We get to see Chris Willingham at many of the events that we attend, and he's always serving multiple capacities based upon the numerous projects that he is involved with. Today at Synapse Innovation Summit, he is with Prograde Laboratories. And how fun for us that he's showing off rockets!! And he brought one to show off in the interview.
They are known to experiment with all kinds of cool and crazy things when they are creating. So their projects get a lot of second looks and questions from observers. That's why they named this particular rocket, Don't Ask. To make it even better, it's a high powered rocket, so it goes higher than regular model rockets. Oh, and did we mention that the majority of it was 3D printed?
For their purposes at Prograde Laboratories, high powered rocketry is both a hobby and used for education. There is a competition called NASA Student Launch Initiative that has inspired them. Whereas most of the rockets are made out of wood and commonly available materials. For theirs, they wanted to take it a step further see how far they could go using 3D printing. They basically chose the standards and just started designing on that scale. Everything except the body tubes is 3D printed. The payload includes a camera mount for a go pro as well as a phone mount to be used for the avionics. This type of rocket can usually go anywhere from 2,000 to 10,000 feet, depending upon the exact specs.
Their goal here at this event is to not only estimate overall interest in their projects but also to figure out where they go from here. So far, they have had a lot of interesting people stop by the booth with all kinds of ideas. There has been some educational interest in it and also questions as to how to possibly use them in competition. The really cool thing is that rocketry is a craft that is perfect for schools and workshops because it actually uses all aspects of STEM. From the obvious applications in science and technology to engineering and math with the design and 3D modeling/printing.
We can't wait to see how they progress and look forward to their next projects.
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