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Interpretation of

Geometric Dimensioning
and Tolerancing
Third Edition

Based on ASME Y14.5-2009


Third Edition prepared by


Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Puncochar, Daniel E.
Interpretation of geometric dimensioning and tolerancing / Daniel E.
Puncochar. -- 3rd ed. / revised and updated by Ken Evans.
p. cm.
Includes index.
ISBN 978-0-8311-3421-1 (soft cover)
1. Engineering drawings--Dimensioning. 2. Tolerance (Engineering) I.
T357.P96 2011

Industrial Press, Inc.

989 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10018

Sponsoring Editor: John Carleo

Interior Text and Cover Design: Janet Romano
Developmental Editor: Robert Weinstein

Copyright 2011 by Industrial Press Inc., New York. Printed in the United States of America.
All rights reserved. This book, or any parts thereof, may not be reproduced, stored in a retrieval
system, or transmitted in any form without the permission of the publisher.

Notice to the reader: While every possible effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the in-
formation presented herein, the authors and publisher express no guarantee of the same. The authors and
publisher do not offer any warrant or guarantee that omissions or errors have not occurred and cannot be
held liable for any damages resulting from the use of this text by the readers. The readers accept the full
responsibility for their own safety in related activities in connection with the instructions in this text. The
reader should consult the appropriate standards that are used before any interpretations of engineering
drawings are attempted.

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Simply put, Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing (GD&T) is a method for stat-
ing and interpreting design requirements. GD&T is an international system of symbolic
language, and is a crucial tool for making engineering drawings and computer-generated
three-dimensional solid models more reliable means of communication, starting with the
initial design through manufacturing and inspection. Some of GD&Ts advantages are:
uniformity in design practice, fewer misinterpretations, ensured interchangeability, and
maximum tolerance allocation. Also, with GD&T, design requirements are specified ex-
plicitly and the latest gaging techniques are accommodated to better ensure fit, form, and
function. These advantages contribute to higher production yields with less rework or
To help the reader understand GD&T, Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing,
Third Edition, begins with basic principles and builds on these principles with applica-
tions-oriented concepts. Complex material is presented in a building-block approach,
with many graphic examples that illustrate each concept. End-of-chapter evaluations fur-
ther reinforce the explanations given in each section. It is imperative that each reader has
an adequate knowledge of basic blueprint reading methods prior to using this book. Some
examples are dimensioned and toleranced in inches and some in millimeters.
This book covers the material in ASME Y14.5-2009, but does not prescribe design
practices, state design requirements, specify inspection techniques, or specify any other
engineering practice. However, it is sometimes necessary to state how something is spec-
ified or inspected so that a concept can be discussed adequately. In addition, the drawings
in this text are not complete production drawings, but only present the concepts currently
under discussion.
It is hoped that this third edition of Interpretation of Geometric Dimensioning and
Tolerancing will assist the reader in becoming conversant in the techniques of GD&T
given in the latest ASME standardtechniques that can be integrated smoothly into engi-
neering design systems and modern inspection systems.

Table of Contents

Preface vii Types 47

Acknowledgements viii Summary 49
Evaluation 49
Chapter 1 Introduction 1
History 1 Chapter 5 General Rules 51
The Importance of Standards 2 Introduction 51
Why GD&T 2 Overview 51
Evaluation 5 Rule One 51
Rule Two 53
Chapter 2 Symbols and Rule Three 54
Abbreviations 7 Rule Four 54
Introduction 7 Summary 55
Dimensioning Symbols 8 Evaluation 56
Geometric Characteristics 17
Modifying Symbols 18 Chapter 6 Form, Orientation,
Summary 25 Profile, and Runout 57
Evaluation 26 Introduction 57
Tolerances of Form 57
Chapter 3 Datums 29 Straightness 57
Introduction 29 Flatness 60
Datum Identification 29 Circularity 61
Three-Plane ConceptFlat 30 Cylindricity 62
Customized Datum Reference Frame 32 Tolerances of Orientation 64
Datum Targets 33 Perpendicularity 64
Three-Plane ConceptCircular 37 Angularity 68
Partial Datums 38 Parallelism 70
Datums of Size 38 Profile 75
Pattern of Features 40 Runout 80
Summary 41 Summary 84
Evaluation 41 Evaluation 85

