Build Thread: Office Supply Rocket

Discussion in 'Scratch Built' started by jqavins, Aug 15, 2019.

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  1. Aug 15, 2019 #1

    jqavins

    jqavins

    jqavins

    Joseph Avins TRF Supporter

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    Some months ago I made these as desk trinkets at work:
    Desk Rockets.jpg
    The body tubes are heavy duty toilet paper and paper towel tubes from the industrial bathroom, about 2 mm thick. The fins and nose cones are printer paper and Scotch tape, taped on. The smaller nose cone was colored with a highlighter. (The fins originally got pink highlighter, but they faded.)

    After staring at them for months and musing over making a flying version, I now have a plan. I'm going to make a complete, flyable rocket out of nothing but office supplies. The only thing that will not come from my own workplace is some white glue; I consider that a legitimate office supply, I just don't know anybody here who has some.

    I will be using non-office tools, just not materials.
    • The airframe will consist of two of the paper towel rolls. (I've already collected a good few of each size roll in anticipation of some sort of rocketry use.)
    • A third tube will be cut to make two couplers.
    • The nose cone will be printer paper and glue, with one of the couplers for the shoulder.
    • I will make some two layer laminations out of corrugated cardboard, with the corrugations running at right angles. The plywood-like structure is not for strength but rather for stiffness. This will be used for the fins and rings. I'll probably close off the fin leading edges with tape.
    • The MMT will also be printer paper and glue. 24 mm, because this tube is pretty heavy.
    • The engine hook and launch "lug" will be made from paper clips. ("Lug" is in quotes for reasons that will be made clear in due time.)
    • Recovery will be by splitting in half to guarantee tumbling. Perhaps I'll find something in the office to make a streamer out of, but I think it will survive without that.
    • Shock chord holding the halves together will be rubber bands.
    • It will fly naked, to make the material choices plain.
    Step one is to do the detailed design in RS. I will try to get that done tonight when I get home.

    Watch this space.
     
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  2. Aug 15, 2019 #2

    neil_w

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    Watching.
     
  3. Aug 15, 2019 #3

    mbeels

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    Putting the tree in rocketry

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    I like it! Did you check the shipping department (???) for mailing tubes? I propose incorporating some paper clips, binder clips, and perhaps a manila envelope to make the point clear. Business card for ID? Ball point pen launch lug?
     
  4. Aug 15, 2019 #4

    jqavins

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    Joseph Avins TRF Supporter

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    I like the pen launch lug. The plan already includes paper clips; one or two will be the launch lug, but maybe I'll change to the pen idea if I can scrounge one up of the right type. But how would I attach it? The only glue I'm allowing myself is white glue, as something good for the plastic pen tube is not likely to be found in the office.

    Shipping tubes are a standard, but I've already go my body tubes picked. Paper towel rolls from the dispensers in the bathrooms. 48 mm OD, 44 mm ID, and 10" long. I'll use two of them. A manila folder would make a tougher nose cone than printer paper, but I'm confident the printer paper will do fine so I don't think I'll change it. Binder clips? I've got no idea how one would incorporate those.

    Really the goal is to make as nearly a "normal" rocket as I can given the constraint.
     
  5. Aug 15, 2019 #5

    neil_w

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    And a paper shredder and an Aeron chair. You can do it!
     
  6. Aug 15, 2019 #6

    mbeels

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    Yeah, I see you've got it pretty well planned out already. My mind took the "office" idea and started running in a ridiculous direction with it. I like rockets with a theme.

    Now there's the absurdist direction, but I think you're on to something! Water cooler into a water rocket??? I wonder if you put the tabs of manila folders on the bottom of the fins, would it make a BRAAPP sound on the way up?

    It would be an interesting design idea to conceive of a rocket using parts from one's place of work. I have a very non-standard "office", so it would really be odd.
     
  7. Aug 16, 2019 #7

    JPalmer621

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    I work in retail and have use all sort of materials. My favorite is a space shuttle with opening cargo bay doors and yes it is able to fly. I used ballon sticks, lingerie hangers, a bic pen spring, old signs(card stock), broken shelf dividers and even old hubcap signs. I love the creative process.
     
