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Edge Break: Measuring Chamfer and edge radii

Introducing 4D InSpec’s Edge Break application

As an optional expansion for 4D InSpec owners, we are offering Edge-Break as a new application in the 4D InSpec software.

The Edge Break optional analysis package provides analysis of Chamfer, Rounded Edges, and Radius of Curvature as part of its results.

The analysis package reports the critical calculations of edge break radius or chamfer angle (depending on the need), and the angle of arc between the adjoining surfaces. It also reports the dimensions of the key geometric elements in the measurement’s field of view. Using 3D data, the results are not dependent on part orientation and results are obtained across hundreds of thousands of points along the feture, mproving accuracy and repeatability versus 2D techniques.

The Edge Break analysis package measuring a Chamfer.


Testing of our software against measurement standards shows a very high precision, and the measurement itself—remarkably—takes only moments.

For convenience in holding the 4D InSpec at an angle and with proper focal distance—reducing the need for fixturing parts for easy imaging—we do recommend the locking flexible arm accessory. For high-speed, repetitive, production measurements, we recommend the robot arm package.

The edge break analysis package works with both standard 4D InSpec and 4D InSpec XL. Which system you’ll need for measuring your parts will depend on the depth of field, stand-off and size of the edge break. Check with our applications engineers for a recommendation.

The Edge Break analysis option can be retrofitted in the field to your already-purchased 4D InSpec (or 4D InSpec XL), or purchased with a new system.

Screen Shot of Edge Break Analysis, presenting the results from measuring the radius of a 0.04 inch rounded edge. The measured radius is 0.0409 inches, with a 90.5° intersurface angle. The analysis can handle both inside or outside joins, that is, positive or negative radii.

The Need for Good Edge Break Measurements

Making a part with a high quality and consistent edge break or chamfer is critical to part longevity and human safety, and also to aesthetic finish—but chamfer and edge radii features are notoriously hard to measure. “Breaking” an edge refers to rounding a corner or adding a flat chamfer.

Many shaped edges—whether chamfers and rounded edges—are compared to a corner gauge made from card stock. A notch in the card is placed on the edge, and visually compared to the part. Other times, a 2D trace is drawn with a stylus. In both cases, ensuring alignment that’s perpendicular to the edge and its adjoining surfaces is troublesome, uncertain, and time consuming. 

Why things go wrong: In this measurement of a curved radius edge, we drew several profile traces at different angles, demonstrating how traces that aren’t perpendicular will report the incorrect radius of curvature—demonstrating the hazard of relying on a 2D measurement.


 Do you need Edge Break?

If this may be something you can use, contact your regional representative or distributor. 

Review our research

Here’s a paper we presented to SPIE this year on edge break and chamfer measurements. As a science and engineering technology company, we have been a Corporate Member of the Society of Photonics Industrial Engineers from the beginning.

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