Ball and socket joints/hinges?

I wasnt really sure where to put this question, but does anyone know of anywhere I can buy 'ball and socket' joints?

Im not sure they even exist as such. But Im hoping to find something like a plastic or aluminium sphere with a screwable arm coming out of it. The sphere sits within a spherical casing (which can be screwed to a flat surface), allowing you to position the arm it so it points at any angle.

I tried my DIY shop but he was a bit clueless,suggesting I used a bulky metal huge kitchen cupboard hinge :D I also tried a lighting shop, and they understood what I meant (kinda similar to the way spotlights can be pointed anywhere), but weren't really sure where to source them from.

Im sure many camera tripods have a similar sort of socket, but so far no joy

Any ideas please?

McMaster has stuff like this:

http://www.mcmaster.com/#ball-and-socket-mounts

-- The Aussie Shield: breakout all 28 pins to quick-connect terminals

Oh awesome, thanks ( again :smiley: )

Even better, I didn’t even think of something like their ‘Ultra Flexible Positioning Arms’. These would be even more suitable

Search for mini tripod, has a screw coming up to go into camera base swivel base to position as needed. http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/213133-REG/Canon_6205A009_Mini_Tripod_7.html There are many variations available.

A couple of other possibilities:

1) Loc-Line - http://www.loc-line.com/ 2) Tie-rod ball-joints

The first is used in a variety of products (such as Joby lights, as well as some flexible shower heads), and the parts can be popped apart to get only a couple of pieces. They don't tend to bend very freely though; still, you might find a use for them (or ideas for other things).

The second are used as steering components on automobiles and other vehicles; as such, they may be larger than what you are looking for (or may not fit the bill at all). Smaller versions (tiny versions, actually) are made for radio-control servo usage.

Oh - another option: Use ShapeLock/Polymorph plastic (it goes by other names as well) and mold it around wooden balls - one guy has built a complex bipedal robot in this fashion - it seems like an interesting method: http://www.xrobots.co.uk/android10part2/

A further option is a magnetic joint, such as:

http://www.tmcmagnetics.com/ball_joint_assembly.html