Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Importance Of GD&T - Intro About Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing (GD&T)

GD&T.. What was that? I will be very much disappointed if someone with Mechanical background asks this question. Never mind we will use this opportunity to learn about GD&T. It may not be possible for us to learn whole stuff of GD&T as it is vast topic to cover here. We will see about importance of Geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T) and what are it affects in the Engineering field.

Tolerances have far more impact on cost, quality, and customer satisfaction than they have traditionally been accorded. Often during product design, the focus is on the nominal specification and its effect on functional quality.

The discipline and clarity that GD&T brings to the tolerancing task in undisputable. The methods of GD&T are profoundly useful in communicating tolerances, and play a critical role in how tolerances are ultimately relayed to the manufacturing community.

- C.M. Creveling

Tolerance Design – A Handbook for Developing Optimal Specifications

Geometric dimensioning and tolerancing is a symbolic language used on engineering drawings and computer generated three-dimensional solid models for explicitly describing nominal geometry and its allowable variation. It is often referred to by the abbreviation, GD&T. Geometric dimensioning and tolerancing is used to define the nominal geometry of parts and assemblies, to define the allowable variation in form and possibly size of individual features, and to define the allowable variation between features.

Dimensioning and tolerancing and geometric dimensioning and tolerancing specifications are used as follows:

Dimensioning specifications define the nominal, as-modeled or as-intended geometry.

Tolerancing specifications define the allowable variation for the form and possibly the size of individual features, and the allowable variation in orientation and location between features.

There are several standards available world-wide that describe the symbols and define the rules used in GD&T. One such standard is ASME Y14.5M-1994. This article is based on that standard, but other standards such as those from the International Organization for Standardization may vary slightly.

GDT Engineering Drawing Intro

Dimensioning and tolerancing philosophy

According to the ASME Y14.5M-1994 standard, the purpose of GD&T is to describe the engineering intent of parts and assemblies. This is not a completely correct explanation of the purpose of GD&T or dimensioning and tolerancing in general.

The purpose of GD&T is more accurately defined as describing the geometric requirements for part and assembly geometry. Proper application of GD&T will ensure that the allowable part and assembly geometry defined on the drawing leads to parts that have the desired form and fit (within limits) and function as intended.

There are some fundamental rules that need to be applied (these can be found on page 4 of the 1994 edition of the standard):
*All dimensions must have a tolerance. Every feature on every manufactured part is subject to variation, therefore, the limits of allowable variation must be specified. Plus and minus tolerances may be applied directly to dimensions or applied from a general tolerance block or general note. For basic dimensions, geometric tolerances are indirectly applied in a related Feature Control Frame. The only exceptions are for dimensions marked as minimum, maximum, stock or reference.
*Dimensioning and tolerancing shall completely define the nominal geometry and allowable variation. Measurement and scaling of the drawing is not allowed except in certain cases.
*Engineering drawings define the requirements of finished (complete) parts. Every dimension and tolerance required to define the finished part shall be shown on the drawing. If additional dimensions would be helpful, but are not required, they may be marked as reference.
*Dimensions should be applied to features and arranged in such a way as to represent the function of the features.
*Descriptions of manufacturing methods should be avoided. The geometry should be described without explicitly defining the method of manufacture.
*If certain sizes are required during manufacturing but are not required in the final geometry (due to shrinkage or other causes) they should be marked as non-mandatory.
*All dimensioning and tolerancing should be arranged for maximum readability and should be applied to visible lines in true profiles.
*When geometry is normally controlled by gage sizes or by code (e.g. stock materials), the dimension(s) shall be included with the gage or code number in parentheses following or below the dimension.
*Angles of 90° are assumed when lines (including center lines) are shown at right angles, but no angular dimension is explicitly shown. (This also applies to other orthogonal angles of 0°, 180°, 270°, etc.)
*Dimensions and tolerances are valid at 20 °C unless stated otherwise.
*Unless explicitly stated, all dimensions and tolerances are valid when the item is in a free state.
*Dimensions and tolerances apply to the full length, width, and depth of a feature.
*Dimensions and tolerances only apply at the level of the drawing where they are specified. It is not mandatory that they apply at other drawing levels, unless the specifications are repeated on the higher level drawing(s).(Note: The rules above are not the exact rules stated in the ASME Y14.5M-1994 standard.)