520-294-5600 4dinfo@nanometrics.com

Edge Break

The sharp edges of most precision machined surface must be ‘broken’, which involves rounding them or adding a flat chamfer. Edge breaking is intended to ensure part longevity, human safety during handling, and proper performance of the component.

Traditional visual inspection or single-trace metrology can’t assure parts are within specifications. The measurement below illustrates the variation that is induced by using traces. Variability arises both from angling traces out of the perpendicular, and also from the location of the trace along the chamfer. 

4D InSpec is a handheld, 3D-measurement device using polarized structured light for rapid, simple, shop-floor measurement of edge break, chamfer angles, and other precision part geometries.  Accuracy, repeatability, and reproducibility in real-world environments are assured.

How edge-break measurement works

Having a 3D measurement alone is insufficient to analyze edge break or chamfers. To properly measure the features, it’s necessary to align plane and cylinder fits, rather than treating the measurement as a series of adjacent traces, which compensates for tilt and rotation of the measuring instrument, in respect to the multiple surfaces being measured.

By aligning 3D planes and cylinders, a more precise measurement of the chamfer transition emerges, since the profile traces are no longer using an averaged result, but instead one measures the alignment of the various planes to each other. In the top image here, is the “average” trace result, and at the bottom is the chamfer measurement over the 3D area, after the planes are aligned. The data contains much less uncertainty.

Added Technical Resources


3D shop floor characterization of radii and chamfers

A published paper on how best to get a measurement from a chamfered surface or a corner that needs edge break. 


Developing Chamfer and Edge Break Measurements

Manufacturers of many types can benefit from measuring edge break. To help those customers, we are testing our Edge Break application for 4D InSpec.

Learn more about the products

4D InSpec

4D InSpec provides non-contact measurement of surface features and defects, on the factory floor, in machine shops and in field service applications.

4D InSpec XL

A handheld defect inspection gauge that works like 4D InSpec standard, but with a larger field of view, to measure wider and deeper features. 

InSpec Accessories

Accessories for improving portability, ease of use, or for accessing hard to reach measurements like sidewalls and through-holes.

Get In Touch

(520) 294-5600


3280 E Hemisphere Loop, Ste 146
Tucson, AZ 85706



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