# Additional Help for True Position Dimensions

Introduction This document has been written as an additional resource for answering common questions that arise with true position dimensions. It should be used after understanding the True Position section of the Dimension Options chapter in the PC-DMIS help file, because questions of basic use of these dimensions are explained there. However, PCDMIS V3.2 included some new enhancements to true position dimensions and several questions have been presented by users. This document will address some of these questions. Datums PC-DMIS V3.2 introduced the ability to select multiple datums. One advantage of this is that the user can set the datum(s) directly with the dimension, instead of having to create an alignment with a circular feature to be used in the DD axis. Another advantage is that by arranging the order of the datums, the user can control the directions that are used for the X, Y, and Z axes. A third advantage of the ability to select multiple datums, and the main reason for the new enhancement to PC-DMIS, is that more than one datum can be a circular feature and have MMC or LMC defined according to the ASME Y14.5M 1994 Dimensioning and Tolerancing standard. However, with these advantages comes the responsibility to correctly choose the order of the datums. In some cases, changing the order of some of the datums can result in an unexpected measured, deviation, or bonus tolerance value. Types of Features Used as Datums One common scenario for designs that utilize True Position dimensions is to use a circle or cylinder as the sole datum feature. Another accepted practice is to select a set of datum features that follow 3-2-1 alignment principles. (Remember, the minimum definition for a datum is 3 datum points to describe the first datum, 2 datum points to describe the second datum and 1 datum point to describe the third datum.) This means that the selected features would be a plane, a line, and then a single point. However, any of the datums could have more points than the minimum. This means that 3-2-1 alignment principles can also be used with plane/line/line, plane/line/circle, plane/plane/plane, plane/cylinder/cylinder, and many other combinations.

0000 0.0000 0.00 OUTPUT=BOTH DEV PERPEN CENTERLINE=OFF DISPLAY=DIAMETER AX NOMINAL +TOL -TOL BONUS MEAS DEV DEVANG X 8.0080 8.0200 0.\$ GRAPH=OFF TEXT=OFF MULT=1.0200 0.0000 #-------END OF DIMENSION LOC2 .0000 0.0000 CIRCLE CIR2 AT MMC TP MMC 0.0100 0.0080 0.0000 1.0000 DF 1.0100 0.0000 0.0100 0.0000 ----#---D1 PLANE PLN1 AT RFS D2 1.0000 1.Order of Features Used as Datums A combination of datums that is important to discuss here is the plane/circle/ circle because the order of the circles is important in order establish the correct datum reference frame.0100 0.0200 0.0000 CIRCLE CIR1 AT MMC TP MMC 0.0100 0.0000 0.0100 0.0000 ----#---D1 PLANE PLN1 AT RFS D2 1. which is essentially an alignment for the particular dimension. CIR2 PLN1 Y CIR1 CIR3 Z X Figure 1 – Example part.0000 0.0000 DF 1.0000 0.0100 1.0100 1.0080 8.0000 0.00 OUTPUT=BOTH DEV PERPEN CENTERLINE=OFF DISPLAY=DIAMETER AX NOMINAL +TOL -TOL BONUS MEAS DEV DEVANG X 8.0000 Y 1. Figure 1 shows an example part from which the following dimensions LOC1 and LOC2 were created: DIM LOC1= TRUE POSITION OF CIRCLE CIR3 UNITS=IN .\$ GRAPH=OFF TEXT=OFF MULT=1.0100 1.0000 0.0100 0.0000 -156.0080 0.0000 CIRCLE CIR1 AT MMC D3 1.0000 Y 1.0100 0.0100 0.0000 CIRCLE CIR2 AT MMC D3 1.0000 0.0100 0.0100 0.0100 1.0100 1.3706 #-------END OF DIMENSION LOC1 DIM LOC2= TRUE POSITION OF CIRCLE CIR3 UNITS=IN .0100 0.0100 0.0100 1.0000 0.

The effect of the ordering of the datums is crucial. and Z axes are reported with respect to the current alignment. it is important to visualize how the internal DRF is oriented. as displayed in Table 1. the Z axis is still the same as the PLN1 normal vector. as the X. in order to read them easier. Table 1 – Datum reference frames for LOC1 and LOC2. Y. However. and Z measured and nominal values report in the current alignment. with the origin at CIR2. but then are converted to the current alignment.Notice that the X. CIR2. Y. Notice that the order of the datums for D2 and D3 have been reversed for the two dimensions. if the order of the datums is switched to PLN1. and CIR1. However. Y. This is shown in Figure 3. it is important to note that the deviations of the position of the feature are calculated first with respect to the datum reference frame (DRF). However. It has been suggested that most customers prefer interpreting their results when the X. and not in the internal alignment of the DRF. and Z axes give different results. but the X axis now is in the direction of the line between the centers CIR2 and CIR1. which can be difficult to visualize. Dimension DF D1 D2 D3 X Axis of Reference Frame LOC1 CIR3 PLN1 CIR1 CIR2 CIR1 – CIR2 LOC2 CIR3 PLN1 CIR2 CIR1 CIR2 – CIR1 CIR2 X Y CIR1 PLN1 CIR3 Z Figure 2 – LOC1 Datum Reference Frame .

