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Blender community,

I hope you are all well.

I am fairly new to Blender and have been experimenting with animation through imported assemblies I have created in Autodesk Inventor. It has been especially fun seeing the assemblies come to life with rendering and animation toolkits which blow Inventor out of the water. However, I am struggling to animate a linkage which is the primary feature of my current project. I have attached two pictures to this post which show the linkage in end states of operation. Pulling on the brass crossbar should pull the drum below up via the mechanical links.

First I tried to recreate the linkage using parenting, a Blender feature I am familiar with. However, I have not had much success past the first rotational joint. I believe that an armature system is required to properly animate the linkage and that it may be a required skill to animate similar mechanical linkages present in some of my other assemblies. I have been able to follow along with tutorials mainly focusing on animating a character, and have learnt about inverse kinematics. However, I am struggling to adapt the concepts to my mechanical linkage problem. I have also had a look at a few posts here focusing on mechanical linkages, although I couldn't find anything featuring a crossbar connecting two linkages. I know the problem is symmetric, so perhaps this doesn't matter.

Am I headed in the right direction, or is there another Blender feature which might be more appropriate? If armatures are the way to go, I would be most grateful for any pointers in creating a system which could properly describe the mechanical system. Any help is much appreciated.

Thank you and kind regards!

enter image description here

enter image description here

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This setup should do what you want:

enter image description here

  • The Green bone is the main control to move the rest of them.
  • The Yellow bones are an IK chain that targets the green one.
  • The Orange bone has a copy rotation constraint to copy the first yellow bone.
  • The Blue bone has a copy location constraint targeting the tail of the first yellow bone (or it could target the head of the second yellow bone).
  • The root bone is the parent of the Green, Orange, Blue and the first Yellow bone.

You can parent the various objects in the mesh to the appropriate bone. They don't need to overlap them, you can have this single setup in the middle of the assembly. No need to duplicate it for each side.

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