Rocket Nozzles

The Rocket Nozzles project will introduce students to the science behind rocket engines and one very interesting component, a rocket engine exhaust nozzle. Students will need to calculate their own nozzle’s appropriate diameters and use TinkerCAD®, to design a model in 3D based on their calculations. As a result, a lifelike version of a rocket nozzle on a scale of 1:100 will be 3D printed.
Design and TechnologyScienceMathematicsHumanitiesComputing
Years | Grades
9th Grade | 13-14 years10th Grade | 14-15 years11th Grade | 15-16 years
Lesson 1: 90 minutes Lesson 2: 90 minutes Print Time : 50 minutes

Rocket Nozzles trailer
Play 0:47


  • Know how to calculate the cross-sectional area and exit plane of a rocket nozzle
  • Know how to calculate the area, radius and circumference of a rocket nozzle using algebraic formulas
  • Use TinkerCAD software to design a model of a rocket nozzle optimized for 3D printing
  • Manufacture a rocket nozzle model using a 3D printer

Tools and Equipment

  • BE3D eDee 3D printer and a computer equipped with CAD software
  • Set of example models
  • Set of resource data sheets

Skill requirements

To participate in the lesson, students should be able to:
  • Carry out simple algebraic calculations
  • Read and understand simple formulas
  • Carry out simple mathematical functions
  • Use TinkerCAD, Fusion 360 or Similar CAD software at a beginner/intermediate level
  • Be comfortable using DeeControl layering software to adjust print settings
  • Use the BE3D eDee 3D printer

Rocket Nozzles Walkthrough
Locked 1:57

3D models overview

  • Total print time 19 hours 40 minutes
  • Total filament 26.5 m
  • Additional non-printable components
  • Printed all at once
Engine bell stand
  • 3.5 hours
  • 6.7 m
Aerojet Rocketdyne RS 25
  • 2 hours
  • 1.8 m
SpaceX Raptor vacuum
  • 1 hour
  • 0.8 m
SpaceX Raptor vacuum (Extended)
  • 1 hour 20 minutes
  • 1.2 m
Rocketdyne F1 Nozzle
  • 4 hours
  • 5.5 m
SpaceX Raptor Atm
  • 50 minutes
  • 0.7 m
Tarantula engine cutout
  • 7 hours
  • 10 m
Note: Values are calculated for one set of models.

Lesson resources

  • Lesson plan
  • Example rocket nozzle models
  • Worksheet
  • Walkthrough
  • Presentation
  • 3D models
  • 3D print instructions
  • Curriculum Alignment: ISTE standard compliant