Deriving The Formula For The Area Of A Circle All About Radius in Product Design

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All About Radius in Product Design

Radius [rey-dee-uhs] – noun (plural -di-i). 1. a straight line from the center of a circle or sphere to a circle or surface: The radius of a circle is half the diameter. 2. a rounded corner or corner on a machine, a molded needle or piece of metal or plastic.

A modest radius is the most important element in the design of your product, arguably (or even more) important than a straight edge or plane. Radius must be calculated when designing round corners, hole diameters, inside and outside wall radii, not to mention curved planes. All non-horizontal surfaces will be designed using a radius. Here’s a breakdown of how to use a radius when designing your product to be sent to injection molding.

  • Corners. Sharp corners are a bad idea for product design. Angles of 90 degrees can lead to a large concentration of pressure in one small area (especially in the inner corner of the angled wall). It is very important to smooth your corners using a constant radius. The accepted formula holds that the outside radius should be 1.5 times the wall thickness and the inside should be 0.5 times the wall thickness. For example, if your wall thickness is 6mm and you have two walls that meet at a 90 degree angle, your corners will need to be rounded. The outer radius will be 9mm, while the inner radius will be 3 mm.
  • Fillet radius. The fillet radius is the radius that smooths the joint between two parts, similar to the function of the inside radius of the corner. This has the same benefit – reducing stress – and can be helped with a rib. A fillet radius can be used to attach a boss to a plane or rib on a wall. A fillet radius should be used wherever two planes meet to form an angle, whether acute or obtuse.
  • If your product design concept includes a curved design of any kind, a radius should be used to ensure a consistent and pleasing design. In the same way you would use a ruler to draw a straight line, you should use a radius to draw a curved line.

Using radii in your designs has many benefits. A radius allows the plastic to move more smoothly than a corner. If the mold were to be created with sharp corners there is less guarantee that the entire mold will be filled, leaving gaps and dirty edges. A radius can handle stress much better than a corner or edge. The inner edge is nothing but the first crack; this is where all the pressure will be concentrated if your area is under pressure, Finally and simply, rounded corners look better than sharp angles.

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