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IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON AUTOMATION SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING, VOL. 3, NO. 1, JANUARY 2006

a Hole With Composite Tolerances

Yusheng Liu and Shuming Gao

product life. However how to effectively embody and interpret

the semantics of tolerance in three-dimensional computer-aided

design systems is still an open issue. Variational geometry is

recognized as one of the most promising solution for it. And the

methods for systematically and efficiently generating the variational geometries of all kinds of geometric entities with tolerances

are imperative. In this paper, a degree-of-freedom (DOF)-based

approach is proposed for generating variational geometry of a

hole with composite tolerances imposed on its centerline and

surface at the same time. All possible combinations of tolerance

requirements for a hole are discussed. And the mathematical

models for variational geometries of the centerline and the surface

of a hole are deduced. Furthermore two strategies for improving

the efficiency of generating the variational geometry of a hole are

presented. Finally, the algorithm is implemented and some test

results are given.

Note to PractitionersThis paper is motivated by the problem

that the tolerance information in the current computer-aided-design CAD systems lacks the necessary engineering semantics,

which causes tolerance information that cannot be correctly used

and impedes the integration of CAD and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM). Existing approaches have partially solved the

problem for the pattern of holes (POH) and plane feature based

on variational geometry. But the computational efficiency with

the variational geometry method is very insufferable due to a lot

of Boolean intersection operation. In this paper, the hole feature

is mainly considered because its tolerance specification is quite

different from other features and is imposed on the centerline

and the surface of a hole at the same time. First, the mathematical model is given for interpreting the engineering semantics

of the tolerance of the centerline and the surface based on the

variational geometry, respectively. Then, the tolerance principles

are further considered for compensation between the above two

types of tolerance. More important, a direct method, which can

largely avoid the Boolean intersection operation, is proposed for

generating the variational geometry. The computational efficiency

is thus improved dramatically and the variational geometry is

generated almost in real time. This enables virtual assembly and

virtual inspection with the tolerance information to be possible.

Index TermsComputer-aided design (CAD)/computer-aided

manufacturing (CAM), tolerance, variational geometry.

Manuscript received October 17, 2004; revised March 25, 2005 and June 6,

2005. This paper was recommended for publication by Associate Editor J. Fuh

and Editor M. Wang. This work was supported in part by the National Science

Foundation (NSF) of China under Grants 60403049, 60273057, and 50275136;

in part by the National Grand Fundamental Research 973 Program of China

under Grant 2002CB312106, and in part by the Trans-Century Training Programme Foundation for Talents by the Education Ministry of China and Pre-research of National Defense under Grant 514890201-04JW0401.

The authors are with the State Key Laboratory, CAD&CG, Zhejiang

University, Hangzhou 310027, China (e-mail: ysliu@cad.zju.edu.cn;

smgao@cad.zju.edu.cn).

Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/TASE.2005.860615

NOMENCLATURE

ACS

CITZ

CTS

CYTZ

DCS

LTZ

MMC

OTZ

PTZ

RTZ

RTZLO

SITZ

STTZ

Circularity tolerance zone.

Combined tolerance specification.

Cylindricity tolerance zone.

Diametral cross section.

Location tolerance zone.

Maximum material condition.

Orientational tolerance zone.

Positional tolerance zone.

Resultant tolerance zone.

Resultant tolerance zone of LTZ and OTZ.

Size tolerance zone.

Straightness tolerance zone.

I. INTRODUCTION

product lift cycle. It is imperative for the seamless integration of computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided

manufacturing (CAM). Presently, the tolerance representation

model used in CAD systems is usually documentation oriented. However, using the representation model, the tolerance

semantics and their interaction cannot be correctly interpreted

in truly three-dimensional (3-D) context and effectively used

in 3-D CAD systems. And how to model and represent the

actual manufacturing errors of a part in 3-D CAD systems is

still an open issue. There is a great gap between the industrys

requirements on tolerancing and the tolerancing capability

that the current CAD systems can provide. It is recognized

that variational geometry is a good choice for making up this

gap. By using the variational geometry, the actual variational

situation of machined parts can be effectively represented and

visualized, and the simulated inspection and assembly can also

be carried out at the early design stage.

Currently how to systematically generate the variational geometry of all features of a part is under research. Some work has

been carried out for the features such as planar face and pattern

of holes [1][4]. However, according to our knowledge, there is

no systematical and effective approach to generating the variational geometry of a hole up to now, although it is widely used in

the design of mechanical parts. Compared with those imposed

on other kinds of features, such as plane and edge, the tolerance

specifications on a hole are generally much more complicated.

Specifically, the tolerance specifications are often imposed on

both the surface and the centerline of a hole at the same time

with certain interactions between them. For the generation of

LIU AND GAO: GENERATING VARIATIONAL GEOMETRY OF A HOLE WITH COMPOSITE TOLERANCES

the variational geometry of a hole, one problem is how to generate the variational geometry of a hole imposed of arbitrary

CTS. The other problem is computation efficiency. Using the

current approaches, it is very time-consuming because a lot of

Boolean intersection operations have to be done. In this way, the

long-time waiting will be insufferable and real-time response is

quite necessary for tolerance analysis, tolerance prenspection in

3-D CAD systems, and virtual assembly with tolerance.