Chapter 4 Feature Control Chapter 7 Virtual Condition 87

Frames 43 Introduction 87
Introduction 43 Application 87
Symbol and Definition 43 External Feature 87
Attachment 43 Parallelism 89
Content 45 Internal Feature 91
How to Read Feature Control Frames 46 Summary 91
Datum Reference Letter Precedent 46 Evaluation 91

Chapter 8 Tolerances of Location 93
Introduction 93
Concentricity 93
Symmetry 94
Position Introduction 95
Position Theory 96
Position of Multiple Cylindrical Features 99
Composite Positional Tolerancing 101
Two Single-Segment Feature Control 104
Multiple Patterns Located by Basic 105
Dimensions and Related to the Same
Patterns Positions From a Datum of Size 106
Zero Tolerancing 110
Projected Tolerance Zone 111
Noncylindrical Features 112
Bidirectional Tolerancing 113
Coaxial Features 115
Summary 118
Evaluation 119

Chapter 9 Practical Applications 121

Introduction 121
Form and Orientation Tolerances 121
Hole PatternSingle Control 125
Hole PatternComposite Control 126
Non-cylindrical Features 127
Co-axial Features 127

Appendix 129
Glossary 131
Answers 139
Index 141

History square tolerance zone. The idea caught on and
was adopted by the military. It became part of the
During the early period of manufacturing military standards and later was a Unified Amer-
there seldom were any drawings. A person had an ican Standard Association standard, ASA Y14.5.
idea for something that was needed for industry, This standard was released in 1956 and was ac-
farming, or mining, and made it. Usually there cepted by the military. Later, ASA became the
was only one item, and when repair was needed, American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
someone repaired or replaced the needed part ANSI published a complete system of symbology
right on the job. for geometric form and positional tolerances, Di-
Over time, complexities in manufacturing mensioning and Tolerancing.
increased, and there was an increased need for In 1983, ANSI Y14.5-1982 was released.
drawings of parts and their assemblies. With This standard clarified some of the old practices
drawings came required tolerances, that is, parts and moved a little closer to the practices of the In-
were permitted some variation rather than being ternational Organization of Standards (ISO). ISO
fitted to only one assembly. This tolerance was is primarily a European standard. In 1995, ASME
specified as a plus/minus tolerance. Y14.5-1994, from the American Standard of Me-
This plus/minus tolerancing of the coordi- chanical Engineers was released. This new stan-
nate dimensioning system worked quite well and dard further clarified requirements within the
still does for many applications. But today there standard and also moves more in line with the
is a need for interchangeability of parts and as- ISO standard. Today, geometric dimensioning
semblies manufactured around the world being and tolerancing (GD&T) is used by the majority
brought together at an assembly plant that makes of manufacturing companies in the United States
parts for industries such as aerospace, automo- and the world.
tive, energy and oil, medical, agriculture, and tool The most current standard, ASME Y14.5-
and die. These items also need replacement parts 2009 is a revision of the 1994 standard and was
that assemble readily without the need for indi- adopted in 2009. Its purpose is to further stan-
vidual fitting. dardize and state design and functional require-
As the demand for parts manufactured ments, in order to aid in manufacture on a global
around the world grew, the need for accuracy also scale. Ultimately, (plus/minus) limit dimension-
grew. Accuracy became more critical because of ing should be replaced with GD&T for everything
competition for parts and assemblies. The idea of except for features of size. The new ASME
positional tolerancing was introduced, which pro- Y14.5-2009 standard is further in line with the
vided a means for locating round features within needs of the ISO international community.
a round tolerance zone rather than the traditional


