Contact models describe the constraints that have to be generated for each contact point. Currently, nphysics
supports two simple contact models: the signorini model and an approximation of the
signorini-coulomb model. By default, the approximate signorini-coulomb contact model
SignoriniCoulombPyramid is used. This can be changed by the
method. Note however that it is strongly
recommended to perform this change only before any call to
mechanical_world.step(...) as changing the contact model during the
simulation will cause all the internal solver cache to be cleared, resulting in a potential drop of performance and
accuracy for a few frames.
The goal of the Signorini contact model is to prevent penetrations. Therefore, given two contact points, it ideally ensures:
- The existing penetration (if any) will be corrected.
- Further movements that would increase penetration will be prevented.
The nphysics implementation of the Signorini contact model is available through the
It also includes handling of restitution which coefficient depends on the
materials of the colliders in contact. Given two collider with
restitution coefficients set to and , the actual restitution coefficient considered by the
for their contacts will be . Overall, the
SignoriniModel will generate a single constraint
for each contact.
The Signorini contact model does not handle friction at all.
The Signorini-Coulomb contact model combines the non-penetration constraint of the aforementioned Signorini model with
additional constraints to handle friction. nphysics implements an approximation of the Coulomb friction model
which states that friction forces are restricted to a friction cone. The
implements friction by approximating the friction cone (left) by a pyramid (right):
In 2D, this pyramidal representation is actually exact since only one friction direction is possible. In 3D however
this is an approximation since the boundaries of the friction cone are now polyhedral instead of smooth. The consequence
is that the resulting friction force actually applied at the contact point will be stronger than it should in some
directions (namely directions that are not collinear with the coordinate axes). Overall, the
will generate one constraint for handling both non-penetration and restitution (just like the
SignoriniModel) as well
as one additional constraint in 2D (or two additional constraints in 3D) for handling friction. This is the contact model
used by default by the physics world.
Deformable bodies Interaction handling and sensors