[RFC] FreeCAD Rocketry Workbench

grandcross

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Now I'm thinking fin cans too. What would a fin feature look like?

Profiles, obviously, so they can be 3D printed, laser cut, or machined. Also airfoils. What about the fin can itself? Would generating the fins be enough to create a full fin can? What would that look like?

What is your use case?
 

mtnmanak

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It looks like a lot of the focus is on 3D printing - that is very cool!

I have not gotten into 3D printing (yet!). I do, however, have a CNC router and find many things difficult in other tools (like Fusion 360) to get done quickly. For example, I would love a library of quick options to CNC route things like CRs, stepped bulkheads, thrust plates, fins etc. Something where you input the diameters you need, thickness of material, number/diameter of holes (especially for the Aeropack flanged retainers), etc and it just generates the part you need to cut.

My CAD skills are horrible. I spend an inordinate amount of time trying to get simple pieces modelled so I can cut them out.
 

Fattbank64

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Oohh! I like that! And it should be fairly easy!

Simple conical transitions or do you have any unusual shapes in mind?
I haven't been reading the thread.

Transitions with shape options (conical, ogive, elliptical, etc). Similar to designing nosecones.
 

grandcross

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It looks like a lot of the focus is on 3D printing - that is very cool!

I have not gotten into 3D printing (yet!). I do, however, have a CNC router and find many things difficult in other tools (like Fusion 360) to get done quickly. For example, I would love a library of quick options to CNC route things like CRs, stepped bulkheads, thrust plates, fins etc. Something where you input the diameters you need, thickness of material, number/diameter of holes (especially for the Aeropack flanged retainers), etc and it just generates the part you need to cut.

My CAD skills are horrible. I spend an inordinate amount of time trying to get simple pieces modelled so I can cut them out.

Great ideas! I think you'll find what's happening to be useful for you. Nose cones, transitions, and fins so far. The bulkheads and centering rings are great ideas and should be fairly easy to do. I am a 3D printer guy, but these should all be useable for CNC.

The user interface still needs work, but here's a fin generation example. It's a scale Nike Smoke fin with TTW tab

Nike Fin TTW.png
 

mtnmanak

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Great ideas! I think you'll find what's happening to be useful for you. Nose cones, transitions, and fins so far. The bulkheads and centering rings are great ideas and should be fairly easy to do. I am a 3D printer guy, but these should all be useable for CNC.

The user interface still needs work, but here's a fin generation example. It's a scale Nike Smoke fin with TTW tab

View attachment 449327

Tools like this would be awesome for me. I love cutting stuff up in my CNC router, but I dread the CAD portion of the process. Can't count how many times I have sat down to make a part and gave up while trying to model it in CAD.
 

Fattbank64

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A late evening suggestion.

A module for designing an ISC (interstage coupler). One has to use kludges to get around the limitations in RockSim.
 

grandcross

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A late evening suggestion.

A module for designing an ISC (interstage coupler). One has to use kludges to get around the limitations in RockSim.

Rocsim is a simulation tool, not a CAD tool so that's not surprising. I'm curious as to what you might have in mind, and if that can be translated to a general design tool.
 
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I'm intrigued by this thread, having used OpenScad in the past. It's decent, but programming it is a bit of a challenge. There are several parametric models out there for rocketry related items, but this seems to be another good alternative. What I haven't been able to discern from this thread or the RFC forum thread is if there is a repository of parametric models of rocketry related stuff for FreeCad. I see pics above of models but no links to the actual code/macros...
 

grandcross

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I'm intrigued by this thread, having used OpenScad in the past. It's decent, but programming it is a bit of a challenge. There are several parametric models out there for rocketry related items, but this seems to be another good alternative. What I haven't been able to discern from this thread or the RFC forum thread is if there is a repository of parametric models of rocketry related stuff for FreeCad. I see pics above of models but no links to the actual code/macros...

The workbench hasn't been released yet. It will hold all kinds of rocketry tools related to FreeCAD. You can install it manually from the repository (here, with install instructions: https://github.com/davesrocketshop/Rocket)

The tools shown are all part of the workbench.This is the first step on a long road. There are a few additions to be made to the components before an "official" release, but they're all usable now. Things like a repository of parts will come later.
 

grandcross

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Expanding on my previous post, the intent of this thread is to see what tools people would like to see in the workbench, not what exists now or will soon.
 

David Schwantz

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Hi Dave, Saturn V still flying. I am always wanting to either scale a rocket up or down in size.
A feature that, lets say, double everything. So you don't have to do each part separate.
 

grandcross

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Hi Dave, Saturn V still flying. I am always wanting to either scale a rocket up or down in size.
A feature that, lets say, double everything. So you don't have to do each part separate.

Not to the point of full rocket assemblies yet, but that sounds like a great feature!
 