The Importance of Standards the American Society for Mechanical Engineers

(ASME). In the European countries and other
We live in accordance with standards all of parts of the world, the standard is maintained by
the time. Almost every aspect of life, education, the International Organization for Standards
or business operates according to some standard. (ISO). These two standards are not identical, but
Some of the standards are specified and con- with each revision the standards become more
trolled locally, whereas others are national and similar. As international companies continue to
still others are international. Standards allow us exchange drawings among themselves, the use of
to all work in the same mode of thinking and standards is imperative.
therefore, minimize errors due to ambiguity in de-
sign intent.
Why GD&T?
What Is a Standard?
GD&T adds clarity and contributes its many
advantages to our coordinate system of dimen-
A standard is a model or rule with which
sioning. The old system of coordinate dimension-
other similar things being manufactured are to be
ing was lacking in many respects. Under the older
made or compared to. For manufacturers, GD&T
system, a part of the designers intent was always
symbols, principles, and rules are the model that
left to interpretation by the craftsperson (e.g., di-
is provided internationally. This system of stan-
mension origin, form profile, and orientation).
dards was created to improve communications,
Probably the most significant difference between
control, and productivity in manufacturing
the two systems is the location of round features.
throughout the world. Standards are critical to all
The coordinate system had a square or rectangu-
of us, and they have become increasingly impor-
lar (linear) tolerance zone that allowed some
tant as our technologies continue to develop.
good parts to be rejected. In our world of high
Change technology, high cost, and transfer of parts
around the world, we cannot tolerate the misinter-
pretation that is possible with the coordinate di-
Change is one of the most constant things we
mensioning system and its square tolerance zone.
have as a society. As a result, standards change
also, especially those associated with technology. GD&T Is Not a Replacement
GD&T is an example of a widely-used standard
that must be updated constantly to be useful to in-
The coordinate dimensioning system is not
dustry. Over time, needed improvements are
being replaced entirely with GD&T. GD&T is
identified, discussed, and evaluated. When a suf-
specified to enhance the coordinate dimensioning
ficient amount of improvements are agreed upon,
system as required per design. When the advan-
standards are changed. The most recent update to
tages of GD&T can be utilized, they are simulta-
the GD&T standard was adopted in 2009 titled,
neously specified. GD&T, a system of symbols,
ASME Y14.5-2009.
provides a means of completely specifying uni-
Universality formity and describing the designers intent.
These symbols eliminate most drawing misinter-
pretations by minimizing the use of drawing
GD&T is a standard throughout the world. In
notes and by giving complete descriptions of fea-
the United States, the standard is maintained by
tures and design requirements.

Complete Specification 1.000.010


A complete specification of design require-

ments are made possible with symbols that com-
municate clearly the design intent. These symbols
also allow the designer to specify maximum tol-
erances for parts that must assemble with other
parts. In turn, these maximum tolerances ensure
the interchangeability of parts. The use of sym-
bols for complete specification is becoming more
important with the growing interrelated owner-
ships of companies around the world. GD&T is
an international common symbolic language
controlled by standards. Today, the majority of
U.S. manufacturing companies are applying
GD&T to their drawings.

Advantages Figure 1-1: Dimensions and tolerances with

the coordinate system.
There are many reasons for specifying geo-
metric tolerancing wherever design integrity
A similar situation exists where hole or pin
must be controlled and communicated com-
locations are specified with the coordinate di-
pletely to others. Two key principles for applying
mensioning system. An example of how holes are
GD&T are the function and the relationship of
specified is shown in Figure 1-2.
parts in an assembly. Probably the most advanta-
geous part of GD&T is its method of specifying
feature location. In the past, features were located
with the coordinate dimensioning system.
The coordinate dimensioning system is a
method of tolerancing that uses a plus/minus tol-
erance. Plus and minus tolerances are specified
for lengths, widths, diameters, shapes, and loca-
tions. An illustration of how drawings may be di-
mensioned and toleranced with the coordinate 2.000.005
system is shown in Figure 1-1. This method of
tolerancing permits the length and diameters to
vary by a plus/minus value. It also allows the
makers of the part to put the center hole wherever
they desire. By looking at the drawing, we can
only assume that the hole is centered. This is an 2.000
example of a drawing being left open to misinter-
pretation by anyone reading it. However, with the Figure 1-2 Specifying holes with the coordi-
proper use of GD&T, ambiguity is minimized. nate dimensioning system.

