Chamfers are commonly used to improve aesthetics and reduce stress concentration in the workpiece.
But how do you dimension a chamfer in a drawing?
To dimension a chamfer, you can either provide measurements for its leg lengths (the base and perpendicular of this supposed right-angled triangle) or provide the measurement of a single leg length and the chamfer angle. The angular dimension must clearly specify the plane to which the angle is measured.
This article provides a detailed guide about different methods of dimensioning a chamfer and steps involved in dimensioning a chamfer in popular CAD software.
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How to Dimension a Chamfer: 2 Methods
ISO 13715 indicates the standards and symbols for dimensioning and measuring undefined edges like chamfers on a workpiece.
For convenience, you can assume a chamfer to have an angle of 45 degrees, but it is always preferred to calculate and dimension the exact values.
Dimension a chamfer by mentioning its leg lengths or dimension it by mentioning a single leg length along with the chamfer angle.
Either way, on a 2D drawing, you should use a leader, an angled line with a pointed arrow at the end to indicate the chamfer feature and link it with its dimensions.
You can also state tolerances after the original dimensions to indicate a safety margin within which the chamfer size can vary when manufacturing the object or component.
The tolerance ensures accuracy while allowing a small margin of error during the manufacturing operation.
Dimensioning a Chamfer by Using Single Leg Length and Chamfer Angle
For instance, if your workpiece has a chamfer angle of 45 degrees and leg lengths of 0.020" (0.50 mm) each, then one way of dimensioning will be to use the convention 0.020" x 45°.
This method is stated and referred to from the ASME Y14.5M standard, which thoroughly explains dimensioning and tolerancing.
Dimensioning a Chamfer by Using Both Leg Lengths
Alternatively, you can use the leg lengths to dimension the chamfer as 0.010 (0.25) x 0.010 (0.25).
Similar to the previous method, the ASME Y14.5M standard also explains this technique.
Both these methods can also be found in ISO 13715 standards.
Alternatively, if all the chamfer elements in the drawing are identical, you can use a general note that acts as dimensioning for all the chamfer elements in that drawing.
You can add a note like "Note: All chamfers, 50DEG. x 0.020".
This note signifies that all the chamfer elements in the drawing should have a chamfer angle of 50 degrees and a leg length of 0.020".
How to Create a Chamfer in CAD Software
Modern CAD software have eased the process of measuring and dimensioning a chamfer.
Chamfering in AutoCAD
AutoCAD is one of the most widely used engineering software in the industry.
In AutoCAD, you can create a chamfer either by using only the leg lengths or a leg length and the chamfer angle.
Specifying Two Legs
After drawing your desired part, choose the chamfer icon from the fillet drop-down menu.
Once the command line appears, you must type “Distance” or “D” and enter this command.
Firstly, enter the first leg length’s value followed by the second leg length.
Click the first and second lines, which indicate the first and second distances.
This step finally creates a chamfer at the corner of two lines. Of course, you can vary or change the dimensions of the leg lengths, which would ultimately change the chamfer.
Specifying One Length and the Angle
For this method, choose the chamfer icon from the fillet drop-down menu after you have drawn your desired part.
Once the command line appears, instead of entering the “Distance” or “D” command, type and enter “Angle” or “A.”
Afterward, enter the value of the leg length and the chamfer angle. Followed by this step, select the two lines to complete the chamfer dimensioning.
Chamfering in SolidWorks
SolidWorks is a prevalent and heavy-duty CAD software used commercially and for DIY purposes.
After preparing your 3D model, from the Dimensions/Relations toolbar, select “Chamfer Dimension.”
An alternative way will be to select “Tools,” followed by “Dimensions,” and then “Chamfer.”
Afterward, select the edge you want to chamfer and one of the lead-in or meeting edges. Then click on the area where you want to place your dimension.
Then enter the chamfer dimensions to create the chamfer finally.
You can vary chamfer in many ways, for instance, by using a distance-distance method or by the distance-angle method.
The distance-distance method sets the chamfer dimensions based on the distance of the chamfer face from the selected edge.
You can set symmetrical for equal leg length and asymmetrical for chamfers with different leg lengths.
On the other hand, the distance-angle method involves inputting the leg length and the chamfer angle to produce the desired chamfer geometry,
Thus, you should set the default dimensioning method before creating the chamfer.