To address these problems, a degree-of-freedom (DOF)based approach is proposed to systematically and efficiently

generate the variational geometry of a hole. The objectives of

this work are: a) enabling the approach to deal with all the

possible CTSs by analyzing them and coming up with a systematical model; b) improving the computational efficiency by

avoiding Boolean intersection operations as much as possible.

II. RELATED WORK

Tolerance modeling and representation comprise two-fold

functions: 1) the modeling and representation of the whole

tolerance zone; and 2) the modeling and representation of the

variational entities that satisfy the tolerance requirements. The

first part gives the extreme variational range and the second

part gives the way to represent the actual manufactured parts

with errors. A fundamental mathematical model is imperative

for achieving the above two functions and further for bringing

tolerance into play in 3-D CAD systems. A significant amount

of research has been conducted in this field. The proposed

models can be divided into five kinds: offset zone model,

parametric model, variational surface model, kinematic model,

and DOF model.

The offset zone model is proposed based on the concept of

variational class for representing geometric tolerance [5],

[6]. In this method, the issue of tolerance zone formation was

addressed and the realization method that uses offset operation to generate tolerance zones was also given. An object with

deviation is considered acceptable if its boundary lies within

the special range of the tolerance zone. Thereafter, this model

was refined [7]. Applying variational class to assembly, a

model was proposed based on virtual boundaries defining half

spaces composed of the part and establishing bulk material

regions and tolerance zones accordingly [8], [9]. However,

this model cannot deal with form tolerance and orientational

tolerance because of their unfixed location. In addition, how to

generate the variational entities was not discussed. Based on the

parametric model, several researchers developed the variational

model, which is dimension driven, constraint based, and allows

plus/minus variations of the dimensions of a part [10][12].

This model was mainly proposed for dimensional tolerance

that can be considered as the derivative of the parameterized

dimension constraint. The M-space theory was set forward

based on the vectorial approach and the variational surface

model was developed [13], [14]. In this model, tolerances are

used to directly define the valid variational region spanned by

the model variables and the surfaces are allowed to independently vary with the change of model variables. Positions of the

vertices and edges are calculated from the variational surfaces.

This approach was implemented and generalized by other

93

kinematic model, was proposed where the tolerance zones are

modeled taking the effect of datum feature, datum precedence,

and material modifiers into account [17]. However, the model is

too complex to use. Another kinematic method is put forward

by using a combination of kinematic joints [18]. In this method,

geometric variations caused by tolerances are estimated using

the combinations of kinematic joints. But they did not mention

how this method could be extended to size tolerance.

DOF models were proposed by several groups [3], [4],

[19][22]. In [20], the elementary surface concept was

proposed and divided into seven types called topologicallyand technologically-related surfaces (TTRS). Twenty-eight

different possible geometric relationships and their DOFs are

constructed from the TTRS. The displacement torsor was also

defined as a six-dimensional vector, containing three translation and three rotation values. A graph-based model was

developed in which points, lines, planes, and feature of size

(parallel faces, cylinders, spheres) all contain DOF attributes

in [21]. This model could support a validation maintenance

of tolerance and was further refined [23], [24]. A novel type

of model based on T- Map was proposed in which several

similar to the model variables

model variables , , and

used in the DOF-based method mentioned above, were defined

[25][27]. In this model, all possible variational surfaces are

represented in the T-Map. They also gave the methods of

generating T-Maps of circular and rectangle surfaces. By using

Minkowski sum, their method can deal with the accumulation

of different kinds of tolerances. But they did not mention how

to extend the methods to the hole and other types of features.

III. COMBINATIONS OF POSSIBLE TOLERANCE

SPECIFICATIONS ON A HOLE

Holes are frequently used features in mechanical design. Almost in every part there are one or more holes. Generally, a hole

is imposed of high tolerance requirements because they usually

play an important role in realizing the functionality of parts. In

order to easily find out the most representative tolerance specification for the modeling and generating of the variational geometry of a hole, we first analyze all of the possible CTSs.

In this work, all the CTSs are divided into three kinds: certain,

possible, and impossible. All kinds of CTSs for a hole are enumerated in Table I. From the table, we can see that there are 20

kinds of certain CTSs, 17 kinds of possible CTSs, and 44 kinds

of impossible CTSs. By further analyzing all kinds of CTSs, we

observe that there are three characteristics of them as shown.

1) The corresponding CTSs of using dimensional tolerance

for location or location tolerance to specify the extreme

variational range of the centerline of a hole are very similar (i.e., in Table I, the CTSs involved in the columns 1,

2, 3, and 4 are similar to those involved in columns 5, 6,

7, and 8, respectively). So the only dimensional tolerance

for location or the location tolerance for specifying the extreme variational range of the centerline needs to be considered. In this paper, the latter is considered.

