Rocket Challenge

Overview

Rippl3D’s Rocket Challenge enables players to 3D print air powered rockets and understand how tail geometry and nose cone weight can be used to optimize rocket flight. This challenge needs some space but can be played indoors or outdoors depending on the setup. The challenge supports a variety of ways to play so you can pick the best options for your event.

The 3D Printed Air Rocket has three components.

  • Nose Cone
  • Body Tube
  • Tail Fin

The tail fin has four parameters that can be adjustedFin Design Image

  • Fin Height
  • Fin Angle
  • Fin Diameter
  • Number of Fins

A Challenge outcome & type can be selected to best suite the event audience.

Relevant STEM Principles

Forces, thrust, air pressure, and stability

Air Rocket Launcher Examples

Rippl3D’s DIY Air Rocket Launcher

YSU Graduate Research Assistant – Ashley Martof’s DIY Launcher

Ohio Robotics Launch Setup

STEP 1: Pick Outcome Type

Max Points

Max Points – this outcome studies stability and accuracy by shooting for a down range target (pts)

This Challenge has been successfully executed inside a 13ft x 13ft room that was 28ft tall.

You will need a scoring target. This can be as simple or complex as you want to make it. To reward stability, we suggest your target and point system look something like the image below.

  • Point Zones 3-5 are 10in x 10in squares
  • Point Zone 2 is 10in x 25in
  • Point Zone 1 is the floor

Scoring targets could be made from a number of things:

  • A piece of paper on the floor (use some foam to absorb impacts)
  • Buckets with sand (a bit messy, best for outside events)
  • If your ambitious you could make a fabric target (see picture)

To encourage higher apogee flights, use a chinning bar that rockets must go over. Rockets that don’t go over the bar receive only 1 point.

Max Distance

Max Distance – looks at what design efficiencies allow you to get down range the farthest (ft)

Max Apogee

Max Apogee – looks at how to get the most efficient rocket without compromising stability (ft)

STEP 2: Pick Challenge Type

Fin Type

This Challenge uses four predefined Tail Configurations

  • All of the rocket parts can be printed in advance
  • Participants select from four tail configurations

How To Play
  1. Provide participants a Job Sheet
    1. Used to track the details of their attempt
  2. Participants select their rocket parts
    1. Nose Cone
    2. Body Tube
    3. Tail Configuration – mark selected configuration on Job Sheet
  3. Weight Nose Cone
    1. Insert clay into nose cone to provide desired nose weight
    2. Weigh nose cone and record weight on Job Sheet
  4. Assemble Rocket
  5. Login to Rippl3D Challenge site
    1. Select the Competition for your event
    2. Enter the parameters from the Job Sheet
    3. Select the additional parameters
      1. Launch Angle
      2. Launch Pressure
    4. Save the design and record the Job Number on the Job Sheet
  6. Test the Rocket and make note of the score
  7. The Competition Coordinator will enter the score for your job number
  8. Review the results and try again to improve your score

Fin Design

The Fin Design Challenge plays the same as the Fin Type Challenge except that the tail fins are designed and built custom. Players use the design tables to configure unique tail fin designs and then download the STL file for printing.

How To Play
  1. Provide participants a Job Sheet
    1. Used to track the details of their attempt
  2. Provide Participants the pre-printed rocket parts
    1. Nose Cone
    2. Body Tube
  3. Weight Nose Cone
    1. Insert clay into nose cone to provide desired nose weight
    2. Weigh nose cone and record weight on Job Sheet
  4. Login to Rippl3D Challenge site
    1. Select the Competition for your event
  5. Enter the desired parameters for:Fin Design Image
    1. Fin Height
    1. Fin Angle
    2. Fin Diameter
    3. Number of Fins
    4. Nose Cone Weight
    5. Launch Angle
    6. Launch Pressure
  6. Save the design and record the Job Number on the Job Sheet
  7. Download Tail Fin STL
    1. STL File units are mm to be compatible with most desktop printer software
    2. In the future we will offer Unit selection settings in the Competition Managers Menu
  8. Print Tail Fin
  9. Assemble Rocket
  10. Test the Rocket and make note of the score
  11. The Competition Coordinator will enter the score for your job number
  12. Review the results and try again to improve your score

Unlimited Design

Rippl3D Googie Style Rocket Design

The Unlimited Design Challenge Type is a great way to incorporate STEAM. For this challenge, players are expected to design and build unique rockets that interface with the Air Rocket Launch Tube. It is their job to review the launcher and determine the right fit to perform

  • Too loose and the rocket will bleed pressure
  • Too tight and the friction will resist the launch
Scoring

This challenge provides multiple scoring options

  • Target score for accuracy and stability
  • Audience judgement for “Best” Design

It is important to remind players that most of us will not buy a car that we think is “ugly” and we still want it to “perform”!

STEAM integrates the BEAUTY we like with the PERFORMANCE we want!


Resources