DIY Ball and Socket Joints for Stop-Motion

The other day Shelley from Half-Land was going on about these ball and socket joints she was using for the little stop-motion figures she was using for her movie…

… so um… if I had to make these joints, this is how I would do it. This is the Kiwi version.

Looks a bit like some sort of makeshift prison weapon. This is the detail:

You could probably make bigger ones with wooden beads… but the general principle of using rubber bands to apply pressure to the join is kindof central. And adjustable.

You could possibly do something with heat-shrink tubing as well – for a (much) neater fit etc. I found the little rubber washer things work quite well as well. This example (as you may have guessed) is not in fact a chopstick, but is a bit of dowel.

Rough, ready and uber-cheap.

2 Comments » for DIY Ball and Socket Joints for Stop-Motion
  1. Blown. Away. Nick, it’s a brilliant design. I love it! Can’t wait to test them in various sizes here. Thank you for putting your formidable mind to this key stop mo task! What I adore most about your solution is the accessible simple methodology used to make hand-made armatures from readily available materials. Per-fect-sion.

    Thank you so much for doing this! Fun to see you in your shop. Didn’t even know you had one. (The machete is scary, considering last week’s pliers incident ;-)

  2. admin says:

    That’s the kukri that I was telling you about last week.

    I think the design could possibly do with a bit of tweakage – possibly putting heat-shrink over the whole joint might make it a bit more durable.

    It’s fairly strong though – well my one was… if I pulled them apart until they broke, the head of the pin detached from the shaft first. A round bead on a nail might be better.

    I’m not sure if I’d call that my shop exactly – it’s my family’s basement. Several generations of accumulated… stuff.