2) The tolerance specifications involved in column 4 and

column 8 are of the most generality for the centerline. The

94

IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON AUTOMATION SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING, VOL. 3, NO. 1, JANUARY 2006

TABLE I

ALL POSSIBLE CTSS FOR THE HOLE

and 7, 6, 5 can be viewed as the special cases, and the

tolerance requirements are gradually loosened. Similarly,

the tolerance specifications involved in row 4 are of the

most generality for the surface.

3) Column 9 in Table I contains some special cases because

of the speciality of the runout tolerance. Runout tolerance

can be considered as a composite tolerance itself. It is always specified on the surface of a hole, but it can also

specify the locational requirements on the centerline at

the same time. And any other locational tolerance specifications for the centerline are redundant.

According to the above characteristics, it can be concluded

(or

) is of the most generality for

that the CTS of case

the hole. And obviously, the method of generating the variational geometry for this case can also be applied to the other

CTSs after some adaptations.

for such a centerline

where

are two transitional

and

DOFs and and are two rotational DOFs. For any variation

of the straight line, it can be decomposed into the corresponding

,

variations of the four DOFs of the straight line (i.e., , ,

). Assume that the equation of the variational line is

GEOMETRY OF THE CENTERLINE

(1b)

The variational geometry of a hole with composite tolerances consists of two parts: the variational centerline and the

variational surface. In this section, we concentrate on deducing

the mathematical model for the generation of the variational

geometry of the centerline based on DOF. The corresponding

contents about the variational surface of a hole will be given

in Section V.

A. General Variational Model for Centerline Based on DOF

To deduce the DOF-based variational model for the centerline of a hole, we first define a local coordinate system (LCS)

for the centerline as follows: taking the normal direction of the

centerline as the normal direction of the axis of the LCS and

the center of the line segment as the origin of the LCS, as shown

, the equation of the

in Fig. 1(a). With such defined LCS

centerline can be written as

(1a)

we have

variations of its four DOFs when the form errors are not considered. It also means that the variations of the four DOFs can

be defined as the variables of the variational model for straight

lines.

B. Variational Model for the Centerline With Simple Tolerance

Specification

When it is necessary to impose certain tolerance specifications on the centerline of a hole (here, the default tolerance is

not considered), the location tolerance

must be considered

first because it can also specify the orientational and form tolerance requirements. Only if the location tolerance cannot sufficiently specify the requirements on the orientation of the hole,

LIU AND GAO: GENERATING VARIATIONAL GEOMETRY OF A HOLE WITH COMPOSITE TOLERANCES

Fig. 2.

95

will be further specified. Similarly, the form tolerance will be further given only when the location tolerance and/or the orientational tolerance cannot sufficiently specify the requirements on the form of the hole.

In general, the characteristics of the tolerance zones of different tolerances are quite different. The location tolerance zone

(LTZ) is fixed, which cannot translate and rotate at all; the direction of the OTZ is fixed but its position is not; the form tolerance zone is completely floating in the space, able to translate and rotate freely. Here, we first consider the simplest case

(i.e., only the positional tolerance is given, which is one specific

type of location tolerance and can be different in each direction

or omnidirectionally the same in each diametral cross section

(DCS) according to the tolerance requirements). But the modeling method for the variational geometry of the centerline will

be similar. In this work, different positional tolerances and

are given in axes

and direction as shown in Fig. 2(a).

The PTZ, in this case, can be easily obtained, which is a cuboid

whose length, width, and height are , , and , respectively,

as shown in Fig. 2(b). According to tolerance semantics, each

variational centerline must be located in LTZ. Using this propcan

erty, the extreme situations for the DOFs , , , and

and are

be easily deduced and the extreme variations for

shown in Fig. 2(c) and (d). And the extreme variation can be

expressed as

(2a)

Fig. 3.

Constraints

(3e)

(3f)

For other types of location tolerance, such as concentricity

and symmetry, the mathematical model can be obtianed similarly. Taking the concentricity and its tolerance zone shown in

Fig. 3 as an example, the mathematical model can be obtained

by slightly adapting the above mathematical models (2a)(2d)

and (3a)(3f) as follows.

1) Substitute and with .

2) Add another constraint

(2b)

Similarly, we get

(2c)

(2d)

In summary, the mathematical model for the variational centerline can be given as the following:

Variations

(3a)

(3b)

(3c)

(3d)

Tolerance Specification

in Table I,

When more complicated CTSs, such as case

are imposed on the centerline, the mathematical model becomes

much more difficult to deduce. The key problem is that the RTZ

is not easy to obtain as described in the last subsection and it is

not as simple and regular as that shown in Fig. 2(b). The RTZ

will be the combination of the relevant tolerance zones and usually irregular.

We generate such an RTZ by conducting Boolean intersection

operations between all of the relevant tolerance zones, which

consists of two steps: 1) generating the RTZ of location tolerance and orientational tolerance (RTZLO); 2) generating the

final RTZ with the form tolerance considered.

