3D printed parts allowed

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anachronist
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3D printed parts allowed

Postby anachronist » Sun May 07, 2017 2:40 pm

Clarification question on rules (particularly class D, which the current record, by my own physics-based simulations, is right near the theoretical limit for a 2L bottle, so it won't get beaten by much if at all):

Are 3-D printed parts allowable? There are several nuances to this question. Consider these four scenarios:

  1. I design my own part, and create it in virtual space in my computer, and then send the file to my own 3-D printer.
  2. I use a friend's 3-D printer to print the virtual part I created myself.
  3. I create the part myself and then send the saved file to one of the many available commercial 3-D printing services for them to print and send me back my part.
  4. I download a design I find online and 3-D print it myself on my own 3-D printer.
My own take on this, is that I must be the person who creates and builds the part in a virtual 3-D space. The final step of printing out a part has nothing to do with my skill in creating it (you just load the file into the printer and push a button), so it doesn't matter who prints it for me. Therefore I'd consider scenarios 1, 2, and 3 to be allowable.

On the other hand, if I print someone else's model of a part, I'm not actually doing any creative work, I didn't design the part, and I didn't create it in a virtual 3D space, someone else did. So even if I used my own printer, I would say scenario 4 isn't allowable.

Does that seem reasonable?
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WRA2
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Re: 3D printed parts allowed

Postby WRA2 » Sun May 07, 2017 11:04 pm

Hi,

3d printed parts would be legal to use in the competitions.

You are correct that options 1 - 3 would be acceptable. For #4 it would depend on a few things. A "downloaded" 3d model that you did not design may or may not be acceptable. A 3d model you purchase would not but a "free" model may. I would recommend if you are in that situation to ask before you build and we will handle it on a case by case basis until we can gather the membership and add a specific section detailing what will be allowed with 3d printing.
Lisa Walker,
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:WRA2:The Water Rocket Achievement World Record Association :WRA2:
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anachronist
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Re: 3D printed parts allowed

Postby anachronist » Tue May 09, 2017 12:09 pm

WRA2 wrote:3d printed parts would be legal to use in the competitions.

You are correct that options 1 - 3 would be acceptable. For #4 it would depend on a few things.

Thanks for confirming. Personally I don't see the fun in #4. :)

There's another scenario I didn't think of earlier.

5. I see a pre-made 3D printable model online that isn't intended for rocketry, but designed for some other purpose. I download it and print it for using in a model rocket.

I assume that's allowable under paragraph I.4 of the class D rules ("manufactured items that are not designed for rocketry ... are allowed").

I'm not yet the situation where I see a pre-made model online that I want to print (aside from bottle cap threads). But if I find myself in that situation, I'll ask here. Thanks!
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Re: 3D printed parts allowed

Postby WRA2 » Tue May 09, 2017 10:09 pm

#5 would be allowed. It would be the same thing as purchasing a gardenia hose quick connect from the hardware store.

Good Luck with your build.
Lisa Walker,
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:WRA2:The Water Rocket Achievement World Record Association :WRA2: