Home » How to design a camshaft in SolidWorks?

What is a camshaft?


The camshaft is a part of the internal combustion engine. Camshaft converts rotational motion to reciprocal motion. The camshaft is used to operate intake and exhaust valves. The camshaft is discs with protruding cam lobes. Each valve has one cam which helps in the reciprocal motion. A cam lobe forces the valve to open and close by some mechanism and the spring exerts a tension that helps to return the valve to its original position.

The camshaft is driven by a pulley, chain, or gear which is driven by the crankshaft. The chain is sometimes also known as the timing chain. Supercars generally have two camshafts working simultaneously for intake valves and exhaust valves.

In this article, we will design a simple camshaft for a single chamber engine. The camshaft will have two cams.

For designing a cam we should know the theoretical concept of a cam profile. This we will not cover in this article. We will try to make a profile close to the cam profile.

Designing camshaft in Solidworks

Note: – All the dimensions and parameters are assumed. You can use your dimensions to design the camshaft.

Open the new part file in Solidworks. Click on the view > New > Part > OK.

Designing Camshaft

We can start the deigning camshaft from any end that is from the gear side or the other plain circular side. Select the plane on which we have to start sketching from the property manager. Right-click on it and select the sketch option. Or in the sketch tab select sketch and the plane.

Draw the circle equal to the diameter of the shaft or give the dimension constraints using smart dimensions.

Go to the Features tab and click on the Extrude Boss/Base. In Direction 1 select the midplane option, give the length value and click OK.

The next step is to draw the cams. Go to the Features tab under this click on references and select plane. Select the one end face of the rod and in the property manager give the distance of the new plane from the face. Select the number of planes two or you can individually similarly define the distance of the plane as mentioned above. Click on OK.

Designing Cam profile

Right-Click on the plane which we have created. Click on the sketch and draw the Cam profile then exit the sketch. Select Extrude Boss/Base, Set the direction to the midplane, and give the width of the cam. Make sure that while extruding the cam, the Merge option se checked in by a property manager.

On the second plane create the second cam profile but the narrow pitch profile should be opposite to the last one.

Give the proper fillet and chamfer at the shape edges. You can assign the material to this camshaft. Add several cams if you know the angle of each cam and profile. You can analyze this camshaft and after analyzing the data you can make modifications again. The changes can be made by going to the configuration manager. Select the proper feature, right-clicking on it, and click the edit option.