96

IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON AUTOMATION SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING, VOL. 3, NO. 1, JANUARY 2006

and Z .

1) Generating the RTZLO: RTZLO is generated by conducting Boolean intersection operation between LTZ and OTZ.

However, as mentioned in the last subsection, the position of

OTZ is not fixed which can translate freely along the axes

and . Since there is usually a location tolerance imposed on

the centerline beforehand (or there is a default location tolerance), the translation of the OTZ is limited in a certain zone so

as to guarantee that the RTZLO is not empty. According to this

can be determined

property, the extreme variational zone

for the centerline of the OTZ.

,

First, the maximum zone swept by OTZ, denoted with

which is generated by translating (sweeping) the OTZ over the

LTZ, is determined. In this sweeping operation, the generator of

the sweeping operation is the OTZ and the generatrix is every

point in the LTZ. Moreover, as described in [28] and [29], any

sweeping operation is a Minkowski sum, in which our genercan be

ator and generatrix are the two operands. That is,

expressed as follows:

(4)

where refers to Minkowski sum, and

and

stand for

LTZ and OTZ, respectively.

As mentioned in the last subsection, different location tolerance specifications are necessary for different tolerance requirements. Similarly, different orientational tolerance specifications

are also needed. The form of DCS of LTZ and OTZ can be rectangular or circular according to the given tolerance specifications. Therefore, there are four kinds of different forms of

that are given in Fig. 4 (here, only DCS is given).

with an offset operation from the

,

Second, we obtain

which is shown in Fig. 4. When the centerline of the OTZ trans, RTZLO will not be empty and the tolerance selates in

mantics can be guaranteed. After

has been generated, the

, and

centerline of the OTZ is first randomly determined in

then we generate the RTZLO by performing a Boolean intersection between the LTZ and OTZ. Some examples of the RTZLO

are illustrated in Fig. 5.

2) Generating the Final RTZ: When the straightness, the

only type of form tolerance for a line is imposed on the centerline, the final RTZ becomes more complicated and irregular

and any DCS is different from the others. Considering that the

straightness tolerance zone (STTZ) is floating, which can translate and rotate in the RTZLO and has four DOFs, we generate

the final RTZ by following two steps:

and

for STTZ. Here, we

1) Determination of the

by the Minkowski sum with RTZLO

also generate the

being the generatrix and STTZ being the generator. That

is

(5)

where

refers to the RTZLO, and

stands for

STTZ.

of OTZ, we

With the same method for generating

can obtain the

of STTZ from

. The obtained

gives the extreme variational zone of the centerline of the

STTZ.

2) The determination of the location and orientation of

STTZ. To determine the location and orientation of

, we just need to randomly

STTZ, which is floating in

give the variational values of the four DOFs , , ,

of the centerline of the STTZ. For the four DOFs , ,

LIU AND GAO: GENERATING VARIATIONAL GEOMETRY OF A HOLE WITH COMPOSITE TOLERANCES

Fig. 6.

97

Example of RTZ.

Fig. 7.

, , there are

possible variational sequences

to randomly generate them. Without the loss of generality, we choose the sequence

to calculate their random variational values one by one.

According to the tolerance semantics, the limitation

condition on the variation of the STTZ is expressed as

follows:

Condition 1: The intersection of STTZ and the bottom-end surface of RTZLO and the intersection of STTZ and the upper-end

surface of RTZLO must not be empty.

After generating the variational values of , ,

, and

, we generate the final RTZ by conducting Boolean intersection operation between the STTZ and the RTZLO. An example

of the final RTZ is shown in Fig. 6.

Finally, a NURBS curve is used to represent the straight line

with form tolerance. We first slice the final RTZ into a series of

DCSs. Then in each DCS of the final RTZ, a point is randomly

chosen to build the variational straight line. Finally, we create a

NURBS curve with all of these points interpolated.

V. MATHEMATICAL MODEL FOR THE VARIATIONAL SURFACE

There are four kinds of possible CTSs for the surface of a

hole, as listed in Table I. The most general case is that the surface

is imposed on both size tolerance and cylindricity at the same

time.

Cylindricity is always used to limit the extreme variation

of the whole nominal cylinder surface. Its effect consists of

two folds: 1) used as circularity in each DCS; and 2) used

as straightness in each axial cross section (ACS). Thus, we

divide the mathematical model for the variational cylinder

surface into three parts: that for the cylinder surface as a

whole, that for each DCS, and that for each ACS. In this

section, the interaction between the tolerances of the centerline

and the surface is not considered, which will be discussed

in Section V-A.

A. Mathematical Model for the Variation of the Whole

Cylinder Surface

Let us consider an arbitrary cylinder that is a part of the

whole cylinder and assume that the height of cylinder is ,

with

. Here, is the total height of the hole. Obviously, the cylinder must satisfy the tolerance specifications

for the original cylinder. The relationship between the CYTZ

and the SITZ for the cylinder is illustrated in Fig. 7. Here,

and lower limits of the size tolerance are supposed to be

and

, and the value of the cylindricity is supposed to be

. Meanwhile, an LCS

, as shown in Fig. 7, is constructed and used.

