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Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing (GD&T), when made an integral part of the

Product Development/Delivery Process through drawing previews/reviews, is the tool
that can have the greatest impact on improving quality, cost and delivery of your
product. GD&T is not new, but there is newness about it. Recent developments in
CAD and CMM technology, ISO Standards and Statistical Process Control have
brought GD&T once again to the forefront of design, quality and manufacturing.
GD&T is a common language that may be used to improve communication between
design, quality, manufacturing, suppliers and customers.

For nearly two hundred years, industry has been struggling with the problem of clear
part definition. The latest and most successful approach has been to employ
Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing (GD&T). After nearly sixty years of
refinement, industry now has a Standard which will handle virtually every situation.
The Standard is published by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and is
designated ASME Y14.5M-1994.

Some of the advantages of using GD&T on engineering drawings and
product data sheets are that it:

• Uses datum and datum systems to define dimensional requirements with
respect to part interfaces.
• Specifies dimensions and related tolerances based on functional relationships.
• Removes ambiguity by applying universally accepted symbols and syntax.
• Provides information that can be used to control tooling and assembly
interfaces.

• Expresses dimensional tolerance requirements using methods that decrease
tolerance accumulation

line. sphere) where all points of the surface intersected by any plane. have a common axis. on a surface? All Around Symbol .is the condition of a surface having all elements in one plane.is the condition permitting a uniform amount of profile variation.is the condition permitting a uniform amount of profile variation. or axis. That is: minimum hole size and maximum shaft size. Symmetry . ether unilaterally or bilaterally. Perpendicularity . Angularity . Total Run out .is the simultaneous composite control of all elements of a surface at all circular and profile measuring positions as the part is rotated through 360. Profile of a Surface . Parallelism .is the composite deviation from the desired form of a part surface of revolution through on full rotation (360 deg) of the part on a datum axis. Flatness .describes a condition in which two or more features .defines a zone within which the axis or center plane of a feature is permitted to vary from true (theoretically exact) position.describes the condition on a surface of revolution (cylinder.is that condition of a part feature wherein it contains the maximum amount of material within the stated limits of size. .describes a condition of a surface of revolution in which all points of a surface are equidistant from a common axis. points from a datum plane or axis. or center plane.a condition where an element of a surface or an axis is a straight line. along a line element of a feature. which is at a specified angle from a datum plane or axis.is the condition of a surface. which is 90 deg. axis. Roundness .is the condition of a surface. Position Tolerance .is a condition in which a feature (or features) is symmetrically disposed about the center plane of a datum feature.Straightness . From a datum plane or a datum axis. cone. Concentricity .indicating that a tolerance applies to surfaces all around the part. which is equidistant at all. Cylindricity .is the condition of a surface. Maximum Material Condition (MMC) . in any combination. ether unilaterally or bilaterally. axis. Profile of a Line . Run out . or line.

(Auxiliary dimension in ISO) Datum Feature .is used to indicate taper for conical tapers. Feature Control Frame . The symbol is placed in the feature control frame following the stated tolerance. datum references and modifiers applicable to the feature or the datums are also contained in the box. screw. Slope . Diameter . Basic Dimension .is a term used to describe distortion of a part after removal of forces applied during manufacture.implies that condition of a part feature of size wherein it contains the least (minimum) amount of material.. It is opposite to maximum material condition. This symbol is always shown with the vertical leg to the left. A basic dimension is always associated with a feature control frame or datum target. run out or location must be met irrespective of where the feature lies within its size tolerance. Projected Tolerance Zone .is a rectangular box containing the geometric characteristics symbol.Least Material Condition (LMC) . This symbol is always shown with the vertical leg to the left. The symbol precedes the dimension of the counter bore or spot face. and screw relative to its assembly with the mating part. stud. largest hole size and smallest shaft size.is the actual component feature used to establish a datum.a dimension usually without tolerance.indicating a tangent plane is shown. examples. is to be inserted. Dimension Origin . Free State Variations . profile.the condition where the tolerance of form. Tangent Plane . Counterbore/Spotface . (Theoretically exact dimension in ISO) Reference Dimension .Signifies that the dimension originates from the plane established by the shorter surface and dimensional limits apply to the other surface. etc. used for information purposes only. The projected tolerance zone extends above the surface of the part to the functional length of the pin. and the form. If necessary.used to describe the exact size. It controls the perpendicularity of the hole to the extent of the projection from the hole and as it relates to the mating part clearance. Conical Taper . with no space . run out or location tolerance. It does not govern production or inspection operations. orientation or location of a feature.indicates a circular feature when used on the field of a drawing or indicates that the tolerance is diametrical when used in a feature control frame.applies to a hole in which a pin.is used to indicate a counter bore or a spot face.is used to indicate slope for flat tapers. stud. Regardless Of Feature Size (RFS) .

