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  • Spectacular Failures of Unmanned Rockets   6/13/2016  
    I put this together for a 4-H rocket day camp in 2013–the kids really enjoyed it. Video clips from various YouTube sources, The Right Stuff, and Spacecraft Films DVD, Liftoff: Success and Failure on the Launch Pad (highly recommended). Audio track: Wagner’s The Ride of the Valkyries, performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. https://www.youtube.com/embed/RY1cEOzaf78
  • Minor Site Update   3/15/2015  
    We now have an e-commerce plugin handling the layout of our 3D-printed part links, etc.  This should make it somewhat easier for our customers to browse products that are available in multiple configurations while remaining on this site.  Links will take you to the corresponding product listing on Shapeways.com. An added benefit of having the e-commerce ...
  • 4-H Rocket Camp 2013 & 2014   10/14/2014  
    Jess and I taught a 4-H rocket camp for two years in a row, and it was a big success.
  • J-2 Engines for sale in 1:72 & 1:70 Scale (Updated)   8/16/2014  
    Design Update (1:72 & 1:70) The latest design for the J-2 Engines in 1:72 and 1:70 scale is identical to the original, but the 3D model is now printed in two pieces for easier finishing.  Note the addition of sprue material that will have to be removed for assembly.  (Lower sprue is only partially removed to ...
  • 1:72 and 1:70 H-1 Engine Sets   8/2/2014  
    We’re happy to announce our latest 3D-printed parts available via Shapeways:  Sets of H-1 Engines in 1:72 and 1:70 scale.  Both early and later versions of the central flame shield / inboard turbine exhaust designs are represented alongside a common outboard engine design.  Links below.  Be sure to check out various photos of 1:72 scale ...
  • Quick Tip: Engine Blocks and Hooks   7/10/2014  
    Always use engine blocks when using engine hooks. I have never felt comfortable with the idea of hook-only motor retention, but I didn’t have clear rationale behind my concerns until now.  On launch day of rocket camp 2014, one of our students inadvertently pushed his engine (along with the hook!) too far into his Alpha III ...
  • Images Added to netfabb Tips for STL Fixing   6/14/2014  
    For those of you interested in designing your own scale model parts and printing them yourself or uploading them to a service such as Shapeways, I finally finished a post of tips-and-tricks for file repair in netfabb Studio Basic (free).  There is some mention of TurboCAD-specific settings, but most of the post should be relevant ...
  • Theme Updates   5/28/2014  
    We’re in the process of upgrading our site’s theme to be friendlier to mobile devices.  There are bound to be bugs here and there, but hopefully we will be able to work them out in short order.  We hope you like the changes.
  • 50 Years Ago Today — SA-5 Launch   1/29/2014  
    January 29, 1964.  First 2-stage flight of a Saturn vehicle. http://www.hq.nasa.gov/pao/History/SP-4204/ch10-5.html
  • Link to Saturn I Build and 3D-Printed Parts   11/10/2013  
    Brian Matney is in the process of kitbashing and scratch-building a 1:144 scale version of the Saturn I as it is displayed at USSRC, complete with support arms, using an Airfix Saturn IB kit as a base.  He has already ordered several new 3D-Printed detail parts from us through our Shapeways Shop, including a set ...
  • Saturn I in Google Earth (For Now)   11/3/2013  
    Back in 2011 I modeled a simplified Saturn I Block II representative of the one in the rocket garden at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama, using SketchUp.  I submitted it for use in the building layer of Google Earth, and for the moment, at least, it’s still there.  Google announced back ...
  • Some Web Trial and Error   10/24/2013  
    If this web site looks kinda funky on occasion, it’s probably because I’m trying to hunt down a compatibility problem related to a gallery plugin that recently got rebuilt but has several bugs.  So if things looks weird, please be patient.  It won’t stay that way for long!
  • Comments Open for Blog & News   10/20/2013  
    Just trying something out here…  I’ve enabled the comment forms for Blog & News entries in case someone has something they want to add.  All new comments will be moderated to start.  Hopefully I won’t get buried in excessive spam.  🙂
  • Oldie but a Goodie: James Duffy’s Little Joe I   10/5/2013  
    If you haven’t done so, be sure to visit the project pages for James Duffy’s 1:17.44 scale Little Joe I model which flew at an FAI World Cup event in 2008.  James shows the process from start to finish, with plenty of info and photos to serve as inspiration. And don’t forget the items James has ...
  • 10 Years Ago — 9/14/2003   9/15/2013  
    PVC Spider & 1:59 Saturn Test Model Hard to believe that it has been ten years since that first test flight. httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mb8RptbaRqQ
  • George’s Little Joe II Pages   9/10/2012  
    If you’ve never visited George Gassaway’s site, be sure to check it out.  There is a ton of useful and interesting stuff there including his award-winning Space Shuttle project, as well as his Little Joe II model projects and comprehensive scale data.  Actually, there seems to be a ton of Little Joe II information that ...
  • Looking Back Ten Years…   6/16/2012  
    It seems unreal to me that ten years have passed since Jess and I traveled to Pennsylvania for our first Sport Scale event at RAMTEC-10 in 2002 with the Black Brant XII and the Iris.  She was pregnant with Ben at the time, who will be turning ten in September. As far as I know, that ...
  • Safe Rocket Recovery?   5/19/2012  
    About a year ago I exchanged some emails with John Pursley on the subject of rocketry construction and what it means to recover “safely.”  He posted some similar thoughts on his blog later in the year.  Some of what he mentions goes against the grain a bit, at least in terms of popular ideas regarding ...

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Spacemodeling Rocketry R&D CAD Design
Spacemodeling Rocketry R&D CAD Design
Spacemodeling Rocketry R&D CAD Design