According to the definition of cylindricity in ASME Y14.5.1

[22], the CYTZ is floating and its radius is also uncertain. It

indicates that there are five DOFs for the CYTZ (i.e., , ,

, , and . The first four of them are for the centerline of

CYTZ and the last is for the radius. We define them as the model

variables of the mathematical model for the variational surface.

According to the tolerance semantics, the limitation condition

on the variation of the CYTZ is expressed as follows.

Condition 2: There exists at least a circle in both DCSs of the

CYTZ and SITZ, which must surround the inner boundaries of

the CYTZ and SITZ at the same time.

Fig. 8 shows some examples of the variational CYTZ. The

variational CYTZs in Fig. 8(a) and (b) satisfy the above condition while the variational CYTZ in Fig. 8(c) does not. Fig. 9(a)

gives the extreme case of the variation of the CYTZ (here, only

the ACS is given because of its symmetry). It shows that only

one circle exists that satisfies condition 2 in both end surfaces

as illustrated in Fig. 9(b) and (c). From the two figures, we can

see that condition 2 can be equivalently expressed as

Condition 3: the inner boundary of the CYTZ must not transcend and intersect with the outer boundary of SITZ; the outer

boundary of CYTZ must not transcend and intersect with the

inner boundary of SITZ, either. Furthermore, the extreme condition in the inner boundary of the CYTZ is tangent with the

outer boundary of SITZ while the outer boundary of CYTZ is

tangent with the inner boundary of SITZ.

According to the above condition 3, we can obtain the detailed variational constraint set for both the bottom and upper

end surfaces as follows.

For the bottom-end surface

(6a)

(6b)

(6c)

(6d)

98

Fig. 8.

IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON AUTOMATION SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING, VOL. 3, NO. 1, JANUARY 2006

(7a)

(7b)

(7c)

(7d)

;

.

Here,

By solving the inequation set and considering

,

we obtain the following mathematical model for the variation of

the whole surface.

Variations

Fig. 10.

(8h)

(8a)

(8b)

(8i)

(8c)

where

(8d)

Each DCS

(8e)

Using the above mathematical model expressed with inequation (8a)(8i), the location of CYTZ in each DCS can be de,

termined after the variation of the model variables , ,

, and

are randomly chosen. The RTZ of each DCS will

be the intersection of CYTZ and SITZ in the DCS as shown in

Fig. 9. In each DCS, the function of cylindricity degrades to that

of the circularity that should be also modeled because,in each

DCS, the actual form will not be circular any more.

Constraints

(8f)

(8g)

LIU AND GAO: GENERATING VARIATIONAL GEOMETRY OF A HOLE WITH COMPOSITE TOLERANCES

Fig. 11.

99

circle. As illustrated in Fig. 10, the form, size, and location of

an ellipse can be completely defined by the four end points of

its two axes. We call these four points as the control points of

the ellipse. In the following, we discuss how to calculate the

coordinates of the control points and how to use them to generate

the ellipse to represent the circle with tolerances.

1) Generation of the Coordinates of the Control Points: The

coordinates of the control points are obtained by using a decomposition strategy. As discussed above, the variation of the surface

in each DCS consists of two parts: the variation of the surface as a

whole and the variation in each DCS, which change the nominal

coordinates of the control points. It can be concluded that the coordinates of each control point consist of the following three parts:

nominal value, variational value brought about by the CYTZ, and

random variational value brought about the CITZ.

1) Calculation of nominal value. The nominal value of each

control point as shown in Fig. 11(a) can be easily calculated

from the given nominal cylinder as follows:

(9)

2) Calculation of the variational values brought about by the

CYTZ in each DCS. They can be determined by the model

variables , ,

,

,and asillustratedinFig.11(b).

point as follows:

(10)

Here, is the distance between the DCS and the bottom

end surface.

3) Calculation of the random variational value brought about

by the circularity in each DCS. This value is uncertain and

randomly determined. For each control point, according to

the location of the CITZ in each DCS, the upper and lower

limits are different, which are classified into three cases.

Taking the point A in Fig. 12 as an example, the classification results are listed in Table II. After the variational limits

are determined, the random variational coordinate values

can be easily calculated and listed in Table III according to

a certain distribution such as normal distribution, triangular

distribution, etc.

Finally, the coordinate values of the control points are obtained by adding up the above three parts.

2) Generation of the Ellipse for Representation of the Circle

With Tolerances: The coordinates of the ellipse origin , ,

and

are calculated as

and the lengths , of the axes

shown in (11a) and (11d) at the bottom of the page.

The final equation of the ellipse is as follows:

(12)

(11a)

(11b)

(11c)

(11d)

100

IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON AUTOMATION SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING, VOL. 3, NO. 1, JANUARY 2006

Fig. 12.

