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3D Printed Apollo Rockets

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Saluki

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Looks nice. What scale are you shooing for on the Saturn V?
 

n3tjm

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Also 1:130. I had to split the 1st stage in 2 sections because it was to tall for the printer. Will take 18 hours to print the first section. If I could do the whole 1st stage at once, it would take 25 hours at Standard Quality. My wife is getting annoyed with me with the amount of time I been spending on the computer designing these :p. Also, this file is almost to much for my ageing home computer to handle, so that slowed me down a lot.
 

n3tjm

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Had to redraw the lower section of the Saturn V 1st stage. The original file the ribs were too small to print. I did a live stream of me redrawing it last night. It took over 3 hrs before I ended the stream. I will be editing the video to a shorter version so it only shows the important stuff and leaves out the mistakes and times I was trying to figure things out. Here it has been printing for almost 11 hours and is almost 60% done.
FB03CCB4-005F-49AB-8F7F-1761B26A5670.jpeg
 

afadeev

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Had to redraw the lower section of the Saturn V 1st stage. The original file the ribs were too small to print.
What, if anything, do you do to smooth the surfaces after printing?
Primer and sand?
Something else?
Or just leave it as is?
 

n3tjm

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What, if anything, do you do to smooth the surfaces after printing?
Primer and sand?
Something else?
Or just leave it as is?
This plastic sands easily. So if you want to paint it, it is not to hard to sand it smooth. I haven't tried primering or painting any of these prototypes yet.
 

manixFan

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Really nice work, great to see it progress. I can't help but think a 3D resin printer would be better for some of the parts, like the tower and the RCS parts. My son has one and I'm just astonished at the detail it can produce, and the parts are reasonably sturdy. A combo of a filament printer for the big stuff and and a resin printer for detail parts would be a great solution for such a complicated model like this.


Tony
 

Saluki

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Are you still thinking about selling these as kits and what would be the price range?
Would you think about selling the STL files?
Great work.
 

n3tjm

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I am still thinking about selling them as kits. I also considered selling the stl files. Problem is if I sell them as kits, I would think people will want decals, so I got to figure out how do I do that. Source them out? Print them myself? That would mean buying a printer and decal film. What do I do about the recovery system? Where is the best place get the body tubes, centering rings, motor hooks? And there is the bigger problem. Printing them. I am almost done printing the complete first stage of the Saturn V. The first half took 20 hours. the second half right now has been printing for 12.5 hours, and is 98% complete. Time is money. I have a feeling that the kit prices would be to high to be attractive. If I sell my stl files, how much will that be worth? I have spent hours designing, test printing, adjusting. How much would a fair price be?
 

n3tjm

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Second part of the 1st stage is complete. Currently working on designing the second stage.
3CB5307B-EAC3-4FEB-B2D8-40B90BFB9AE8.jpeg

EC5E3BF7-F1C5-4EF9-8AEB-24E4D128745B.jpeg
 

Saluki

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Sounds like you have given the kit thing a lot of thought. Decals. tubes, centering rings, recovery system. and do to the fact one of the kits is an SA-6 it has marking different than an SA-106 or 105. The price you put on the STL files would be your choice. Since you make them to be flyable I would think pricing them like a kit in the range of $25 or $30 might be reasonable but that's just me. There seem to be more and more people in this hobby getting 3D printers every day.
Another good thing about selling the files is those with the printer would have to supply the extry parts and time for printing and give you more time to invest your time on more designs like other rockets or display stands and other things.
Due to the fact I have my own 3D printer the file would be the first thing I would buy. I guess you could offer the files for those who have printers and offer to print kits for those who don't. Now I'm starting to think about this too much and it's not even my problem.
Any way you'r doing a good job of thinking out the designs. Nice work.
 

n3tjm

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Today I got my package from AC Supply so now I had some motors to test fly my Little Joe II (I wanted A10-3T's but they were out of stock, so I went with A3-4T's. Rocksim showed the LJ2 stable, but I was a little concerned because there is not much room for the recovery system, so I figured there is a chance that the rocket would be unstable. I was right. It flew straight at first, but then did some sky writing. I will need to add some nose weight. Also the shock cord burned off its mount, so I will have to get some kevlar to use as a shock cord anchor.

Here is an amazing Slow Motion video taken by my friend Michael Fritz (Not the Michael Fritz that works at Estes).


Here is the video of the test flight:


In other news, the 2nd Stage of the Saturn V is almost done printing.
Saturn V 2nd Stage Almost Printed.jpg
 

n3tjm

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After 20 hours of printing the 2nd stage and the interstage ring of my Saturn V model has finished printing. I have plenty of illustrations of all the details that show the top down dimensions, but nothing that shows how far they stick out... So I may have to make some adjustments to the file if anyone post corrections
😃
. Total weight of the rocket so far is 10.7 oz. I will decide on the power plant once I get a better idea how much the completed rocket weighs.
2nd Stage View 1.jpg

2nd Stage View 2.jpg

second stage view 3.jpg

wife holding the saturn V stack.jpg
 

n3tjm

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Almost done the Saturn V. Currently printing the centering rings for dual 24mm motor tubes. I will need to reprint the transition between the 2nd and 3rd stage. Something went wrong and it just looks so ugly! I will also print version 3.0 of the Apollo capsule and escape system. I just modified how the escape rocket attaches to the nozzle shroud.
Saturn V stack.jpg
Saturn V Stack 2.jpg
 

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Saluki

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Things are looking good. Will the Saturn V fly with the F-1 engines attached or unattached?
 

n3tjm

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My BMS order will be here hopefully Tuesday, so that means I hope to get some test flights of the V next week. Until then, I printed these.

7B19EF11-1578-4D5D-8E5C-DF786F6E1524.jpeg

The clear background is on water slide film. The film is old and was stored in a damp basement so I don’t know if it still is good. The white background decals are just on label stock. If these go into production, I think everything should be on water slide film. I may take some preorders soon.
 

n3tjm

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Here is the motor mount with all the glue dried. The fwd ring is glued on, and the white spacer in the middle helps keep everything in their proper place. The motor mount will be installed through the top of the first stage.
Motor Mount Complete.jpg
 

n3tjm

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The Saturn V took its first test flight. Well, it didn't go to well. The rocket came out on the heavy side, and I wasn't 100% confident that the CP was where I thought it was. I didn't want to add weight to the nose since the rocket was already on the heavy enough. So I will be redesigning the rocket to save weight. I am thinking about making the walls of the bottom section a little thinner. Also I plan to make the fins larger to help move the CP back. The first prototype will be repaired and put on display. The next version will not be painted and decorated until it completes its test flights.
 

Gerald

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Have you thought about Estes 29mm engines for lifting this and flying ? I retrofitted my old 1969 Cox Saturn V to Handle those because it too is a very heavy model.
 

n3tjm

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I wanted to make this rocket able to use more readily available. Estes D12’s are available at pretty much any store that carries Estes rockets an can be shipped via usps so no $37 hazmat. The 29mm E and F’s are not. E12’s do require hazmat, I see more of them in stores than the 29mm motors.

i already started drawing version 2 of the Saturn V 1st and second stage. Making the walls half as thick and enlarging the fins. I am also fixing the nozzle skirts. They didn’t come out right (ended up being to small)
 

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