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Tutorial: Engine mount in SpaceCAD 7

Tutorial: Engine mount in SpaceCAD 7

May 10, 2024

In this tutorial, we’ll walk you step-by-step through the process of adding a multiple engine motor mount to your model rocket using SpaceCAD.

Step-by-step tutorial

SpaceCAD has no specific engine mount element. Instead, it uses inside inside tubes as multipliers. This gives you a lot more flexibility while still being easy to use.

The following image is an example how that could look like, and it’s taken from the Dash example rocket that is included in SpaceCAD - simply open it from the welcome dialog:

SpaceCAD 7 screenshot

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to add an multple engine motor mount:

Step 1: Add an Engine (Inside) Tube to the Body Tube

In the first step, we’ll add an inside tube that acts as a multiplier for all sub-elements.

  • Open your rocket design in SpaceCAD.
  • Select the body tube where you want to add the motor mount to.
  • Click on “Add Inside Tube” from the menu on the left side. This will add the inside tube to the selected body tube.
  • Either enter the data for your engine tube by yourself or select it from the database.
  • Set the count of the inside tube to three, indicating that it will accommodate three engines.
  • Set the position to “from element’s back” and the value to 0 mm. This will position the inside tube at the end of your body tube.
SpaceCAD 7 screenshot

Click on OK to close the inside tube dialog. Now you can see that the body tube has three inside tubes, positioned in a circular fashion. Choose the 3D view to better see it. These are now your engine tubes.

Step 2: Add Engines to the Inside Tube

In the next step, we’ll add an engine to the inside tube. Since the inside tube has a “count 3”, you only need to add one engine to the inside tube. It is multiplied automatically.

  • Select the inside tube that you just added to the body tube.
  • Click on “Add Engine” element from the menu on the left side
  • Since the inside tube serves as the parent object for the engines, the count of the engine will automatically be set to three.
  • Select an engine from the engine database.
  • Also set the position to “from element’s back” and the value to -5,2 mm. This will position the engines a bit outside the end of your inside tube (the relative position is measured according to the arrow, i.e. negative values move it to the right, positive to the left. Just try it!)
SpaceCAD 7 screenshot

Click on OK to close the engine dialog. Now each inside tube as one motor element.

Step 3: Add a Bulkhead as an Engine Block

Next, we’ll add a small ring to the inside of the engine tubes. This bulkhead will act as engine block and positions the engine in the inside tube.

  • With the inside tube still selected, click on “Add bulkhead”
  • Set the bulkhead’s data.
  • Set the position to “from element’s top” and the value to 0 mm. This will position the bulkhead at the top of the inside tube.

Here’s how this will look like in the rocket treeview:

SpaceCAD 7 screenshot

Your motor mount is nearly finished - you only need centering rings to position the inside tubes correctly in your body tube.

Step 4: Add a Centering Ring to the Body Tube

  • Navigate back to the body tube that contains the inside tube from Step 1.
  • Click on “Add Centering Ring” element from the menu on the left side. This will add a centering ring to the body tube. It is automatically sized to the inside diameter of the body tube and has holes for the engine tubes.
  • Set the position to “from element’s back” and the value to 10 mm. This will position the inside tube at the end of your body tube, with a little room to spare.
  • Click on OK to close the centering ring dialog.

Step 5: Add a second Centering Ring to the Body Tube

Make sure that the centering ring is selected.

  • Copy the centering ring (either via menu or via Ctrl+C)
  • With either the centering ring or body tube selected, paste the selected centering ring (either via menu or via Ctrl+P)
  • Edit the new centering ring and change the position to 70 mm from the element’s back.

Step 6: Final Adjustments and Testing

Once you have added the multiple engine motor mount to your rocket design, take some time to review and make any necessary adjustments.

Use SpaceCAD’s simulation feature to test the stability and flight performance of your rocket with the new motor mount configuration.

Conclusion

Congratulations! You have successfully added a multiple engine motor mount to your model rocket using SpaceCAD. This advanced configuration will allow you to achieve higher thrust and more impressive launches. Experiment with different engine types and configurations to customize your rocket for optimal performance. Happy launching!

Ready to try it yourself? Open up SpaceCAD and start designing your next rocket today!


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