help rigging a spring to bend sideways

Hi all!

I need to have a coiled spring bend sideways without deforming the mesh.

I thought the best way was to create a rig of 5 bones, make that rig the parent of the spring, so I could control the movement of the spring.
I can make the entire spring move and rotate, but I can not make it bend.

How do I go about it?



I had a couple of initial ideas, neither of which is perfect yet, but they may give an indication of the right direction to go:

I have added some animations to the blend file below:

spring-3.blend (1.23 MB)

Just press Play to see them and feel free to take the blend file apart so you know what I did. Of course you can ask any questions on what and why - for the armature solution, you need to pay particular attention to the bone IK properties. For the other, I think there are issues with using a curve modifier as this is tending to distort the spring profile.

I really need to see the spring you are trying to animate, either an image or blend file. :yes:

Cheers, Clock.

Thank you so much.
The bone-solution seems to be the right way to go.
Here’s an image of the spring I’m working on.
I need the top half to bend slightly and at the same time compress slightly as well.

You’re welcome, if you want to compress the spring, just scale the bottom bone of the vertical chain, in the rig I made.

Cheers, Clock.