How can I make a bone stay on the surface of an object?

I want a bone to stay outside of an object. so that if the object comes closer it avoids passing through the objects mesh surface.
The Limit Distance Constraint won’t do, cause it avoids only around a sphere of the objects origin or the origin of a vertex group within the object.
Actually I want the bone to act with every single vertex of the mesh in the way it acts with limit distance to the objects origin.
I also want it to be interactive, so not just an pathanimation on top of the surface.
Is that possible and hopefully easy to accomplish?
Any help would be very welcome.


What exactly are you trying to do? Do you just want bones to stay attached to verts, or do you want bones to float and hug the surface of a mesh as they move over it?

If you want a bone to stay stuck to 1 or 3 (only choices) verts, then go to the wiki and look up vertex parenting, pretty simple and useful stuff. If you want the bone to slide over a surface and stay stuck to it then yes, it’s possible. No, it’s not easy.

I rigged a windshield wiper so that the wiper blade follows the contour of the windshield. If this is what you’re looking for, bones following a contoured surface, or something similar, I’ll post the file.


Thx for your reply, revolt_randy.
The second option is what I am looking for, but with the addition of the bone sometimes not touching the surface.
I guess if you would post the file I could figure out something.
So I really would love to have a look at your file.
That’s really cool that you offer this help.
Thanks in advance,

I’ve attached my example file, like I said, it’s for a windshield wiper that would hug a surface. A relatively smooth, but curved surface. There’s a text file that describes how it works, hopefully this will give you an idea.

Feel free to ask questions,



Wiper_Rig2.blend (536 KB)


Wow, revolt_randy.
That is really genius. Cool idea. I’ll see if I can get my idea working with the shrinkwrap approach.
Thx so much for posting your blend.
The idea in it is really brilliant.


I was helped in 2020.