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I am completely new to Blender and I have trouble solving a rather trivial problem.

I have a model of a machine which parts can only rotate around a given axis.

For example: Imagine a tank with its turret. The platform of the turret can only rotate in a circle around the y-axis (height axis). I wanted to archive this with a simple cylinder and a rotating plate on top.

I watched tutorials on rigging but using armature seemed the wrong move since it mainly bends instead of rotating the object. Is there a way to force the armature bone to only be able to rotate? If thats possible I could assign every part of the machine one bone with fixed axis rotation and a fixed offset to the next part of the machine.

Which technique should be used to archive the given task?

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You can add a Copy Rotation constraint to them pointed to one Empty, then just rotate the empty on that axis by pressing R+Z.

Add Copy Rotation Constraint

Copy Rotation Constraint

Now when you rotate the empty all the other objects follow that rotation.

Copy Rotation GIF

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  • $\begingroup$ thanks for the fast response! To be sure, the empty object the source of the rotation even though it gets set as target by all objects referencing to it? $\endgroup$ – Wandang Feb 28 '15 at 18:29
  • $\begingroup$ It is the target of them all, and all are affected by that one empty. You can even duplicate the object and the settings and link are the same. $\endgroup$ – VRM Feb 28 '15 at 18:29
  • $\begingroup$ This worked as expected. Unfortunately the objects are far away from the origin of ordinates. So the axis is a bad reference for now. None the less your answer was right to the topic $\endgroup$ – Wandang Feb 28 '15 at 18:46
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    $\begingroup$ OK, can you change the origin using Ctrl+Shift+Alt+C > Origin to Center of Geometry? $\endgroup$ – VRM Feb 28 '15 at 18:55
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I found a very simple solution by playing around.

Go to the timeline. Insert a Delta Rotation Keyframe at the start.

enter image description here

Then go to the object panel and change the Delta Rotation values of the particular axis you wish to rotate. And then just add a new Delta Rotation keyframe. There you have a very simple animation of a rotation on a single axis.

enter image description here

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