Defold supports joints for 2D physics. A joint connects two collision objects using some kind of constraint. The supported joint types are:

  • Fixed (physics.JOINT_TYPE_FIXED) - A rope joint that restricts the maximum distance between two points. In Box2D referred to as a Rope joint.
  • Hinge (physics.JOINT_TYPE_HINGE) - A hinge joint specifies an anchor point on two collision objects and moves them so that the two collision objects are always in the same place, and the relative rotation of the collision objects is not restricted. The hinge joint can enable a motor with a defined maximum engine torque and speed. In Box2D referred to as a Revolute joint.
  • Weld (physics.JOINT_TYPE_WELD) - A weld joint attempts to constrain all relative movement between two collision objects. The weld joint can be made soft like a spring with a frequency and damping ratio. In Box2D referred to as a Weld joint.
  • Spring (physics.JOINT_TYPE_SPRING) - A spring joint keeps two collision objects at a constant distance from each other. The spring joint can be made soft like a spring with a frequency and damping ratio. In Box2D referred to as a Distance joint.
  • Slider (physics.JOINT_TYPE_SLIDER) - A slider joint allows for relative translation of two collision objects along a specified axis and prevents relative rotation. In Box2D referred to as a Prismatic joint.
  • Wheel (physics.JOINT_TYPE_WHEEL) - A wheel joint restricts a point on bodyB to a line on bodyA. The wheel joint also provides a suspension spring. In Box2D referred to as a Weld joint.

Creating joints

Joints can currently only be created programmatically using physics.create_joint():

Editor support for creating joints is planned but no release date has been decided.

-- connect two collision objects with a fixed joint constraint (rope)
physics.create_joint(physics.JOINT_TYPE_FIXED, "obj_a#collisionobject", "my_test_joint", vmath.vector3(10, 0, 0), "obj_b#collisionobject", vmath.vector3(0, 20, 0), { max_length = 20 })

The above will create a fixed joint with id my_test_joint connected between the two collision object obj_a#collisionobject and obj_b#collisionobject. The joint is connected 10 pixels to the left of the center of collision object obj_a#collisionobject and 20 pixels above the center of collision object obj_b#collisionobject. The maximum length of the joint is 20 pixels.

Destroying joints

A joint can be destroyed using physics.destroy_joint():

-- destroy a joint previously connected to the first collision object
physics.destroy_joint("obj_a#collisionobject", "my_test_joint")

Reading from and updating joints

The properties of a joint can be read using physics.get_joint_properties() and set using physics.set_joint_properties():

function update(self, dt)
    if self.accelerating then
        local hinge_props = physics.get_joint_properties("obj_a#collisionobject", "my_hinge")
        -- increase motor speed by 100 revolutions per second
        hinge_props.motor_speed = hinge_props.motor_speed + 100 * 2 * math.pi * dt
        physics.set_joint_properties("obj_a#collisionobject", "my_hinge", hinge_props)

Get joint reaction force and torque

The reaction force and torque applied to a joint can be read using physics.get_joint_reaction_force() and physics.get_joint_reaction_torque().