Project Romulus 2014 Update

By Nick Becker · January 23, 2014

As we are restructuring our website, we decided to transfer several project pages to blog format. Here is the description of HPR-1 copied from its previous project page format:


  • The primary objective of Romulus is to build and launch a rocket capable of achieving a Level 1 Certification from the National Association of Rocketry.

    • The Level 1 certification is defined here
  • The secondary goal is to utilize 3D fabrication technology in the development and construction of the high power rocket. By using PLA filament in the centering rings and fins, it is possible that weight could be relieved from the aft end of the vehicle and the center of gravity could be moved frontward, thus increasing the stability of the rocket.

  • The tertiary objective is to complete the construction and launch of Romulus by the end of the 2014-2015 school year and enter at least 1 rocketry-related competition.

    • Currently, the first launch is scheduled for late February.

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Screenshot of the MR1 Quad Fin v1 in AutoDesk Inventor

3D CAD (Computer-aided Design) and Printing

Shown above is the MR1 Quad Fin v1 in the Autodesk Inventor Software. Because of 3D printing limitations, we were not able to design fins as long as originally planned. In order to retain the same amount of stability while having fins with smaller surface area we made the decision to incorporate four symmetrical fins in the MR1 Rocket. The MR1 Quad Fin will be printed by a MakerBot Replicator 2 with PLA Filament.

Planned Parts to be digitally replicated:

  • MR1 Quad Fins

  • Centering Rings with a inner diameter of 1.635 inches and an outer diameter of 3.9 inches. Planned thickness is .235 inches.

OpenRocket Dynamic Rocket Design and Simulation

The MR1 rocket was primarily designed in the OpenRocket design and simulation software. OpenRocket has the capability of designing rockets and simulating them by setting various launch conditions as well as motors.

OpenRocket Documentation:


  • TBD

Part Suppliers

The Makers Club Rocket Crew (2014 & 2015): Anthony Romaniello, Bo Sinkler, Chris Link, Jack Marshall, Josh Eiland, Karan Soni, Muhammed Dhanani, Ned Ellis, Nicholas Klavohn, Nick Becker, Paul Kim, and Thomas Stevenson

January 23, 2014 Update

The Romulus Project has been progressing quickly and construction will begin shortly.

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3D internal view of the MR1 v0.9 displayed in OpenRocket

As for our current status: All planned digitally replicated parts have been designed, a near final rocket design has been completed, and all main components are being ordered. So far everything is running for the most part smoothly and we should make the late February deadline. However, no project is without issues.

Unfortunately, we are having problems with the MakerBot 2 and are currently unable to produce launch quality fins or centering rings. Within a few minutes of replication, the MakerBot becomes misaligned and the resulting object turns out defective. Earlier this week, we attempted to print the MR1 Quad Fin v1 in a scaled down form factor with the MakerBot. As shown below, the fin is obviously defective and unsuitable for flight. We expect these problems with the MakerBot will be fixed within the week.

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Defective MR1 Quad Fin v1

The Romulus Project is likely to see revisions in both fin design and payload bay. Currently, the rocket has a single deployment recovery system. This means a single parachute will deploy at apogee. This leaves us with a nearly empty avionics bay in the center of the airframe (electronics bay visible in the OpenRocket screenshot above). We plan on incorporating a GoPro mount as well as a counterweight into this electronics bay to recover high definition video from a horizontal angle. A down pointing camera has already been incorporated into the design.

The final phase of Romulus design includes motor selection. After further simulation and testing, we will be able to determine both the most suitable motor for the first flight and the qualification flight.

Please visit the Project Romulus page on the Panthera Sciences website.