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Constraint for faces to move simultaneously?

Question asked by Justin Strempke on Jul 29, 2013
Latest reply on Aug 2, 2013 by Justin Strempke

I'm wondering if there is a way to make a sort of symmetry constraint which can be applied to a solid face, disallowing rotation only.  As an example, take a 100' long cable and put it on tall skates spaced 10' apart or so.  As the cable sags, the skates roll closer together.  I would like to be able to model the region between two skates only.  As-is, I can set the normal translation or two transverse movements, but happen to have multiple parts (say the skate is split in half) and want to define that the skate cut edge and the cable cut edge can move laterally but the elements must remain on a planar, vertical surface.


I've thought of using a rigid rectangle (or a sim-only material with very high E), constraining the lower face to slide along the ground, which the cut skate and cable ends are sliding on the vertical face, but that seemed pretty tedious and possible unreliable.  The other complicating side is some cases this would have to be done in two directions, so more like a net of cable contracting toward a central point.  The models are very complex (lots of small parts repeated, with high mesh resolution) so I'm trying to avoid modeling the entire assembly.  I'm not interested in the contractual displacement, only the stresses of the cable/skate point, which would change when the cable sags.


Is this doable in any fashion, or am I overlooking something simple?