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Lever and Lid - moveable parts

Author: atoxic

Tools Needed

* DAZ Studio


A box with a lever. which can be pulled, and a lid which can be opened and closed, is constructed using the features of DAZ Studio. The same technique can be used where ever other items in a scene shall move relative to each other.


Step 1: Lever with Primitives


Open DAZ Studio and start in an empty scene.

Select 'Create a new Primitive' from the toolbar and create a cube, size 1 m.

Select 'Create a new Primitive' again and create a cylinder, height 0.3 m, diameter 0.5 m.

Use controls on the parameter tab to move cylinder to the side (out of the cube).

Move cylinder 1 to the side and rotate it around the z-axis (90 degree) so it can be placed at the side of the cube.

Create another cylinder (cylinder 2, height 0.8 m, diameter 0.1) and move it so that it intersects with cylinder 1.

Create a third cylinder (cylinder 3, height 0.4 m, diameter 0.2)and position it on top of cylinder 2.

Step 2: Center of Rotation


Now select 'Create a new Null' from the toolbar.

The null can be renamed to axis (click on name in scene tab and change it there) but this is not necessary.

Select the null in the scene bar and move it (symbolized by the blue/green/red crosshair) to the center of cylinder 1 by using the x, y, z controls on the parameter tab.

(Null may be hidden under the cube and becomes only visible if you move it to the side)

Step 3: How to assemble the Lever


In scene tab click on cylinder 3 and hold down left mouse button while dragging cylinder 3 on cylinder 2.

(Parenting cylinder 3 to cylinder 2 by drag and drop)

Select cylinder 2 and drop it on cylinder 1; select cylinder one and drop it on the null.

Finally select the null (axis) and drop it on the cube.

Now cylinder 3 is parented to cylinder 2 which is parented to cylinder 1 which is parented to the null (axis) and this is parented to the cube - the whole system is now one unit.

Step 4: To Move and To Adjust


Select the null (axis) in the scene tab, go to the parameter tab and choose x-rotate: the lever can be moved.

Double click on the x-rotate control with the right mouse button.

The panel for the control opens.

Click in the field 'name' and rename x-rotate to

“UP/DOWN”, set Min.Limit to -55, Max.Limit to 15 (those values between which the lever should operate) and set Respect Limit to YES by clicking.

Click on Accept.

Be aware that some changes in the parameter tab, e.g. the new name of x-rotate may only be active if you close and open the tab again.

To avoid that unused controls are moved by accident, double click each one with the right mouse button, opening the control panels, and set Hide to YES by clicking.

If you open the panel the next time all the unused controls are hidden.

Step 5: Alternatives

Now the lever can be placed somewhere in the scene (by choosing the cube and moving it around with the controls) and is ready for action.

With cylinder 1 in the center of rotation the same effect would have been accomplished using the center of the cylinder (its null coordinates - and another axis y or z because the cylinder was rotated in Step 1).

Also is it possible to move the center of a primitive with a script ('Move Origin') which I find very helpful.

But a New Null allows independent rotation and/or translation of the single parts of the object.

Step 6: A Moving Lid


Create a new cube (1 m) and select it, use y-translate to move it on top of cube 1 and scale it down with Y-Scale to 12%.

Create a new null (can be renamed, e.g. 'hinge') and move it to the edge where the cubes met.

Parent cube 2 to the new null (hinge) and parent the null to cube 1.

When the new null ('hinge') is selected, cube 2 can be moved up and down like a lid, using x-rotate on the parameter tab.

After renaming the control and hiding all unused handles, lever and lid can be used independently.