New Zealand Rocketry Suppliers
Auckland Low and High Power Rockets
Aerospace Education have been supplying New Zealand Rocketry Association members for over 20 years and are the New Zealand importer for Aerotech Rocket Engines. Aerospace run rocket building education programs for science teachers, cubs, scouts and holiday programs.
Christchurch, Low Power Rocketry Supplies
International Rocketry Suppliers
Australian Rocketry has hundreds of high and low power items and has in the past been a supplier to New Zealand for Cesaroni Technology (CTI) high power motors. We do not recommend purchasing from Australian Rocketry at this time due to delivery issues.
Low and High Power International Rocket Manufacturers
Shipping costs to New Zealand from USA and Europe are high. If the shipping costs seem low then they are likely to be quoting USA delivery you will be contacted by the supplier to choose international shipping options which often cost more than the item itself. On import you may be charged GST + Customs inspection and agricultural fee. If you are using a drop shipping service it's best to describe the item by it's material type and shape. So a 'patriot missile' would be described as. 'Plastic and plywood hobby parts' so that you don't trigger the security systems that can result in long delays. If you are buying from large manufacturers such as Public Missiles we recommend checking with Aerospace Education as the last time I checked you could buy a PML 1/4 Patriot locally for next day deliver for less than the online cost plus freight.
NZ Post's Ushop down offers sea freight which cuts the shipping cost in half for larger or longer items.
High Power Rocket Kitsets are not what you would expect if you are used to building models or kitset furniture for example. Often they only come with the basic airframe, no instructions and to keep the cost down they assume you already have components like motor retainer, parachute, shock cords etc. The exception is Public Missiles kits which come with everything that you need other than the optional motor retainer and motors.
Public Missiles (USA)
Public Missiles Ltd (PML) build over sixty quality kits with good instructions and many accessories such as hardware, parachute, shock cords and launch lugs. All models are high power starting with F sized motors. PML have excellent instructions and lists of other items required for your build which you can view on their site. Sizes vary from 63mm (2.5") diameter rockets up to multi-stage 152mm (6") Rockets. www.publicmissiles.com
The Public Missiles 1/4 Patriot so popular in New Zealand it has it's own Facebook page here
NZ Supplier Aerospace Education.
Example PML Rockets Built by NZRA Members
PML 1/2 Patriot 7.5"
PML Pitbull 6"
PML Black Brant X
MadCow Rocketry (USA)
Madcow do an excellent range of high power rocket kits from 29mm diameter up 14mm. Their lower cost airframes are typically a cardboard material.
A number of NZRA members have built and flown their high power rocket kits. The Frenzy XL is suitable for both level II and level III and flys to over 11,000ft on a small M motor. The Frenzy Massive is their largest which two members have flown to 18,000ft on N2000 motors.
New Zealand Supplier Aerospace Education
Frenzy XL 100mm 4"
Pike AGM, 200mm
Apogee offers a huge range of model rockets and components from low power to high power. They also offer a huge range of 'how to' videos and newsletters. Shipping can be expensive so it pays to check if you can share shipping costs with another member.
Epoxy Resins, Carbon Fibre and Fibreglass
You can buy 30 minute epoxy in 250gram packs costs for approximately $ 27 from a number of suppliers including Aerospace education here but for many jobs 30min is too fast. Slow setting laminating epoxy is slower setting and penetrates surfaces better for a stronger bond than 30min. You can paint it onto plywood parts to strengthen them and inject it into fincans. One litre of slow setting laminating epoxy is 1/3 to 1/4 of the price of the small packs. You can thicken slow setting epoxy to make perfect fillets using colloidal silica. To strengthen fin fillets you can add chopped fibreglass. You can speed up epoxy by warming it which is effectively what the additives do in 30 minute epoxy.
Many NZRA members rely on rocketman parachutes to bring their rocket back safely. Their standard parachute is the strongest and most reliable standard parachute on the market due to it's tough tangle free design. Over 100,000 parachutes sold and great value. If you are short of space and need to minimise weight then they also sell Ultra Light Annular parachutes which require careful packing and deployment.