  8. Aug 16, 2019 #8

    jqavins

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    Joseph Avins TRF Supporter

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    Here's the RS result. I weighed one of the tubes, 40 g for 10 inches, so most of the mass here is from those: two full tubes for 80 g plus three inches worth for couplers for 12 g more. I had to guess at the rest, and I'm afraid I may have low-balled the fins. If so I'll either add (more) nose weight (it's got 5 g now) or change course. I am thinking that the crossed ribs cardboard might be unnecessary if I make sure to orient the ribs the right way. But the cross ribbed design will be better if it doesn't weigh too much.
    Officde Rocket RS Image.jpg

    Tomorrow I may be going to the MARS monthly launch (or I may skip it) and on Sunday my daughter is off to college. Somewhere on the way I'll lay up a sample of the cross rib cardboard and check the weight. That should let me update the RS model, but I currently only have my daughter's laptop to do it on, and she's going away Sunday, so we shall see.

    I rarely get to post on weekends, so look for an update Monday.
     
  9. Aug 16, 2019 #9

    mbeels

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    I'm just wondering, since you have an abundance of tubes, did you consider a tube finned rocket? Or does that not align with your goal of a "normal" rocket?
     
  10. Aug 16, 2019 #10

    jqavins

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    Joseph Avins TRF Supporter

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    Actually, that is a cool idea. I don't know if I have a sufficient abundance. I have four of the paper towel tubes: two for the airframe, one for coupler material, and one that's already had it spiral grooves filled for something else so I can't use it, since filler is not office supplies. If I take apart the desk ornament that would give me another. So, would the remainder of the coupler source, seven inches, leave enough for tube fins? With the desk ornament sacrificed there'd obviously be enough.

    On the other hand, this tube is heavy, so tube fins would be adding a bunch of mass at the wrong end.

    Nice thought, but I don't think it works this time.
     
  11. Aug 16, 2019 #11

    mbeels

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    Those are some pretty heavy duty tubes. The traditional look of fins will be more identifiable as a rocket in the office.

    Will you decorate it with white out? Paint a name on it? By the way, is Office Supply Rocket the name?
     
  12. Aug 16, 2019 #12

    jqavins

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    Joseph Avins TRF Supporter

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    I want the name to be two words; I haven't decided between "Office Rocket" and "Office Supplies".

    I was thinking to leave it unpainted to show what it's made of. But decorated is a possibility. I could use White Out, White Out tape, markers, highlighters, even print something and tape it on. Hmmm...
     
  13. Aug 16, 2019 #13

    neil_w

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    "Office Space"? "Office2Space"?
     
  14. Aug 16, 2019 #14

    mbeels

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    I like "Office Supplies". Just to toss out some other ideas, what about something like "9-to-5", "Daily Grind", "Corporate Accounts", "Cloud Storage"......
     
  15. Aug 16, 2019 #15

    jqavins

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    Joseph Avins TRF Supporter

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    I knew someone would bring up Office Space. Cute movie, but I'm really not nearly as enamored of it as so many of the people around me.

    I've tentatively settled on Office Supplies. I made a "decal" that I can print out and apply with glue. Office Supplies Rocket Decal.jpg That doesn't have to be the last word.

    Lunch is about over. I've made not only the decal but templates to cut and fold the paper cone and to cut the cardboard fins and rings.
     
  16. Aug 16, 2019 #16

    BABAR

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  17. Aug 18, 2019 #17

    jqavins

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    Joseph Avins TRF Supporter

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    Yesterday I made a sample of the cross grain cardboard, measured and weighed it. 9 mm thick and 0.125 g/cm^2. It's nice and stiff, as I hoped.

    Also made my rubber band chain shock cord, with integrated streamers which are strips cut from a Bugles bag from the break room. I ended up providing my own rubber bands; I'd asked a couple of people at work and struck out. I know they're there, so I'm OK with sourcing them from my home stock.
    20190817_163243.jpg
     
  18. Aug 18, 2019 #18

    mbeels

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    That looks like it will have very good visibility!
     