For this purpose, you can open “Tools,” followed by “Options,” “Document Properties,” “Dimensions,” and then finally, “Chamfer” to set your default method.
Chamfering in Fusion 360
Autodesk Fusion 360 is a cloud-based CAD software gaining popularity in DIY and commercial applications for product designing and manufacturing.
After modeling your component, from the menu bar, choose “Design,” followed by “Solid,” “Modify,” and then “Chamfer.” This step will display the chamfer dialogue box.
Afterward, choose the edges on the 3D model you want to chamfer. You will have to select the chamfer type from the chamfer dialogue box.
The first type is “Equal Distance,” which creates chamfers of equal leg lengths.
Moreover, the second option is “Two Distance,” which creates a chamfer with different leg lengths, while the third option is “Distance and Angle,” which makes a chamfer based on the leg length and angle you input.
After choosing the chamfer type, enter the chamfer dimensions as well.
Then you will have to choose the corner type for the chamfer, for which there are three options.
The first is “Chamfer,” which creates a chamfer joining the beveled edges at the corner.
Another option is “Miter,” which merges beveled edges into a mitered corner point.
The last option is “Blend,” which bends the beveled edges into adjacent faces resulting in a smooth transition.
After selecting the corner type, click “OK” and close the dialogue box to create the chamfer.
Types of Chamfer
Chamfer types are categorized based on dimensions, tool type, and application.
Based On Dimensioning
Chamfers can be categorized based on the method of measuring the chamfer.
Leg Lengths Chamfer
As stated earlier, you can dimension chamfers using only the leg lengths. This technique is proper when the angle is unknown, but the leg lengths are given.
This method is also implemented when one leg length is known, and the chamfer angle is assumed to be 45 degrees. However, this technique can lead to inaccuracies and should be avoided.
Leg length and Chamfer Angle Chamfer
If the chamfer angle is known, then any of the leg length dimensions can be stated along with its value.
It must be noted that, if the chamfer angle is 45 degrees, then the chamfer has equal leg lengths.
Based On the Type of Tool Used for Chamfering
Pointed End Chamfer
In your manufacturing operation, if your tool has a pointy edge and at least two flutes, you can produce a chamfer with a steep slope and an extended depth.
Such tools are preferable for intricate machining geometries like grooves, chamfers, fillets, etc.
Flat-End and Non-End Cutting Chamfer
This chamfer type is less steep and shorter, machined from a tool with a flat, surfaced end but at least two or more flutes.
Such a tool mainly removes burrs or pointy edges off a workpiece while its flutes aid in material removal.
Flat-End and End-Cutting Chamfer
This chamfer results from a tool having flutes that meet at its end, which is nearly a flat surface but this intersection results in a slightly beveled surface that enables some cutting action.
The chamfer geometry is similar to the flat-end and non-end cutting but is more accurate and precise.
How to Dimension a Bevel?
The difference between a chamfer and a bevel lies in their geometry.
A bevel is a continuous sloping surface between two adjacent surfaces, whereas a chamfer is a small sloping surface machined across a surface’s edge.
Bevel geometries are common in objects and components manufactured in the woodworking, metalworking, and carpentry industries.
From a side view, a wholly chamfered object is analogous to an octagon, while a workpiece beveled from both ends is similar to a rhombus.
You can dimension bevels the same way you dimension chamfers, using only two leg lengths or a single leg length and a chamfer angle.
Fundamentally, you can also suppose or approximate a bevel to be the hypotenuse of a right-angled triangle.
For example, if your workpiece has a chamfer angle of 45 degrees and leg lengths of 0.040 (1.00) each, then you can either dimension using the convention 0.040 (1.00) x 45° or the convention 0.040 (1.00) x 0.040 (1.00).
Using a leader and a pointed arrow is also necessary when dimensioning bevels.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What chamfer angle is commonly used in machining?
The chamfer angle most commonly used in machining is 45 degrees.
What is a face width in chamfering?
A face width in chamfering is the axial length of the chamfer itself.
What mechanical advantage do chamfers offer?
The mechanical advantage of chamfers is stress reduction by removing burrs and sharp edges. Moreover, the aesthetics of the material are significantly improved.