Ball joint armature summary

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It is a method of making joints using metallic materials such as brass or iron. Key feature is high precision of movement, high durability, you can adjust the hardness using screws of fixing ball joint. There is almost no “return move” like a wire armature, so it is possible to animate minutely.
Ball joint has a very high performance. but there are some difficulties. You can’t move from anywhere in any direction like a wire armature. You have to design the puppet carefully considering the position and direction of the joint.
And it is necessary to use machine tool such as a lathe or a drilling machine. and you should test the ball size, materials, the thickness of the plate, etc. and inaccurate work will cause distorted motion. Ball joints with low precision is harder to animate than wire armature.
It is necessary for knowledge and experience to have professional technicians who make ball joints, so it takes time and effort to do it yourself.
You can buy it. But it’s expensive. However, considering the time and labor involved in making ball joints yourself, I think that you might buy it and use.
I used to make it myself before, but now I am asking a professional ball joint designer. If you consider purchasing, look at this site.
You can buy the armature in here Stop Mo Store

Also, ball joint puppets require high technology for the animator. First, the puppet becomes heavier than the wire armature, and how to take the center of gravity becomes severe. Also, unlike wire armature, a ball joint have the direction of movement, it is necessary to grasp the direction of a invisible joint.
As you can see, there are some big hurdles to make and animate puppets of ball joints, but I think that if you keep on trying patiently and gaining experience, you can do just that.

variety of joint

ball joint
It is a method to make with a metal ball and two sheets. Ball joints generally refer to this structure.

With this method, two motions are possible with one joint. ‘rotation’ and ‘refraction’. (Although there are limits to the angle, you can move some to the left and right.)

However, if there is a scratch on the ball or if the precision of the plate fixing the ball is low, even if you try to move only in one direction, it may move beside. You may need to be careful it.

sprit joint
It is a way to make like a “hinge”. There is only one moving direction, it is easier to make than a ball joint.

However, when trying to make the same movement as the ball joint, it is necessary to make two joints of “rotation” and “refraction”. and the structure becomes complicated, so the case to use it can be limited due to the design of the puppet.


the necessary tools to make a ball joint.
drilling machine
A small desktop type is sufficient. It is necessary to prepare vice for fixing parts.

It is used for cutting metal plates and metal rods.

metal file
It is Used for shaping the cut section.

It is used for making a screw hole. It is convenient to replace the tip like a drill and to make a screw hole according to the size of the screw.

Small burner
Use it when soldering parts.

Use it to heat iron material.

Casting vessel
Use it to heat iron material. Any casting can be used.

So, from now on, I introduce how to make ball joints in several difficulty levels.

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