While administering the West. Rocketry Association's (My HS TARC Team) meeting today, one of my members asked if a 3d printed "tube" qualifies as a body tube as per regulations. Now, in the TARC Handbook, its specifies "Body tube", which would lead me to guess they're referring to a cardboard tube...but, I wanted to see what your thoughts were on it.
Reason why we're suggesting is because we're pondering whether it would be a good Idea to print a payload bay transition and body tube all in one piece. Although we are still discussing 'bout it, what are your thoughts?
Historically, the majority of body tubes for model rockets have been made from spiral wound craft paper/cardboard. But they have also been made of Vellum, Phenolics, Fiberglass, Carbon Fiber, Plastics, and Balsa wood to name a few materials. Metals are what need to be avoided. The real question is, what does a 3-D printed tube buy you over and above what the other options give you? Does it present problems and issues that the other options do not?
I saw a segment on PBS highlighting a team that is making their own carbon fiber body tubes. I'm wondering if a one piece 3D printed payload bay transition and body tube would add weight? Even just a 3D body tube sounds heavy.
I told Trip Barber via email that he can list me as a TARC mentor. I may need a mentor on how to be a good mentor.
The real reason we were considering it was because of whether a transition/payload bay in one piece was feasible, (which we are debating upon) and if the use of a 3d printed fincan qualified as part of a *body tube*.
Essentially, in the rule handbook, it states as one tube should house the payload while the other housing the engines. The question is: If a fincan is attached to a body tube, does the entire assembly count as qualified? or does the engine mount have to be integrated into a cardboard tube? (no fincan)
The following user(s) said Thank You: RetroRocketGuy