taking one frame at a time since 1999

Hi Guys, 

So I've been in to stop motion for quite a while but also work in engineering. 

I was wondering if there was any call for custom made to measure armature services and if anyone on here would be interested in them? The more complex the better to get me started. 

If there is a mechanism or armature which you are wanting please message me and I will make a prototype for my own practice and may consider sending out at expense. 

I'm going to be using brazing, soldering, rapid prototyping and hand made parts so anything is possible really. 

anything you are thinking of let me know. If price is an issue I may at least be able to send you prototypes of what I've come up with to give you hints on what way to go about making your own. 

let me know what you think of all of this, 

Thanks again; Benedict

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Hi Benedict, would you lie to make an armature of hands like this?  (I am attaching a picture)

Heya Aysa

Thanks for the pic; What size were you looking for this?

And was it more a less identical that you were after?


Asya Lukin said:

Hi Benedict, would you lie to make an armature of hands like this?  (I am attaching a picture)

Hi, a size till the wrist is about 4.7 - 5 cm, the pictutre is quite identical to what I am looking for, I mean in terms of the amount of joints. Thank you

Good for future consideration. I'm not an engineer but all looking to modify some stop-motion joints.I don't know if someone else already thought of it and beat me to it?

Hopefully soon I'll get to start machining joints for hands.Out of curiosity,what scales are you working in?

Asya Lukin said:

Hi, a size till the wrist is about 4.7 - 5 cm, the pictutre is quite identical to what I am looking for, I mean in terms of the amount of joints. Thank you

Hi John, I still haven't found anybody who is doing it.. so would be great if you make it! :)

John Polacchi said:

Good for future consideration. I'm not an engineer but all looking to modify some stop-motion joints.I don't know if someone else already thought of it and beat me to it?

I've seen that hand armature before.Its pretty big to my recollection.It was a large armature...maybe 1/4 scale?I think it went to a King Kong type of character/subject,but I'm not 100% sure?I forget who made the armature?Someone of considerable experience and skill.I'm not very good with utilizing the metric system.I have to convert all the dimensions to decimal inch and the small mill I have is only set up for decimal inch.I'm a ways away from getting a working shop up and running again.I still need to buy a lathe.The hobby lathes are Okay,but are often lacking not just in "function" and limited to what they can only do and the tooling they use,but often the engineering quality is less than to be desired from my stand point,but I view things more from a machinists perspective as opposed to a hobbyist/beginner who just wants something that works and precision and repeatability aren't terribly important to them.I think the smaller you make joints,the more you need a performing machining that can maintain consistent precision and make consistent parts.Allot of that relies on the machinist's skills and abilities,but the machine has a great deal to do with that too.The Lathe models I am looking at are small and compact and do both of those very well,the cost however exceeds that of your standard hobby lathe which may run between $750.00US and $1,200.00US. In time I will get one,but it will take me a little time to save up $,6000.00-$8,000.00.I may start with the slightly less expensive model and manufacturer.The price is a bit more feasible and the more expensive German lathe may have to wait for another time.

Hi, I didn't mean so big armature (and so expensive as well), I wrote 4.7-5 cm, but if it is possible to make it smaller, actually as small as possible that could be the best, thank you!

It can be done.I have seen some "tightly wound" wire formed into a hand for a pretty small scale.Machining...I think there is a limit to "how small" you can machine a joint that will function and work,not break,hold its position between filming frames.If you expect joints and parts not"to last" and you anticipate joint/part failures,the puppet needs to be engineered so that you can switch out those parts (like hands or other delicate parts) if you are working in really small scales like 1/12 scale or something?1/12 (for human type figures) is pretty small.

Having to make dozens and dozens of replacement hands to switch out when "one fails" is(can be) an expensive and time consuming venture.Wires can only be bent so many times until they are fatigued enough to snap.Allot of that depends on the planned filming,how many shots/frames is the character going to be on?The entire film,or are you going to see it for a minute or two,or is it a background character that you may not get real close to,and not animated as much?I'm not 100% certain,but I believe Laika often scaled they puppets and sets in 1/7 scale.Kind of a weird scale.If memory serves,they has replacement arms/hands from the elbow up and the hands were made of wire hand and a ball socket at the wrist,but they made hundreds of those for major characters.

That's allot of making consistent wire&jointed forearms/hands,allot of casting silicone.Everything has to be super precise and consistent,at least for a film of that budget and will be seen on a big screen where if something is OFF  by even a little,it will look bad.There's other technologies available now too.Even to small budget shorts.You can 3d print just about anything,of course 3d printing requires a different skill al together and for us "low budget" animators out there,not everyone can afford a $50,000 color 3d printer to print replacement parts like faces or maybe "hands".It wouldn't make any sense to 3d print hands to me anyway,but one could if for a specific reason I suppose?

I think (for smaller scales) that a good set of hands can be made with a combination of small joints and wires,but then again you back at parts/pieces that (in time and used enough) will break,but perhaps not as frequently?Other alloys can be used,but to what end?Joints tend to last longer,but scale becomes an issue.Too small a scale and you are only going to be able to make only "one kind" of hand (more or less).Larger scales like 1/4 scale I think hands can largely be machined.They will be expensive,but the longevity of those components I think should last a great deal longer.Don't over crank and put more tension on the joint than needed or I suspect you will see joint fatigue.Evan at 1/4 scale,the joints are still machined small.

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