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I'm trying to create a modular conveyor which I can animate. I've got a mesh for each section of the modular belt and a Bezier curve I would like them to follow. How can I setup the constraints so that as I drag the front section it rotates around the curve and the rest of the sections follow.

Some of the conveyor sections will use a different mesh in the final setup. As such I'm not sure I can use an array modifier combined with the follow path constraint.

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ Maybe this is worth a look $\endgroup$ Mar 28 '20 at 22:58
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You could use a method similar to the one shown here, mounting the plates on a moving array of supports on the curve, to avoid deformation.

But since you would want some variety in the plates, you could use a Particle System emitted by the support-array, with settings as illustrated, rather than face-instancing:

enter image description here

EDIT: Thanks, @MrQuery, for pointing out a possible source of error with the rig as described. It turns out, to make it more robust, you should specify the rotation of the particles, as well as the settings above:

enter image description here

The phase, rotation, may vary with your plate model: orientation of its mesh with respect to its axes, (which can also be adjusted in Edit Mode).

The emission is all at frame 1 of long-lived particles, one per face, with no physics or randomness. 'Count' is used to give an ordered, cyclic, selection from the source Collection of particle variants.

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ I could have arranged not to have a prime number of links ... 8( $\endgroup$ Mar 29 '20 at 0:22
  • $\begingroup$ Brilliant! This is exactly what I was looking for, thanks! $\endgroup$
    – MrQuery
    Mar 29 '20 at 13:38
  • $\begingroup$ I'm now having another problem where the direction of the link is getting flipped halfway round the curve, as posted here: blender.stackexchange.com/questions/172477/… $\endgroup$
    – MrQuery
    Mar 30 '20 at 14:30
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    $\begingroup$ @MrQuery fixed. See edit. You may want to delete your supplementary question.. it depends how useful you think it might be to other BSE readers. $\endgroup$ Mar 30 '20 at 17:00
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    $\begingroup$ Thanks for looking into it and finding a solution. I was going to delete the other question as it's probably a bit too specific to stand on its own, but stack exchange wont let me. $\endgroup$
    – MrQuery
    Mar 30 '20 at 21:15

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