Help with rigging Work Lamp

Hi :slight_smile:

I’ve been working on a small model of a clamp-on work lamp. I would like to create a simple armature for my lamp with inverse kinematics so that I can easily position it however I like. I have a good amount of experience with Blender, but I am very new to rigging and armatures. I’m having trouble figuring out how to best set up my armature for my specific lamp.

I don’t know how to set up the bones for the two arms and the connecting brackets. Each arm has two bars, but they aren’t always parallel at extremes of movement. The connecting brackets also have to be able to rotate slightly to maintain their connection to all four bars. I don’t know if I need to combine my armature with some object constraints to get proper behavior.

I just couldn’t figure out how to set it up on my own, and even just a simple diagram or explanation would be hugely helpful. Thank you so much! :slight_smile:
lamp_backup.blend (1.7 MB)

I don’t have much time to play with this right now, but the mechanics of this linkage require that the parallel bars remain parallel.

I didn’t get a full IK rig, but here is a quick FK rig that might help point you in the right direction:

lamp_backup - fk rig.blend (1.7 MB)


Thank you so much for your response, and I do think that it will be helpful for me. However, you can see from the picture that I’ve attatched that although the bars do stay close to parallel, in real life they aren’t actually parallel in many positions. This has been the main thing that’s been giving me trouble with this problem. I’m so sure that there is a super easy way to model this behavior, I just don’t have enough experience with rigging to be able to figure it out on my own.

I’d just chalk that up to manufacturing tolerances being a little sloppy :slight_smile:

2 similar lamps in my office don’t have that effect, I don’t think it’s critical to reproduce that, since you start getting into really complex linkages to reproduce an effect that was never really intended.


:slight_smile: yeah, I think you’re probably right. I’ll focus on making it work good enough for now and if I want to, maybe I can add that behavior later when I know a little more. Thank you!

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This is one of those things that’s extremely easy to make in the real world and remarkably complex to try and rig. In the real world, each of the 9 joints and 6 arms on your lamp are interacting with each other through physics- reproducing that in a non-physical environment (digital) will require each bone to account for 54 other positions - with six bones, that’s a minimum of 9 constraints per bone. I could be wrong, and I’m happy to admit it if I am, but until someone corrects me, I’d say go for “visually good enough” and don’t worry about “perfect” :slight_smile:


Plus there is flexion and torsion in each of those components…

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