3D Printed Rockets are a Gas

We’ve probably all made matchstick rockets as kids. And around here anything that even vaguely looks like a rocket will get some imaginary flight time. But [austiwawa] is making some really cool 3D printed rockets that use common CO2 cartridges as a propellant. You can see them in action in the video below.

You might think just sticking a CO2 cylinder in a 3D printed jacket isn’t such a big deal, but [austiwawa] really went the extra mile. He read up on how to make the rocket stable (by manipulating the center of gravity versus the center of pressure) and explains what he had to do to get the rockets flying like you’d expect.

In addition, the launch tube is pretty interesting. A 3D printed part holds a sharp point and a spring. You lock the spring and when released it punches a clean hole in the propellant casing. The actual tube is a long piece of PVC pipe. From the video, it looks like these little rockets fly pretty high.

Judging from the video, the rocket body and launcher came from TinkerCAD. The way [austiwawa] put the fins on was both simple and clever.

Of course, you could also use Coke and propane, if you like. We’ve also seen some pretty cool setups with compressed air. Check out the rockets in action after the break,

26 thoughts on “3D Printed Rockets are a Gas

    1. ‘Rocket’ describes the method of producing thrust (ie. a reaction engine deriving its thrust exclusively from a jet of its own propellant) and doesn’t necessarily involve combustion.

    1. Lets see how long it takes the ATF to take (unconstitutional) action against this guy.
      Large bore: check
      Unrifled barrel: check
      No any other weapon tax stamp: check

      Not a firearm, but it’s large enough bore, and could be used to deliver dangerous payload, so they might just make an exception.

  1. I wonder if a short bell exhaust chamber like on an combustion rocket would increase thrust on these. As it is it seems like the co2 is just being vented out of the puncture hole. It works, but just curious if a nice bell shaped chamber on the end might improve them.

    1. You’re somewhat behind on worrying about people making dangerous combustion experiments. Look into the spud cannon community if you think this is bad. People have been making them for years and they’re much more lethal, but few accidents occur.

    2. Actually my first thought on seeing this in action was how can I weaponize this? As it is it makes for a decent mini mortor. You’re worried about parachutes when there are people like me out there that are contemplating making them explode on contact.

  2. Wonder if you couldn’t build this into a gyrojet launcher sort of arrangement, where rockets are fed up by a magazine, then whacked on the nose by a hammer backwards into a firing pin, and then by flying forward they reset the hammer?

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