TABLE II

CLASSIFICATION OF THE LIMITS OF THE CONTROL POINTS

TABLE III

RANDOM VARIATIONAL VALUES FOR DIFFERENT CONTROL POINTS

When complex CTSs are imposed on the centerline, the RTZ

becomes complicated, uncertain, and irregular as discussed

in the last section. In general, the generation of the RTZ

involves a lot of 3-D Boolean intersection operations when

conducting tolerance analysis in 3-D CAD systems which is

very time-consuming, especially for complicated parts. This

problem may even make it unacceptable to perform tolerance

analysis in 3-D CAD systems. In this work, we improve the

efficiency of generating the RTZ by two means: converting

3-D Boolean intersection operations to 2-D ones and avoiding

the 2-D Boolean intersection operations as much as possible.

First, we deal with the case that the location tolerance and

orientational tolerance are imposed on the centerline at the

same time. The characteristic of this case is that the LTZ is

fixed and the OTZ can translate. Moreover, all RTZs DCSs

are the same. Based on this characteristic, it can be easily

proved that the 3-D Boolean intersection operations can be

degenerated to 2-D ones for this case. Therefore, we use

2-D Boolean intersection operations to replace 3-D ones to

generate the RTZ of LTZ and OTZ. In this way, the calculation

complexity is remarkably reduced.

To further improve the computational efficiency, a direct

method is given to avoid 2-D Boolean intersection operations

as much as possible during generation of the RTZ. The main

idea is to directly determine the boundary and the bounding

box of the RTZ according to the form of LTZ and OTZ

and the location of the OTZ instead of using 2-D Boolean

examples of different boundaries and bounding boxes of the

RTZs are given in Table IV. It can be seen from the table

that for the specific form of LTZ and OTZ, the boundaries

of the RTZ, as well as the configuration of the compositive

edges of the bounding box (CCEBB) of the RTZ will be the

same or different according to the location of the centerline

of the OTZ. To determine the CCEBBs and boundaries of

the RTZ according to the location of the OTZ instead of by

performing Boolean intersection operations, the key problem

to a set of regions

is to find an approach to divide the

so that the following condition 4 is satisfied.

Condition 4: There are constant CCEBBs wherever the cenwhile different reterline of OTZ is located in a region of

gions will have different CCEBBs. Meanwhile, any region does

not overlap the others.

The following will discuss the division methods for different

forms of LTZ and OTZ.

A. Rectangular

and Rectangular

This is the simplest case. For this case, the boundary of the

is the same as the boundary of its bounding box. The

RTZ

in this case is shownd in Fig. 4(a). The boundary edges of

the RTZ may vary when the location of OTZ varies. For example, the upper boundary of the RTZ may be that of LTZ or

OTZ, and the left boundary may also be that of LTZ or OTZ,

and so on. To directly determine the CCEBBs according the lois divided as follows:

cation of the OTZ, the

LIU AND GAO: GENERATING VARIATIONAL GEOMETRY OF A HOLE WITH COMPOSITE TOLERANCES

101

TABLE IV

SOME EXAMPLES OF THE FORMS OF RTZ (ONLY DCS GIVEN)

Fig. 13.

Division of Z

,

, as illustrated in Fig. 13, which lie between the upper and

,with

distance from the

bottom boundaries of

corresponding boundaries, respectively.

,

, as illustrated

2) Finding two vertical dividing lines

in Fig. 13, which lie between the left and right boundaries

,with

distance from the corresponding boundof

is

aries, respectively. Through the above dividing, the

divided into nine regions as shown in Fig. 13. Based on the

division, condition 3 is satisfied and the corresponding relationships between the regions and the CCEBBs of different RTZs are summarized in Table V. It can be seen

from the table that the CCEBBs can be directly obtained

once the region in which the centerline of OTZ is located

is determined.

B. Rectangular

and Circular

The

in this case is shown in Fig. 4(b). For this case, we

by first subdividing the zone and then merging

divide the

some of them together. The dividing process consists of the following steps.

,

,

,

1) Finding out four horizontal dividing lines

as shown in Fig. 14(a). Among them,

and

and

are coincident with the upper and bottom boundary edges

and

lie between the upper and

of the LTZ and

distance from

bottom boundaries of the LTZ with

the corresponding boundaries (i.e.,

,

), respectively.

as

2) Finding four vertical dividing lines , , , and

and

are coincishown in Fig. 14(a). Among them,

dent with the left and right boundary edges of the LTZ and

and

lie between the left and right boundary edges

distance from the corresponding

of the LTZ with

,

), respectively.

boundaries (i.e.,

3) Finding four circular dividing lines , , , and

as

, and whose

shown in Fig. 14(a), whose radius are all

centers are exactly the vertices of the LTZ.

is divided into 37 reThrough the above dividing, the

gions as shown in Fig. 14(a). From this figure, it can be seen that

when the centerline of the OTZ lies in some adjacent regions,

the boundaries and CCEBBs of the RTZ are also the same. This

indicates that the division with 37 regions contains some redundant regions. We examine each pair of adjacent regions and

make those having the same CCEBBs merged to obtain the real

division, as shown in Fig. 14(b). The relationships between the

regions and the CCEBBs are listed in Table VI. The boundaries

of the RTZ are determined with the regions in the same way.