  19. Aug 18, 2019 #19

    jqavins

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    Which it will need, since the airframe and fins will be dull brown.
     
  20. Aug 19, 2019 #20

    jqavins

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    I updated the RS model with the weight for the fins and centering rings based on the new known density and thickness of the material. The updated model has nearly the same CG as the original, even though I was significantly off in my initial guess. That's because the fins and rings are a pretty small contributor relative to the tubes. I didn't have time to run new sims, as my daughter was packing and needed her computer back.

    I also updated the ID and OD of the tubes after remeasuring. They're only 1 mm larger than what I had originally, but why leave an error I don't have to?

    My daughter took her laptop and wend away to college yesterday. (How terribly inconsiderate! ;)) So now I have to find a different way to run sims. There's another working computer in the house, but it's not in a convenient place and doesn't currently have a keyboard hooked up, since it's only used for video games. I can hook up a keyboard (I've got some spares) and put up with the location.

    I also laid up a larger piece of the plycardboard after finding the white glue. I hadn't noticed when I grabbed an empty box from work that it's marked "OfficeDepot OfficeMax" all over the outside. Needless to say I left that showing.

    There's a public maker space in a library not too far from home, the next county over. If I'm allowed to use it as a non county resident I'll cut my fins, rings, and bulkheads on the laser cutter there rather than try to do it by hand. I really stink at that sort of hand work and would far rather get laser cut quality. That means a trip after work one day, as they are not open on weekends.

    Nothing yet worth taking another photo of. When there's some progress I'll take'm and post'm.
     
  21. Aug 19, 2019 #21

    Wallace

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    Tape should be easily found in an office. I've taped launch lugs on more than once after arriving at the field and realizing I'd forgotten them. Scrounge up a pen or straw, couple wraps of tape and problem solved.
     
  22. Aug 19, 2019 #22

    BABAR

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    Why fly naked?

    Get some spray on adhesive and paper your fins with Bugles or Doritos bags!
     
  23. Aug 19, 2019 #23

    mbeels

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    Lots and lots of Post-Its...
     
  24. Aug 19, 2019 #24

    jqavins

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    I was thinking of something like printed designs, glued to the fins and tubes. I have one (post #15) for the upper half of the tube, not all the way around it. I don't want to cover the tubes all the way around because I want the material source to be visible. I may do a little more on the airframe. Maybe a big "This End Up" opposite the rocket name.
    upload_2019-8-19_13-51-38.png

    Then I noticed (post #20, fourth paragraph) that the box I made the plycardboard from for the fins is from Office Depot and marked as such, which seems like all the decoration the fins on this rocket could want.
     
  25. Aug 20, 2019 #25

    jqavins

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    Joseph Avins TRF Supporter

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    Made the couplers last night.
    Cut Tubes.jpg Step 2.jpg Finished.jpg
    They're a little loose, but I'm sure they'll do. One gets glued in place and the other (the nose cone shoulder) can get a masking tape wrap.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2019
  26. Aug 20, 2019 #26

    JCRL

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    This is a great concept!
     
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  27. Aug 20, 2019 #27

    mbeels

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    Is that a wax paper release? Those tubes do look very robust.
     
  28. Aug 20, 2019 #28

    jqavins

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    More or less. I didn't have wax paper but did have bakers' parchment paper. It stuck lightly to the glue, but pulled off easily and cleanly. And most important it kept the glue from bleeding through.

    As for the tubes' robustness, heck yeah. I wouldn't hesitate to put a 38 mm high power motor into that 45 mm ID if I can collect enough tubes for a good length airframe, 10 inches at a time, plus sacrificial ones to make couplers for the stack. Of course, that one would not be all office supplies (plywood fins and rings, printed nose cone, epoxy construction, etc.)
     
  29. Aug 20, 2019 #29

    Wallace

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    Where were you when I showed up with a rocket built out of junk? All I got were insults in reference to being to cheap to buy parts;)
     
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  30. Aug 20, 2019 #30

    jqavins

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    Joseph Avins TRF Supporter

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    I can't speak for JCRL; all I can say is I don't know where I was. There, there Wallace; yours was a great concept too. :headpat:
     

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