Constraints (also known as joints) for rigid bodies connect two rigid bodies.
The physics constraints available in the non-game modes are meant to be attached to an Empty object. The constraint then has fields which can be pointed at the two physics-enabled object which will be bound by the constraint. The Empty object provides a location and axis for the constraint distinct from the two constrained objects. The location of the entity hosting the physics constraint marks a location and set of axes on each of the two constrained objects. These two anchor points are calculated at the beginning of the animation and their position and orientation remain fixed in the local coordinate system of the object for the duration of the animation. The objects can move far from the constraint object, but the constraint anchor moves with the object. If this feature seems limiting, consider using multiple objects with a non-physics Child-of constraint and animate the relative location of the child.
The quickest way to constrain two objects is to select both and click the Connect button in the Physics tab of the Tool Shelf. This creates a new Empty object (named “Constraint”) with a physics constraint already attached and pointing at the two selected objects.
Also you can create Rigid Body Constraint on of the two constrained objects with Rigid Body Constraint button of the Physics tab in the Properties editor. This constraint is dependent on the object location and rotation on which it was created. This way, there are no Empty object created for the constraint. The role of the Empty object is put on this object. The constrained object can be then set as Passive type for better driving the constrain.
Additional parameters appear in the Rigid Body Constraint panel of the Physics tab in the Properties editor for the selected Empty object or the one of the two constrained objects with the created constraint.
Rigid Body Constraint panel.
- Specifies whether the constraint is active during the simulation.
- Disable Collisions
- Allows constrained objects to pass through one another.
- Object 1
- First object to be constrained.
- Object 2
- Second object to be constrained.
Allows constraint to break during simulation. Disabled for the Motor constraint. This can be used to simulate destruction.
- Impulse strength that needs to be reached before constraint breaks.
- Override Iterations
Allows to make constraints stronger (more iterations) or weaker (less iterations) than specified in the rigid body world.
- Number of constraint solver iterations made per simulation step for this constraint.
- By using limits you can constrain objects even more by specifying a translation/rotation range on/around respectively axis (see below for each one individually). To lock one axis, set both limits to 0.