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Old 04-18-2009, 07:40 PM
Rocket Doctor Rocket Doctor is offline
Master Modeler
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 2,400

Originally Posted by MDorffler
James, nothing personal, but I have never had any need to use 'model rocket design software' to design my model rocket kits. Never. Ask yourself what software I would have used in 1968, or 1973, or even 1990? I have always designed all my models using my natural skills. Normally I conceive a design totally in my mind driving either to or from Estes. That's the truth. I can tell you whether a model will be stable by simply looking at it, or hefting it, or whether it needs a pinch of clay in the nose to correct any CP/CG imbalance.

I do use CAD to create all necesary parts in 3D. It is a real treat to see the first sample parts come to you that look precisely as you drew them. And I also use CAD to lay out the kit, also in 3D, for the sole purpose of matching up the fit tolerances.

I always build several flight test versions of any new design. The first test round is with parts from inventaory, then with parts from pre-productions. I build the first test model with all the parts in positions as if built by a serious and carefull modeler. The next are built as though the the modeler is clumsey. Any flight of any test model has to be arodynamically stable, even when parts are glued on crooked. Only when I am totally satisfied that all of these versions fly absolutely straight, do I release it for the next production steps.

Basically, that is how I design my rockets, grab some parts, with an idea, a name, a color shceme and test it.

I usually built one for me and one for Estes.
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