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Possibility of 3D printed rocket components

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Adi Shmerling

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Hey guys, this is my first post here and my first excursion into model rocketry, so if you have any resources you think would help me out, let me know!

I've wanted to build a small-sized rocket since a few summers ago, but only now am I actually considering going through with the task in a meaningful way. My original plans involved aluminum tubes and composing my own rocket fuel in the form of R-Candy. I found some tutorials online but after review of NAR code, and after serious consideration, I decided I needed to switch gears and focus on methods that weren't so legally dubious.

This brings me to my current idea. I've been designing a rocket in AutoCAD 2019 (not sure if that's relevant), and I've been considering the possibility of creating a large portion of the rocket in PLA plastic filaments. The current idea is to print the fuselage and nosecone in PLA, and potentially the fins as well. The motor itself will be bought, and the engine mounting I'll make myself out of cardboard and the required materials.

My question is: Do you think this will be possible? Is it safe? What should I take into account going forward, and what resources should I look to for help?

Thanks a bunch, I look forward to your responses. Your help is greatly appreciated!
 

cwbullet

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It is possible and it is safe. I would recommend PETG if you are going to fly in temps above 90 F.
 

OverTheTop

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Welcome Adi. You will find quite a few threads discussing 3D printed rockets and parts here. It is a topic that is really taking off nowadays. Have a wander through the various forums, or try the search function.

As cwb mentioned, consider your material, as the rockets can get quite hot on the pad in the sun. PETG seems to be the material of choice in that regard, but others have had success with PLA. Personally I use ABS and also the resin-based SLA printers, but I am lucky to have that choice.

Enjoy :).
 

swatkat

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I fly exclusively eSUN PLA Pro +, with the exception of nylon rail buttons. Never had a failure..
 

Adi Shmerling

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Thanks for the help everybody! I've decided to purchase a roll PETG to print my parts. May use PLA for a test rocket seeing as I live up north and it's getting pretty cold out. I figure if I launch during the late day I'll have a minimum risk of an overheat situation.
 

cwbullet

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Thanks for the help everybody! I've decided to purchase a roll PETG to print my parts. May use PLA for a test rocket seeing as I live up north and it's getting pretty cold out. I figure if I launch during the late day I'll have a minimum risk of an overheat situation.
This is what I do. I test with PLA and avoid it when the sun is strong. It warps badly when left in a car or truck bed over 90-95.
 
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