The Upcycled 250 ml can Esso Rocket
The Esso Rocket not only successfully upcycles 250 ml cans, but it also brings Esso into the space race! This project encompasses upcycling, rocket science and Design for Additive Manufacturing (DFAM).
The Esso Rocket is a fun and exciting way to upcycle 250 ml cans. The design features two 250 ml cans as the fuselage of the rocket. This creates a second use for these cans after which they can still be recycled. By printing a nose cone, three couplers, a motor mount, and three fins these cans can be turned into a rocket that actually flies! The rocket is both exhilarating and educational as after all it is rocket science.
The rocket utilizes a model rocket engine to propel it hundreds of feet in the air. The rocket then deploys its parachute to make a safe decent back to Earth. To keep with NASA regulations of only using fire retardant materials, the components of the Esso Rocket are printed in Ultem 9085, a fire retardant plastic commonly used in the aerospace industries. Reducing weight was a major design factor for this rocket. That is why the nose cone was designed to be thin and hollow while maintaining a geometry that did not require support while printing. All of the parts were printed with a sparse infill to maintain strength while keeping weigh down.
DFAM is incorporated in the design in many areas. The fins were designed to be printed separately from the rocket mount for two reasons. The first reason is because printing the motor mount and fins as one piece would require a great deal of support and would also have a long print time. The second is because the fins are much stronger when printed in a flat orientation than if they were printed standing. The couplers have a thin gap that the can fits into, this gap was designed so that it could be printed without support material. The motor mount connects to its coupler with Acme threads. Acme threads were used because then resolve better in 3D printing than standard threads.
All of the entries meet the design challenge requirements of upcycling 250 ml cans and utilizing 3D printing but The Esso Rocket exceeds the competition by being the most fun method to do so.