Rocketman parachutes deploy gently with the minimum possibility of tangling due to their 4 leg design with heavy duty lines. Watch this 15ft Rocketman chute deploy on a 25kg Frenzy Massive full screen with the youtube setting at .25 playback speed to see the deployment in extra slow motion. The chute was wrapped up tight in a large chute protector that lets the chute spring out as soon as it reaches the end of the payload bay. Based on this video I am going to make my nosecone to payload bay shock cord 3 meters longer so that the payload bay has more time to move out of the way before the main opens.
Haris at Vinyl Wraps has supplied Vinyl Wraps to a number of members via his Trademe store https://www.trademe.co.nz/stores/vinyl-wraps
You can view his range online or at his warehouse in Sandringham.
Carbon Style Vinyl Wrap
Carbon Style Red Vinyl
3D Printing Suppliers, Member Recommended Suppliers
Is 3d Printing For You ?
3d printing allows you to create plastic parts at home. They are ideal for prototyping your own designs, printing tools and gadgets and creating low power rocketry parts. Using a 3d printer to print plastic parts is unlike using most modern devices where if you follow the manual it works every time. These machines squeeze hot plastic out of a tiny nozzle where tolerances of a few microns can make the difference between success and failure. Belt tension and frame rigidity are tricky to get right and and variables like fan speed, first layer calibration, build surface, bed and nozzle temperature often need to be adjusted for different filaments. There is a lot of help online but a lot of well intentioned advice is contradictory or wrong. It's a great skill to learn but don't under estimate the time it will take to master. This troubleshooting guide gives you an idea of the issues you will learn to overcome. https://www.simplify3d.com/support/print-quality-troubleshooting/
Prusa MK3 I3
Prusa MK3 I3 is a well supported and reliable printer kit for under NZ$2,000. They are good for years of hobby printing and Prusa provide low cost upgrades to existing owners. The last upgrade was a re-design of the extruder and cost US$25 including a new optical filament sensor and filament to print the re-designed parts. The combination of Prusa filaments, Prusa Slicer and Prusa MK3 printer got me up and running reliably. The headline features are direct drive hot end, auto bed leveling, filament sensor, heated bed and magnetic PIE spring plate. Reliability is achieved by Prusa running 500+ printers identical to the ones they sell 24/7 in a print farm. All modifications and software updates are tested in the farm before being released to customers.
I purchased my Prusa MK3 as a kit from RC Hobbies because I wanted the printer next day delivery and they have been helpful with advice, filaments, nozzles etc. You can also purchase the printer assembled but you learn a lot from building it yourself. This was my first 3d printer and I took my time with the build taking 9 hours to assemble from components, calibrate and successfully test print. The instructions were in an excellent A4 size colour manual as well as online so you can zoom into photos and read others comments from the build. You can buy direct from Prusa but check the shipping time, costs, time, exchange rate, GST and customs before committing.
Creality Ender-3 Pro
The Creality Ender 3 Pro is a popular low cost Bowden Extruder 3d printer. The heated bed allows you to print a variety of filaments from PLA to ABS. The Ender 3 comes partially assembled and can be ready to go in 10 minutes. The Ender series has evolved considerably over the last few years with the Pro being used by a number of NZRA members have purchased direct or locally from the following suppliers.
Marvl3d in Auckland
Kiwi3d in Queenstown
Creality Ender 3 V2 upgrade list
NZRA member Steven Fissenden's experience with the Ender 3 Pro
I found my Ender 3 Pro come mostly assembled, just needing to simply assemble the frame which has to be square to the build plate. and plug some wires in.
The main thing I found while assembling is to get the correct tension on the X and Y axis belts. and make sure that the roller wheels on these Axis are snug so that there is no wiggle but can still move with a light touch. i noticed some material building up around the Y axis roller wheels but this is normal for the Ender series. Some people say its dust, others say its some of the outer coating of the wheels coming off, regardless of what it is I have had no problems for months of printing now and is considered normal while the wheels bed themselves in.
A good upgrade is a genuine Capricorn bowden tube, definitely required if printing anything that requires a higher temp than PLA does as the factory white bowden tube has been shown to degrade around the higher 240+ temps which are required for PETG and ABS.
Over the last few months and the hours of printing on the Ender 3 pro it has been a great machine with no hick ups and a surprisingly amazing print quality. Biggest learning curve was getting adapted to slicing models properly but this comes naturally with practice/ trial and error