3r to slice.. If I scale it in netfabb or slic3r it does the same thing... (200% or 600%) but I cannot see it in slic3r...Do you have an idea ?

Try the RocketForScaling.stl file that I just added.

Very nice model. I also had problems for the fins: Simplify 3D and Cura draw them separately and they are barely touching at the top. Due to that problem, the object isn't really printed in vase mode, as the head has to travel between fins and the body. Does your original model have this separation between the body and fins?

Slic3r generates a continuous path so the fins are firmly attached. You might try adjusting your extrusion width to a smaller value. Or scale it up slightly and see what your slicer programs do with it.

Tried with Slic3r. It works. Thanks.

hopefully one day my prusa will complete prints like this... :-(

Check out audin's Candy-Filled Rocket remix: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:591805

Candy filled rocket
by audin

I LOVE this. For real. This is beautiful!

Yeah, I just tried Kisslicer, and it looks like the vase option causes it to travel from body to fin, without any extrusion in-between. I don't see any obvious fix for it, but I am not an expert on Kisslicer. Slic3r makes a continuous spiral loop that includes body and fins, extruding all the way, so it is one solid piece.

Just made one. When I sliced it with Kisslicer, using the vase option for infill, it worked and looks great, but the fins are barely attached to the body. I'm sure there's a setting I'm missing to make it fixed to the frame better, but I don't know what it is.