I am trying to create a reusable rigged mesh, specifficly a toggle switch.

What I want to achieve is multiple switches that can be posed and animated separately but that share mesh data so I can go back and make changes.

My current set up is the toggle switch in a separate scene in the same blend file being brought into the scene as a collection instance. The only way to pose this that I have found is to change it in the instanced collection, which changes every instance together.

I have also tried putting the collection in a separate .blend, linking the collection in and adding a proxy to it's armature. Though it created an unnecessary amount of overhead (extra file, having to create the proxy) it did work for the first instance, however when I tried to repeat the process to add a second instance both got stuck in the default pose. I have found multiple older posts saying that the way to fix this is to create a duplicate of the source .blend for each instance, however this does not solve my problem because I still can't make changes to the mesh and have my all my instances updated.

One idea I have had is to somehow be able create a collection instance and have the rig be controlled using custom properties on the instancer, however I am yet to find a way to set that up.

This seems like such an obvious thing to be able to do that I feel sure I am missing some basic facet of reusing meshes.


1 Answer 1


I have found that when I create a collection instance of a collection containing a single mesh linked to an armature and make instances real it creates a duplicate armature and a new object linked to the original mesh, allowing the mesh to be animated separatly from other copies while being updated together.

To clarify: Add your armature and rig to a collection Create a Collection Instance of that collection (Shift+a > Collection Instance) Make the instances real (Ctrl+a > Make Instances Real)


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