the X is used along with a value to indicate the number of times a dimension or feature is repeated on the drawing. to indicate a spherical tolerance zone.creates a zone defined by two arcs (the minimum and maximum radii). Spherical Radius . Therefore. radii taken at all points on the part contour shall neither be smaller than the specified minimum limit nor larger than the maximum limit. consideration should be given to specifying the required Cp and /or Cpk or other process performance indices. The symbol is placed above the dimension. Arc Length .precedes the value of a dimension or tolerance. Number of Places . By applying statistical tolerancing. The increased tolerance or improved fit may reduce manufacturing cost or improve the product's performance. The symbol for spherical diameter precedes the size dimension of the feature and the positional tolerance value. .Countersink . letters may designate where the profile tolerance begins and ends.is used to indicate that a single dimension applies to a square shape.indicating that a dimension is an arc length measured on a curved outline. Square . but shall only be employed where the appropriate statistical process control will be used.to indicate that a profile tolerance applies to several contiguous features. Additionally.is used to indicate a countersink. These letters are referenced using the between symbol (since 1994) or the word between on drawings made to earlier versions of the Standard. Depth/Deep . The symbol precedes the dimension with no space between. Between . The symbol precedes the dimensions of the countersink with no space. Spherical Diameter .shall precede the tolerance value where the specified tolerance value represents spherical zone. Also. Controlled Radius . the part contour within the crescent-shaped tolerance zone must be a fair curve without flats or reversals. The part surface must lie within this zone.is used to indicate that a dimension applies to the depth of a feature. a positional tolerance may be used to control the location of a spherical feature relative to other features of a part. Radius . Where a controlled radius is specified. tolerances of individual components may be increased or clearances between mating parts may be reduced. Statistical Tolerance – is the assigning of tolerances to related components of an assembly on the basis of sound statistics (such as the assembly tolerance is equal to the square root of the sum of the squares of the individual tolerances). This symbol precedes the depth value with no space in between.creates a tolerance zone defined by two arcs (the minimum and maximum radii) that are tangent to the adjacent surfaces.

Because the meaning of these drawings is the same. several different dimensioning schemes may be used without changing the meaning of the drawing. cities or even countries must consistently fit and function even though slight variation from the intended shape and size will exist in every part. Therefore when BASIC dimensions are used with geometric tolerances. all three drawings have the same meaning even though the dimensioning is different. In addition. B and C. There is variation in all manufacturing processes. To accomplish all of this. The first drawing below is an example of baseline dimensioning. These variations are reflected in the parts.is a specified point. All parts go through a manufacturing process. When used properly. Give Production the Dimensions They Need. Target Point . it is expected that parts will assemble the first time and perform their intended function. Whenever two parts are expected to fit together and function without rework or adjustment. Since the position tolerance is related to datums A.indicates where the datum target point is dimensionally located on the direct view of the surface. and directly relate customer requirements to product specifications and process control. Interchangeability does not apply only to mass produced parts. credited to Eli Whitney. The other two illustrate chain dimensioning. Why Do I Need GD&T? The craftsmen of old could fashion parts in a way that would allow them to slide together and give the impression that the parts fit "perfectly. with the concept of interchangeable parts. the parts must be clearly defined.not the dimensions." Today. In most cases this definition is accomplished on a detail drawing or within a CAD file. simplify the engineering drawing. there must be a way to inspect a part to assure that it was made to the required specifications. or area on a part that is used to establish the Datum Reference Plane for manufacturing and inspection operations. line. plants. the part must perform its intended task or function. the part must be clearly and totally defined. the designer should consider the needs of those who will read the print when placing dimensions. As Bob Traver says: "You can't make what you can't measure because you don't know when you've got it made!" Most importantly. This would not be true if the dimensions locating the holes were toleranced rather than BASIC. Parts that have been made in other departments. the geometric tolerances apply to the features . GD&T will get the right questions asked early in the program. When GD&T is used. Datum Target . .

At issue was the 30 BASIC dimensions. they are design's customer.21 BASIC +dimensions at the 45° angle. The comment came from someone who inspects parts. Since inspection receives and must use the print. he would have to calculate this dimension. Why not satisfy the customer by giving them what they need if the actual requirements do not change. Notice on the revised drawing that the 30 has been replaced by the 21. His point was that in order to inspect the part.Basic Dimensions When it Comes to Dimensions: "Give the Customer What they Need"! I received a comment on last months Tip regarding the placement of dimensions on the drawing. .Position . The actual part definition and tolerance have not changed.

Revised Drawing: .