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I made a single chainlink then used an Array Modifier to duplicate with object offset linked to rotated "plain axes" object to rotate alternating links. I made a single link to be the anchor point at the top of the chain but I'm having trouble with the collision. I'm newish to Blender so I'm not sure if a collision is what I'm looking for. I tried combinations of collision and rigid body but the main chain isn't interacting with the anchor link so it just passes through it. I want each link to fall and hang on the preceding link, with the exception of the anchor link not moving at all.

I'm not trying to create an animation; I'm just looking for a visual representation image of the end-product.

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ Have you tried active and passive rigid bodies? $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 14, 2023 at 18:29
  • $\begingroup$ that worked but not for the anchor link $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 14, 2023 at 21:12
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    $\begingroup$ I deleted my answer, because I realized it doesn’t take into account that you’ve got the whole chain as an array. That won’t work. It’s still the same single object, so they will all move together. They need to be separate rigid bodies. Also, why is the first link green? Is that just a material difference, or is it possible that it’s normals are inverted or something else that could mess up a rigid body simulation? $\endgroup$
    – TheLabCat
    Commented Jan 14, 2023 at 23:41
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    $\begingroup$ @TheLabCat I think you're on a good track; to convert the links to individual objects the OP could apply the array modifier and then use P > By Loose Parts in edit mode to separate the links. Here's an (old) related answer: blender.stackexchange.com/a/7286/599 $\endgroup$
    – gandalf3
    Commented Jan 15, 2023 at 7:08

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Some things that you need to do:

  • The Physics > Collision is not useful in your case (it is in case you want your object to interact with Cloth or Soft Body).
  • Choose Collisions > Shape > Mesh instead of Convex Hull for both the top link and the rest of the chain, otherwise the holes of these objects won't be considered.
  • Apply the Array modifier and make each link a separate object if they are supposed to be simulated as well.
  • Put the origin at the geometry of each object.
  • Scale up the objects, it looks like increasing the scale make the calculation easier.
  • Apply the transforms (Scale and Rotation).

To make an animation work correctly, there may be several tricks, I propose one in the second part of this video (in French).

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks! The links are now interacting with each other but not enough? When I begin the animation, only the first link hangs on to the anchor, the remaining seem to break off from the chain. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 16, 2023 at 16:26
  • $\begingroup$ Could you please share your new file? $\endgroup$
    – moonboots
    Commented Jan 16, 2023 at 17:18
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    $\begingroup$ I've already tried to give rigid body to a chain and was enable to achieve something good (links were exploding, shaking, etc), maybe someone will explain how to do it but I suspect you need to fake with some trick, like the one I explain in the linked video, or maybe check this one: youtube.com/watch?v=CjVhS0TyyX8 $\endgroup$
    – moonboots
    Commented Jan 16, 2023 at 20:42
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    $\begingroup$ it's a rigid body constraint, but I'm not sure that it will work much better than rigid body, you probably need to use a trick like the one i describe: the chain is kind of attached to a cloth simulation. But the best solution also depends on your final goals, what is your storyboard, etc $\endgroup$
    – moonboots
    Commented Jan 16, 2023 at 20:56
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    $\begingroup$ I forgot that you didn't want an animation, what is the final image (end product as you say) you wanted? $\endgroup$
    – moonboots
    Commented Jan 17, 2023 at 9:26

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