Asee peer logo

MAKER: Applying 3D Printing to Model Rocketry to Enhance Learning in Undergraduate Engineering Design Projects

Download Paper |


2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Make It!

Tagged Division


Tagged Topic


Page Count


Page Numbers

26.1111.1 - 26.1111.10



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Sven G. Bilen Pennsylvania State University, University Park Orcid 16x16

visit author page

Sven G. Bilén, Ph.D., P.E. is an Associate Professor of Engineering Design, Electrical Engineering, and Aerospace Engineering at Penn State and Head of the School of Engineering Design, Technology, and Professional Programs. His educational research interests include developing techniques for enhancing engineering
design education, innovation in design, teaching technological entrepreneurship, global product design, and systems design.

visit author page


Timothy F. Wheeler Pennsylvania State University, University Park

visit author page

Timothy F. Wheeler is an assistant professor of Electrical Engineering at the Pennsylvania State University. He earned an Artium Baccalaureus degree in Slavic Languages and Literature from Princeton University in 1975. After a decade as a crab fisherman in Alaska, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University (1989) and a Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction (2010) from Penn State University, where he is course coordinator of the Senior Capstone Design program. He has directed project-based programs for undergraduates with an interest in space-related fields as well as service-learning programs for those interested in community service.

visit author page


Randall G Bock Pennsylvania State University, University Park

visit author page

Randall G. Bock is a research assistant in the department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering and an instructor of Continuing Education at Pennsylvania State University, and president of Bock Industries, Inc. His educational interests include the development of novel engineering design projects to enhance learning in computer aided design and analysis, and the integration of additive manufacturing in the engineering curriculum.

visit author page

Download Paper |


MAKER: Applying 3D Printing to Model Rocketry to Enhance Learning in Undergraduate Engineering Design ProjectsThis poster will present several innovative applications of 3D printing to model rocketry, whichwere used to enhance design and experiential learning in two undergraduate engineering designprojects.In a first-year seminar called “This Is Rocket Science”, we introduce students to the spacesystems engineering process for rockets, balloons, and satellites. The students use a simplifiedversion of this process to design and build model rocket to meet a mission goal defined by thefaculty. In the Fall 2014 semester, the student teams were tasked with developing a camerapayload that could be used to take pictures and to mount the camera in a section that is 3Dprinted. Meeting the mission goals while building and safely flying a stable model rocket aregoals for this project. The inclusion of 3D printing allows the students to iterate quickly on theirdesigns, see what works and does not, and to then make needed changes.A second course is a senior-level advanced computer aided design course. Offered as a projectoption, CAD, engineering analysis, integration of stock components, preparation of shop prints,fused deposition based 3D printing, and model rocket science are packaged into a design contest.The students integrate CAD and related software-based analysis tools to reportmanufacturability, flight stability, drag, and design aesthetics. Safe designs are printed andflown as a class event. The contest winner is chosen based on a 900 point scoring rubric( poster example will include example printed rockets and rocket sections designed and builtby the students.

Bilen, S. G., & Wheeler, T. F., & Bock, R. G. (2015, June), MAKER: Applying 3D Printing to Model Rocketry to Enhance Learning in Undergraduate Engineering Design Projects Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24448

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2015 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015