5M 1994 for special cases where LMC is the preferred method. Bonus Tolerance Whenever a circular feature is used in a true position dimension. The origin of the reference frame is positioned at CIR1. CIR1. If the circular feature is a hole. Care must be taken in order to select the appropriate sequence of datums. there are some datum sets where the X axis of the datum reference frame must be calculated between two features. For most cases. See the Dimensioning and Tolerancing standard ASME Y14. the true position of circle CIR3 is measured from this reference frame. whether as the main feature or a datum. as opposed to directly taking the vector from a line or a slot. Then. the Maximum Material Condition (MMC) or Least Material Condition (LMC). MMC is the smallest hole allowed by the diameter tolerance. and the X axis used in the dimension is in the direction of the line between the centers of CIR1 and CIR2. . and LMC is the smallest pin allowed. If the circular feature is a pin. while LMC is the largest hole allowed. the Z axis is the same as the PLN1 normal vector. or Regardless of Feature Size (RFS) can be selected. MMC is the largest pin allowed by the diameter tolerance. Z CIR2 X CIR1 Y PLN1 CIR3 Figure 3 – LOC2 Datum Reference Frame In summary. and CIR2.Figure 2 shows that by selecting the datums in the order of PLN1. the MMC is the appropriate material condition to use.

as interpreted from the ASME standard.Figure 4 shows the increase in positional tolerance (bonus tolerance) due to deviation from the MMC for a hole. . Tolerance zone when hole is at MMC (minimum diameter) Tolerance zone increased by an amount equal to departure from MMC (larger than minimum diameter) Bonus tolerance allowed due to departure from MMC True position Hole at M MC (minimum diameter) Actual hole (larger than minimum diameter) Figure 4 – Increase in Positional Tolerance where Hole is not at MMC.

as long as their diameters are within their own diameter tolerances. As Figure 5 shows. the feature is allowed to move its position even more than the initial TP plus tolerance by the total amount that the feature and datum deviate from their MMC conditions. In other words. . in the case where there is only one circular datum the total bonus tolerance for the feature’s TP axis is a sum of the increase in individual bonus tolerance of the feature (DF axis) and the datum (D1 axis).2 only had the ability to use one circular datum.One Circular Datum Versions of PC-DMIS prior to V3. Increase in tolerance X Feature Datum Figure 5 – Increase in Positional Tolerance for Both the Feature and the Datum.

it is NOT correct to assume that the total bonus tolerance of the feature is the sum of the individual bonus tolerances of the feature and the two datums. The restrictions from these datums depend upon the distances from the feature to the datums. The initial guess is from the 3-2-1 alignment system created from the three datums. PCDMIS creates an initial guess of the coordinate system or datum reference frame. In this case. The reason is that while the bonus tolerance from datum 1 allows the feature to move in one direction. the bonus tolerance from datum 2 allows the feature to move in another direction. If the bonus tolerance from datum 1 is smaller than the bonus tolerance from datum 2. the feature’s position may not be able to move much in the Y direction. and then the two circles. Then the reference frame is moved using 2D or 3D best fit methods as it is adjusted within the .Multiple Circular Datums However. where there are two circular datums (actually there are three datums – the top plane. as well as the directions to those datums. and additionally the bonus tolerance from the feature itself allows for movement of the position in any direction. a confusion arises from the case that is illustrated in Figure 6. but for our purposes here the plane isn’t illustrated). even though there is enough bonus tolerance there. Y Datum 2 Increase in tolerance X Feature Datum 1 Figure 6 – Increase in Positional Tolerance for the Feature and Two Circular Datums In order to calculate the correct bonus tolerance for the entire dimension (TP axis).

degrees of freedom and within the allowable positional tolerance. Because of this. one important note here is that the top part of the composite position dimension governs the individual holes. This is called composite positional tolerance because there are two separate tolerance values that are interrelated. while the bottom part of the dimension is applied to the entire pattern. For specific interpretations of the tolerance zones please refer to Section 5. This type of tolerance is used to locate the entire feature pattern as well as define the position and orientation of each of the features in the pattern set. when you change the plus tolerance of the TP axis. Composite Positional Tolerance Figure 7 shows a composite positional tolerance of a pattern of holes. However. 6X ∅ 5 +0.4 of the Dimensions and Tolerances standard. ASME Y14.25 0 ∅ 0.25 M M A A B C 50 C 4X 45° ∅50 50 B A . This best-fit method calculates the position of the datum reference frame that provides the largest tolerance allowed for the dimension (both from the total bonus tolerance and the TP plus tolerance).5M 1994.8 ∅ 0. the axes will be recalculated and the measured and deviation values may differ slightly than those of a true position dimension that only differs by the plus tolerance of the TP axis.

This method results in five true position dimensions for this case: one for the position of each of the four circles. . The TP plus tolerance for this example would be the 0. construct a feature set with the four small circles as inputs. first create a true position dimension for each of the four small circles. or features created from these planes that represent a 3-2-1 alignment. as defined on the top part of the composite position dimension. true position dimensions can be defined to allow for these types of dimensions.In PC-DMIS V3. Next. The TP plus tolerance for this dimension would be 0. making sure you select the appropriate datums. and C. construct another true position dimension using the feature set. Then. To do this. and one that relates the individual circles to each other and defines their position. If any one of these five dimensions is not acceptable the entire pattern is unacceptable.8. B. either the planes A.2.25.