How to Rig Mechanical Scissor Arms in Maya

Joe Rule Shows How to Rig an Accordion Style Mechanical Arm That Uses One Controller in Autodesk Maya.

Adjustable scissor arms pose a problem in 3D. The compressing and stretching action of arms have connections and rotational pivots that all depend on each other. Although the system looks complicated, there is an easy solution according to Raconteur Animation Studios’ Joe Rule. Joe shows his setup for the scissor arm rig, that uses an IK chain for each of the segments.

Organization for a mechanical rig like this is vital. Joe shows how the scene set up, along with some guide objects can help to ease the rigging process for the arms. In the end, the entire action works through one simple control. A little while ago Joe showed another excellent solution for a complex mechanical system, indicating how to set up a cable chain rig that protects cables from moving parts in real life.

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