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Expanding on my previous post, the intent of this thread is to see what tools people would like to see in the workbench, not what exists now or will soon.
Understood, but it helps me to see and touch the workbench to get a feel for what's possible. To that end, being neither a Python user, a FreeCAD user and someone who finds git confusing as hell, the manual install instructions assume you know something about each. I'll send you a PM with my specific questions.
 

grandcross

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Version 1.0 is now officially released for manual install. For those who don't wan't to mess with Git (and believe me I understand!) you can download the source files here: https://github.com/davesrocketshop/Rocket/releases/tag/v1.0

Installation is pretty much the same, except instead of checking the files out using git, unzip frm the source file in your user directory. On Windows, this is <your user directory>/AppData/Roaming/FreeCAD/Mod. If the Mod folder doesn't exist then create it.

Documentation is in progress https://wiki.freecadweb.org/Rocket_Workbench

Remember, this is just the initial release. I'm already working on more features, as well as getting it included in the addon manager so you won't have to do a manual install.
 

grandcross

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IMPORTANT:

When installing from the source .ZIP file, the contents expands to Rocket-1.0. This needs to be renamed as Rocket.

If you do not you will have trouble accessing icon files and similar. The output will show something like this:

Code:
10:22:47 Cannot find icon: /home/<username>/.FreeCAD/Mod/Rocket/Resources/icons/RocketWorkbench.svg
10:23:04 Cannot find icon: /home/<username>/.FreeCAD/Mod/Rocket/Resources/icons/Rocket_NoseCone.svg 
10:23:04 Cannot find icon: /home/<username>/.FreeCAD/Mod/Rocket/Resources/icons/Rocket_Transition.svg 
10:23:04 Cannot find icon: /home/<username>/.FreeCAD/Mod/Rocket/Resources/icons/Rocket_BodyTube.svg 
10:23:04 Cannot find icon: /home/<username>/.FreeCAD/Mod/Rocket/Resources/icons/Rocket_CenteringRing.svg 
10:23:04 Cannot find icon: /home/<username>/.FreeCAD/Mod/Rocket/Resources/icons/Rocket_Bulkhead.svg 
10:23:04 Cannot find icon: /home/<username>/.FreeCAD/Mod/Rocket/Resources/icons/Rocket_Fin.svg
 

grandcross

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Good news! The workbench is now available using the add on manager, at least in version 0.19!

No more messing around with git or zip files
 

Zeke Johnson

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David,

I personally don't mind messing with ZIP files.

Thanks for the tip on renaming the Rocket-1.0 folder to "Rocket". That fixed it.

I have just recently got interested in learning FreeCAD. I am horrible at it so far.

You have lots of very helpful videos on your YouTube channel.

Would it be possible to do a quick "step by step" FreeCAD instructional video using your workbench? Just building a simple 3FNC rocket from scratch would be enough to get me started. I bet others would benefit from this as well.


Zeke
 

grandcross

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I have just recently got interested in learning FreeCAD. I am horrible at it so far.

After many years, I'm still horrible at it too! ;)

Luckily the product is improving by leaps and bounds. Every release is a major improvement in the workflow.

Would it be possible to do a quick "step by step" FreeCAD instructional video using your workbench? Just building a simple 3FNC rocket from scratch would be enough to get me started. I bet others would benefit from this as well.

I just sat down to script some tutorials when I saw your message! Most should be pretty quick to produce so I'll start pumping them out.

The workbench isn't quite to the point of assembling full rockets yet, at least not easily. That is the goal but there's a lot of work between here and there. I'll certainly produce one when it's at that point, but for now I'll be concentrating on the components.
 

lucanica

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Hello David,

I’ve tried your workbench and really liked its simplicity. Designing a thrust plate for a flanged motor retainer was very easy even for a CAD newbie like me.

Are you planning to add slots and holes to your body tube tool? In addition to their apparent purpose, one may also use those to produce "sleeves" to align fins, rivets, shear pins, etc.

Thank you very much for doing this!!
 

grandcross

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Hello David,

I’ve tried your workbench and really liked its simplicity. Designing a thrust plate for a flanged motor retainer was very easy even for a CAD newbie like me.

Are you planning to add slots and holes to your body tube tool? In addition to their apparent purpose, one may also use those to produce "sleeves" to align fins, rivets, shear pins, etc.

Thank you very much for doing this!!

Glad you like it!

Tube slotting should be easy to do, but I didn't think of it in the first go. I'll add that to the list of enhancements
 

grandcross

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New release available. This one primarily addresses a bug where editing a part would erase its placement. You can update using the addon manager.
 

grandcross

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Rocket Workbench with OpenRocket imports now available for testing. Like the rocket shown, this is an alpha meaning there may still be significant bugs so save important files.

rwb_alphaIII.png

Installation instructions are available here: https://github.com/davesrocketshop/Rocket/blob/dev3_0/TESTING.md

The current testing branch is dev3_0_alpha1_01092023

The OpenRocket imports do not currently support the following features:

- Clusters
- Pods
- Parallel stages
- Non structural components such as parachutes and mass objects
- Materials, colors, decals, etc

OR import2.png
 
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