The necessary intersection points in Table VI are analytically

calculated.

For the other two cases as shown in Fig. 4(c) and (d) (i.e., the

is circular and

is rectangular and both

and

are

by the similar method,

circular), we can get the division of

which are, respectively, shown in Figs. 15 and 16. The corresponding relationships between the CCEBBs and the different

regions are listed in Tables VII and VIII.

C. More General Tolerance Specifications for the Centerline

In the last two subsections, an efficient approach for determining the CCEBBs and the boundaries of RTZ based on

the location of the centerline of the OTZ has been presented,

without considering the form tolerance (i.e., straightness for

the centerline). Here, we further extend the approach to make

it be able to deal with the straightness for the centerline. To

take the straightness into consideration, there are two possible

102

IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON AUTOMATION SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING, VOL. 3, NO. 1, JANUARY 2006

TABLE V

CCEBBS OF DIFFERENT REGIONS WHEN Z AND Z

Fig. 14.

Division of Z

ARE

BOTH RECTANGULAR

in the case that LTZ and OTZ are rectangular and circular.

TABLE VI

CCEBBS OF DIFFERENT REGIONS WHEN Z IS RECTANGULAR AND Z

tolerance; 2) the centerline is imposed of location, orientational,

and form tolerance at the same time.

We make the following adaptations for the proposed approach

of improving efficiency: 1) check whether the form of RTZ is

regular before the STTZ is considered. Here, regular means

that the RTZs DCS is circular or rectangular. Otherwise it is

called as irregular; 2) two end faces are individually considered.

In each end face, the number of DOFs of STTZ will be reduced

and .

to two translational DOFs

Based on the above adaptations, if the form of each end face

of the RTZ is regular before the STTZ is considered, the dividing method given in last two subsections can be directly used

for both end faces. Otherwise, Boolean intersection of the 2-D

boundaries should be done inevitably in the two end surfaces to

get the final RTZ.

IS

CIRCULAR

TOLERANCES OF THE HOLE

For a hole, the tolerances on its centerline and the tolerances on

its surface inevitably interact with each other. The interaction can

be divided into two layers: rule layer and implementation layer.

In the rule layer, the interaction between the tolerances of the

hole is handled by the tolerance principles, such as maximum

material condition (MMC). The location tolerance value of

can be compensated from the size tolerance

the centerline

of the surface. Specifically, we first check if the actual size

of the hole is larger than that of MMC. If so, it indicates

that the compensation is required. And then the compensation

is calculated as follows:

value

(13)

LIU AND GAO: GENERATING VARIATIONAL GEOMETRY OF A HOLE WITH COMPOSITE TOLERANCES

Fig. 15.

Division result of Z

103

where

and

are the actual size and MMC size of the

hole, respectively.

is taken as the actual location tolerance value

Finally,

for the centerline.

In the implementation layer, the interaction comes from the

form tolerance of the centerline and surface (i.e., the straightness

and the cylindricity). For a hole, the cylindricity error of the surface comes from two parts, the straightness error of the centerline and the size error of the surface. As discussed in Section IV,

the simulated centerline is generated first and its actual straightness error can be calculated. And then, the actual cylindricity

:

is no more than the following value

(14)

Equation (14) gives a conservative and feasible assessment for

the actual cylintricity.

VIII. EFFICIENCY ANALYSIS

In the proposed approach, two strategies are given to improve

the efficiency of generating the variational geometry of a

hole. One is to replace 3-D Boolean intersections by 2-D

Boolean intersections. The other is to use the direct method

to further reduce the times of Boolean intersection as much

as possible in determining the RTZ. Three experiments are

conducted to test the efficiency improvement compared with

the traditional method and the results are given in Fig. 16.

In the experiments, several factors, such as the form of

the tolerance zone, distribution function, and the ratio of

location tolerance and orientational tolerance are considered.

In this work, 3-D Boolean intersection operation is used in

the traditional method to generate the RTZ.

Experiment 1: To test the efficiency improvement under the

conditions that the orientational tolerance satisfies the uniform

distribution. The experiment result is shown in Fig. 17(a).

conditions that the orientational tolerance satisfies the normal

distribution. The experiment result is shown in Fig. 17(b).

Experiment 3: To test the efficiency improvement under the

conditions that the orientational tolerance satisfies the triangular

distribution. The experiment result is shown in Fig. 17(c).

It can be concluded from these experiments:

1) Compared with the traditional method, the computational

efficiency has been remarkably improved. It can be seen

from the experiment results that the proposed approach

is faster than the traditional approach from 5 to 70

times.

2) When both the LTZ and OTZ are rectangular, the efficiency improvement is almost constant, not varying with

the ratio of location tolerance and orientation tolerance

and the distribution function.

3) The efficiency improvement with the normal distribution

is better than that of the triangular distribution, and

104

IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON AUTOMATION SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING, VOL. 3, NO. 1, JANUARY 2006

TABLE VII

CCEBBS OF DIFFERENT REGIONS WHEN Z IS CIRCULAR AND Z

TABLE VIII

CCEBBS OF DIFFERENT REGIONS WHEN BOTH Z

distribution is better than that of the uniform distribution.

The reason may be that there are more simulated values

closer to the nominal value under normal distribution and

triangular distribution, whereas the simulated values are

uniform in the whole tolerance zone under the uniform

distribution. This makes it more possible to avoid 2-D

Booleanintersectionoperationundernormalandtriangular

distribution.

4) By increasing the ratio of location tolerance and orientational tolerance, the efficiency improvement is also better

and better.

AND

IS

ARE

RECTANGULAR

CIRCULAR

A. Algorithm of Generating a Variational Hole

Based on the mathematical models described in the previous

sections, we developed an algorithm for generating the variational geometry of a hole consisting of the following steps:

1) constructing the LCS of the hole;

2) generating the LTZ or dimensional tolerance zone of the

centerline of the hole;

3) generating and randomly determining the position of the

OTZ of the centerline (if the orientational tolerance exists);

LIU AND GAO: GENERATING VARIATIONAL GEOMETRY OF A HOLE WITH COMPOSITE TOLERANCES

Fig. 17.

Fig. 18.

105

106

IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON AUTOMATION SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING, VOL. 3, NO. 1, JANUARY 2006

orientation of STTZ of the centerline (if the straightness

tolerance exists);

5) generating the RTZ of the centerline using the approach

described in Section VI;

6) if the straightness exists, generate a NURBS curve as the

variational centerline and calculating the actual straightness error ; otherwise, generate a straight line as the

variational centerline;

using (14) given in Section VII;

7) calculating

8) equally slicing the cylinder to sections along the centerline, then

generating the SITZ of the surface of the hole;

generating the CITZ in the SITZ and further generating

the ellipse as the variational profile.

9) generating the whole variational surface by performing

the skinning operation on the generated sections.

[2]

[3]

[4]

[5]

[6]

[7]

[8]

[9]

[10]

B. Implementation

The model and the algorithm presented in this paper have

been implemented with Visual C++ 6.0 based on the geometric

modeling kernel ACIS6.0. The bracket shown in Fig. 18(a) and

(b) is used as a test example and the related dimensions and

tolerance specifications are also given. The variational holes are

given in Fig. 18(c). To clearly display the variation, the tolerance

is exaggerated.

X. CONCLUSION

In this paper, we have proposed a DOF-based approach to

systematically and efficiently generate variational geometry for

the hole. The major contributions of the work include:

1) A classification of the combination of the tolerance

specification, including 20, 17, and 44 kinds of certain,

possible, and impossible CTSs, is given for the hole.

It is very helpful for finding the most representative

case for the modeling of variational geometry and for

guiding tolerance design and tolerance specification.

2) A general mathematical model for generating the variational geometry of a hole is given based on DOF. Based

on the model, the variational surface and centerline can be

systematically generated and the interactions between the

tolerances of the centerline and surface are also considered. The proposed model can deal with all of the cases

of CTSs.

3) The method improves the computational efficiency remarkably, which makes it possible to carry out real-time

tolerance analysis and virtual assembly with tolerance in

truly 3-D CAD systems.

Future work will be focused on 1) applying the approach to

virtual manufacturing, virtual assembly, and virtual inspection;

and (2) extending the approach to other kinds of features, such

as steps, slots, etc.

REFERENCES

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Proc. 3rd CIRP Sem. Comput. Aided Tolerancing, 1993, pp. 115128.

H. T. Yau, Generalization and evaluation of vectorial tolerances, Int.

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LIU AND GAO: GENERATING VARIATIONAL GEOMETRY OF A HOLE WITH COMPOSITE TOLERANCES

Yusheng Liu received the Ph.D. degree in mechanical engineering from Zhejiang University,

Hangzhou, China, in 2000.

He conducted Postdoctoral research in the Sate

Key Laboratory, CAD&CG, Zhejiang University,

and City University of Hong Kong in 20002003.

Currently, he is an Associate Professor in State Key

Lab., CAD&CG, Zhejiang University. His research

interests are computer-aided tolerancing, content-based retrieval, design reuse, and CAD/CAM.

107

mathematics from Zhejiang University, Hangzhou,

China, in 1990.

Currently, he is a Professor of the State Key

Laboratory, CAD&CG, Zhejiang University. He

was a Visiting Scholar and a Visiting Professor

in the Design Automation Lab of Arizona State

University, Tempe, in 1996 and 2001, respectively.

His research interests include product modeling,

CAX integration, collaborative design, virtual reality

in design and manufacturing, MEMS, CAD, etc.

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