The tolerance, as specified, establishes a .010

square tolerance zone based on the plus/minus
five thousandths of an inch tolerance in the X and
Y directions. There is no consideration for the ac- .010
tual mating part size. The tolerance zone is five
thousandths of an inch on each side of the center
location, creating a square tolerance zone regard-
less of the actual mating part size. An illustration
of how the tolerance zone appears is shown in
Figure 1-4 Radial measurement of the
Figure 1-3.
square tolerance zone.

In the coordinate dimensioning system, the

only place there is a .007 in. measurement is from
the center to any corner. That .007 in. should be
.010 usable all around the desired true position, as il-
lustrated in the example in Figure 1-5. GD&T
provides a method of specifying a tolerance zone
that takes the shape of the feature into considera-
tion, if so desired by the designer. GD&T also al-
2.000 .005 lows consideration for the features actual local
size for calculating total tolerance. This concept
is presented in later chapters.

.005 .014
Figure 1-3 Ten thousandths square .01 SQUARE
tolerance zone. .007

The axis of the hole or pin must be positioned

within that square zone in order for the feature to
Figure 1-5 Cylindrical tolerance zone vs.
be located properly. The feature may lean or slant
an uncontrolled amount, as long as the axis stays
within the square zone. The designer assumes
only that the feature will be produced nearly per- Other advantages of GD&T include interna-
pendicular to the material it is put into. Even if the tional uniformity in describing designer intent.
center axis of the hole is in an extreme corner of The symbolic method of specifying designer in-
this zone, the feature location is still acceptable tent eliminates most misinterpretation of drawing
that radial measurement is .007 in., as shown in notes. In the past, drawings usually contained a
Figure 1-4. list of notes that were intended to explain certain

requirements. These notes were all subject to mis- ric tolerances ensures the interchangeability of
interpretation. With the available symbols, de- parts. GD&T is the common language used
signers can more readily specify complete design throughout industry internationally.
requirements. The proper application of geomet-

Chapter 1 Evaluation

1. Drawings are the primary ________ tool between designers and manufacturing.

2. GD&T is a system made up of ________ primarily.

3. The GD&T standard is one of the standards maintained by the ________ .

4. GD&T adds to the coordinate dimensioning system when specific ________ is required.

5. GD&T does not ________ the coordinate dimensioning and tolerancing system.

6. GD&T can best be described as a ________ dimensioning and tolerancing system.

7. GD&T is used to control the ________ of a part feature and its relationship to other features.

8. GD&T is also used to control feature ________ and ________.

9. The key principles of GD&T are ________ and ________.

10. Two advantages of the GD&T system are maximum ________ and ensured________ of mating parts.

11. The total amount that a part size may vary is a size ________.

12. A common method used to specify a tolerance for the nominal size of a feature is ________ values.

13. GD&T should be used for all dimensioning except for features of ________ .
Introduction ally eliminates the need for drawing notes (see
this Chapter and Appendix B for the symbol
Geometric dimensioning and tolerancing charts). However, in limited situations, it may be
(GD&T) is a language of symbols. This chapter necessary for the designer to add a short note to
will introduce dimensioning, geometric charac- help convey the design requirements. Figure 2-2
teristic and modifying symbols, and related is an example of a note, BETWEEN, where the
terms, and give an application for each of them. symbology as shown has replaced the need for the
Throughout the remainder of this book, you will note. However, it may still be used in conjunction
see these symbols applied to various drawings in with the symbol. Later in this chapter, Figures 2-
combination with other symbols. The symbols 38 and 2-39 provide two examples of when a note
presented here are the ones used to specify geo- may be specified.
metric characteristics and dimensional require-
ments on engineering drawings, which are in ac-
cordance with ASME Y14.5-2009. Figure 2-1 is
an example of the symbols used in designs today.
.002 A B

6X .375 .005
.005 THRU
Figure 2-2 Sample Note
.750 .375 .005
.005 M B
Dimensioning Symbols
Figure 2-1 Sample of symbols in use.
The symbols in Chart 2-1 are described in
this section and then used throughout the remain-
One of the advantages of GD&T is that it is
der of this text.
an international language of symbols that gener-



The term diameter is very commonly used

with many aspects of our lives. Most of us are fa-
miliar with the abbreviations D and DIA. Now
with GD&T, we also have a symbol for diameter;
it is a circle with a slash through it, as shown in
the heading above and in Chart 2-1. The diameter
symbol is used to describe cylindrical features
and tolerance zones.
This symbol always precedes the feature size
or tolerance specification. Figure 2-3 shows an
example of how this symbol appears in applica-
tion. Note: An absence of this symbol before ei-
ther the feature size or tolerance indicates a non-
cylindrical feature or tolerance. The symbol and
the feature size value are not separated by a space.

- .008
.026 M D E P 1.500


.526 .526
- .008 .012
.518 = MMC .538 = LMC

Figure 2-3 Example of diameter symbol

in use.

Radius R

Radius, like diameter, is another older term

that was used on engineering drawings. Radius is
Chart 2-1 Dimensioning Symbols

not abbreviated; the letter R is used as the sym- +.000

S 2.000
bol. - .005
Radius is applied to rounded features, or to .010 D P
designs that require the removal of sharp edges.
The letter R precedes the radial dimension.
When a radius is dimensioned in a view that does
not show the true shape of the radius, TRUE
precedes the radial dimension. See the applica-
tion of radius in Figure 2-4. The actual radius 1.500
must be within the limits of size and must have
perfect form with no flats or reversals.

P .500 D
.002 A
Figure 2-5 Example of spherical diameter

4 X R.375.010
R .010 Spherical Radius SR
TRUE R.750 .010

This term is abbreviated SR; there is no sym-

bol. Spherical radius is applied to round features.
Figure 2-4 Application of radius symbol.
The abbreviation is specified before the radial value
of the feature. See the application in Figure 2-6.

Spherical Diameter S

This term was formerly abbreviated as SD; SR 2.221.010


the new symbol is shown in the heading above

and in Chart 2-1. Spherical diameter is specified
for round features. It specifies the diameter of
these features. The symbol is specified before the
round feature size (Figure 2-5). Figure 2-6 Application of spherical radius

Controlled Radius Tolerance CR


The abbreviation for a controlled radius is

CR. There is no symbol. Radius is specified when SECTION A-A

a fair curve without reversals is desired. The zone

is created by two arcs tangent to the adjacent sur-
face (Figure 2-7). The actual feature surface must
lie within the tolerance zone. The difference be- 4 X 90
tween a radius and a controlled radius is that a ra-
dius may have reversals; the only requirement is
that the produced feature must fall within the tol-
erance zone. 3.000.010



MAXIMUM RADIUS .760 .201 .005 THRU

4X 82 .385 .005
82 .005
.010 M A P M

Figure 2-8 Application of the number of

R.750.010 places symbol.

Figure 2-7 Application of controlled radius

Number of Places X 6X R.125
- .002
This term is not really new to drawings; they X .750 .010
just have a little different application now. There
is no abbreviation; the symbol is the capital letter
X immediately following the number of places,
e.g., 8X.
The designer may specify the number of
places or times for holes in a pattern or other re- .750
peating feature, as shown in Figure 2-8 (e.g. 4 X
Figure 2-9 Application of the number of
). The same symbol is used when a slot size is
places symbol for slots.
specifiedsee the example in Figure 2-9.

Counterbore/Spotface SF Countersink

The terms counterbore and spotface were

Countersink was formerly abbreviated as
formerly abbreviated CBORE and SF on engi-
CSINK and is now indicated by the symbol as
neering drawings. The symbol used now is shown
shown in the heading above and in Chart 2-1.
in the heading above and in Chart 2-1. The sym-
Countersinks are specified for features that re-
bol is preferred with a GD&T application. Coun-
quire a conical recessed surface for flathead screws.
terbores or spotfaces may be specified for fea-
The symbol precedes the diametrical value, toler-
tures that require a recessed or flat mounting sur-
ance, and angular requirement. Countersinks are
face for fasteners. If no depth or remaining mate-
typically specified as shown in Figure 2-11.
rial value is specified, the spotface depth is to be
machined to a minimum cleanup. Typical callouts A
for counterbore and spotface using the symbols
are shown in Figure 2-10.

4 X 90


4 X 90
90 A A


.010 .201.005
.005 THRU
4X 82 .385 .005
82 .005
.010 M A P M

Figure 2-11 Typical use of the

countersink symbol.
4 X .201.005
.380 .003 .19 .015

.010 M A P M


The words DEPTH and DEEP that were

4 X .201
SF .38 .003 formerly written out on drawings are now re-
placed by the symbol as shown in the heading
above and in the chart. No abbreviation is used.
Depth or deep is specified for features that do
not pass completely through a part. The symbol
Figure 2-10 Typical callouts for
may be specified as in Figure 2-10 for counter-
counterbore (upper) and spotface (lower).
bores, or it may be specified for blind holes, as

shown in Figure 2-12. the dimension.

The symbol for dimensions not to scale is
.453 +.006
-.000 shown in the heading above, but is NOT in the di-
.750 .015 mensioning chart. It is specified when dimen-
sions are intentionally drawn out-of-scale. Today,
with computer graphics, there is seldom a situa-
tion where out-of-scale dimensioning is used.
However, agreement shall be maintained between
the defining dimension and the graphics presenta-
tion of the feature in all views. There shall always
be complete agreement in the feature defining di-
mension and the true size, location, and direction.
An example of out-of-scale dimensioning is illus-
trated in Figure 2-13.


Figure 2-12 Specifying hole depth 2.250

Dimensions Not to Scale 15

At times, it is desirable or necessary to spec-

ify dimensions not to scale, such as 15. The cur-
rent practice is to use a heavy straight line under Figure 2-13 Out-of-scale dimensioning.


1.00 .500.010 1.500 .010


Figure 2-14 Conical taper with basic dimensions.


There are three methods of specifying a con-

Conical Taper ical taper. First, it may be specified with basic di-
mensions for the diameters and the taper (Figure
The term conical taper was introduced with 2-14). Second, a feature size and profile tolerance
the 1982 update to the standard. There is no ab- may be combined with a profile of the surface
breviation; the symbol is shown in the heading (Figure 2-15). Third, the diameters along with the
above and in Chart 2-1. It is used to describe length may be toleranced (Figure 2-16).
cylindrical tapers not specified in degrees, but as
a ratio.

.008 A




Figure 2-15 Using profile of a surface symbol.

1.00 2.500 1.00

.500.010 1.500.010


Figure 2-16 Diameter and length to specify conical taper.


Slope used in NOTES on drawings as REF or spelled

Reference dimensions are specified for a re-
There is no abbreviation, and the symbol is
lationship between features in a flat pattern appli-
shown in the heading above and in Chart 2-1.
cation. The term is not used to define parts. Ref-
Slope is specified primarily to control flat parts
erence dimensions may be the sum of several di-
with tapers. It is not specified as degrees, but as a
mensions, the size or thickness of material, or
ratio of height differences from one end of the flat
they may be used to specify the amount of travel
taper to the other end. An example of how slope is
of moving parts, etc. See Figure 2-19. The use of
specified is shown in Figure 2-17.
this dimensioning method should be minimized.

.525 .018:1

.875 .010


2.000 .010
Figure 2-17 Specifying slope.


Figure 2-19 Specifying reference
Square features may be identified with a dimensions.
symbol as shown in the heading above and in
Chart 2-1. There is no abbreviation. This symbol
may be specified on a drawing like Figure 2-18 to
indicate the feature is square. Dimension Origin

The term dimension origin is not abbrevi-

ated, and its symbol is shown in the heading
above and in Chart 2-1. This symbol is used to
identify the surface or feature where the dimen-
sion originates.
Figure 2-18 Specifying square.
Some designs are complex. Thus, it is diffi-
cult to determine where their dimensions begin.
In these situations, the designer specifies where
Reference Dimension (6.00) the dimension is to originate. Usually, the part
will be different if made by starting dimensions
from a different surface of feature than intended.
The term was formerly abbreviated with the
The example in Figure 2-20 illustrates such a
dimension REF and is now represented with the
value in parentheses, e.g., (.875). It can still be

1.750 45

Figure 2-20 Application of the dimension
origin symbol.

Figure 2-22 Specifying a basic angle for a

Another example of using the dimension ori-
gin symbols is seen in Figure 2-21. Here the ex-
ample indicates where the angular measurement
begins when an angle is specified with linear and

angular dimensions. This tolerance zone will Arc Length 105
widen from the apex of the angle as the distance
Arc length is a term used to describe the
length of a curved surface. The symbol is shown
in the heading above and in Chart 2-1, and there
is no abbreviation. This symbol is placed over the
The arc length symbol is specified when it is
required to measure along the actual part surface.
45 When this symbol is specified, a linear measure-
ment across the arc is not permitted. In the past,
terms like TRUE or TRUE ON SURFACE
were used. See the example in Figure 2-23.

Figure 2-21 Dimension origin symbol for 3.250.010

used for angles.

The dimension origin symbol may also be

utilized to specify a basic angle for a surface. In
Figure 2-22, the symbol indicates where the di-
mension originates to establish the basic 45 de-
gree angle. This tolerance zone will remain an
equal width within parallel boundaries for the Figure 2-23 Specifying arc length.
length of the feature surface.

All Around .005

All-around is a term that is not abbreviated.

4 X .201
The symbol is shown in the heading above and in SF .38 .003
Chart 2-1. This symbol is specified along with
profile specifications given in the Feature Control
Frame. When the symbol is used, it means that the
profile tolerance applies ALL AROUND the con-
trolled feature and replaces the words ALL
AROUND in NOTE form.
Figure 2-25 Using the All Over symbol.
This symbol should be applied only when a
uniform profile tolerance is required all around
the feature. Figure 2-24 shows an example of how
the uniform tolerance applies. Chain Line

Chain line is a term used to describe or iden-

tify a specific area, surface, or portion of a part for
.002 A special treatment. The term has a symbol is
shown in the heading above and in Chart 2-1; it is
a heavy phantom line parallel to the line or sur-
face. There is no abbreviation.
The chain line symbol is applied when the
designer requires only a limited portion of sur-
faces or areas to be treated differently from the
4 X R.375.010
R .010 rest of the part (Figure 2-26).
CL .750.010
R.750 .010

Figure 2-24 Applying uniform tolerance All


All Over
The term All-over has no abbreviation and .63
the tolerance associated with it applies to the en-
tire 3-dimensional surface profile of the part. The Figure 2-26 Applying a chain line.
symbol is shown in the heading above, in Chart 2-
1, and in Figure 2-25.

Geometric Characteristics Modifying Symbols

NOTE: The symbols in the Geometric NOTE: The Modifying Symbols shown in
Characteristics chart are explained in detail in Chart 2-3 are used throughout the remainder of
Chapters 6 and 8 and are used throughout the re- the text.
mainder of the text (see Chart 2-2).


Chart 2-2 Geometric Characteristics


Maximum Material Condition

Maximum Material Boundary

The symbol for MMC is a capital M in a

circle as shown in the heading above and in Chart
3-3. Maximum Material Condition may be abbre-
viated MMC. Most frequently, the symbol is
specified on the drawing, and the abbreviation is
used both during discussions and in written com-
munications about tolerancing.
The term MMC describes the maximum con-
dition of the actual mating size. For example, a
hole is a feature of size that is permitted to vary in
size within the limits of a plus/minus size toler-
ance. For holes or any internal feature, MMC is
the smallest actual mating size for that feature. In
other words, the maximum material remains for
the piece the hole was put in. An example of a
hole size specification is shown in Figure 2-27.
When the hole is produced at its smallest actual
mating size diameter of .518, the material is at

- .008
.026 M D E P 1.500
Chart 2-3 Modifying Symbols

The next few symbols and abbreviations in- 1.000

troduced are for the modifiersmaximum mate-
rial condition (MMC) and least material condi-
tion (LMC). These may modify a specified toler-
ance, as their name indicates. Regardless of fea-
ture size or RFS (no symbol is used) is implied for
all geometric tolerances, unless otherwise speci-
fied. The symbol does not exist in the ISO Stan- .526 .526
- .008 .012
dard. An alternative practice in the ASME Y14.5 .518 = MMC .538 = LMC
2009 standard permits the specification of RFS
for a tolerance of position. The first modifier to be
Figure 2-27 Applying MMC.
discussed in this chapter is MMC.

Maximum material condition is also applica- Least Material Condition

ble to external features of size, such as pins, tabs and
and splines. With these features, MMC is equal to Least Material Boundary
the largest actual mating size permitted by the
size specification. An example of a pin size that
permits an MMC diameter of: .512 is shown in The next modifier is least material condition.
Figure 2-28. MMC can be thought of in terms of The symbol is a capital L in a circle as shown in
the smallest hole and largest pin, or it can be the heading above and in Chart 2-3. As with
thought of in terms of weight: smallest holes MMC, the symbol is used on drawings and an ab-
more weight, largest pinsmore weight in part. breviation LMC is used during tolerance discus-
sions and written communications.
The term least material condition is used to
describe the condition opposite to maximum ma-
terial condition. This modifier is specified for
features of actual mating size to describe the con-
dition where the least amount of material is pres-
ent. For example, by using the same hole callout
.012 as in Figure 2-27, the LMC is equal to a diameter
- .008 of: .538 (Figure 2-29). Here the least amount of
.010 M A B material remains in the material after the hole is
.500 put in it.
.512 = MMC .012
- .008
Figure 2-28 Pin size and MMC. .026 L D E P 1.500

The application of this modifier includes de-

signs where clearance is required for assembly. 1.000
Maximum tolerances are achieved as the feature
departs from MMC. A minimum tolerance is
stated; then a modifier symbol is added following
the tolerance, when applicable to permit an in-
crease in tolerance equal to the departure from
MMC. This concept will be covered thoroughly
in Chapters 6 and 8. The same symbol, when ap- .012
plied to a Datum, refers to Maximum Material .538 = LMC
Boundary. See more details regarding MMB in
Figure 2-29 Least material condition.
Chapter 3.

Least material condition also applies to ex- fying symbol is specified.

ternal features of size. For external features sub- This modifier is applied with tolerances for
ject to size variation, LMC means these features features of size like the other two modifiers; how-
contain the least material within the specified size ever, this one limits the tolerance to that specified
limits. In Figure 2-30, an example of a pin at by the designer for parts that align.
LMC is shown. Regardless of feature size also applies to ex-
ternal features of size, for example, splines, gears,
and similar types of features that are subject to
size variation. With these types of features, de-
signs usually cannot tolerate play or additional
tolerance between mating parts.
+.012 The application of this modifier includes de-
- .008 signs where tolerance allowances are critical.
.010 L A B This modifier may be implied for parts that form
- .008 an assembly with limited shift between parts.
.492 = LMC Typical applications for restricted tolerances are
gears, splines, and press fits. When the feature
Figure 2-30 A pin at LMC.
Regardless of Material Boundary size is at the
MMB; it advances by increments through the tol-
The application of this modifier is used in de- erance towards LMB until maximum contact is
signs where features on a part are located, or a made with the datum feature simulator. See more
minimum material thickness must be maintained. details in Chapter 3.
An example may be holes near material edges or
bosses where the wall thickness is critical. This Full Indicator Movement
modifier provides the same advantages as MMC,
but in the opposite direction. The same symbol, The term Full Indicator Movement is a new
when applied to a Datum, refers to Least Material term for older terminology. This new term replaces
Boundary. See more details regarding LMB in total indicator movement (TIM) and total indicator
Chapter 3. reading (TIR). There is no symbol for Full Indica-
tor Movement; it is abbreviated FIM. This abbrevi-
Regardless of Feature Size ation does not appear on drawings. FIM is under-
stood or implied for certain form controls that con-
The final modifier to be covered is Regard- trol cylindrical features. FIM will be discussed fur-
less of Feature Size. The symbol is no longer ther in Chapter 6. Figure 2-31 shows an example of
used; the modifier indicates an implied tolerance how FIM is used on a drawing; in this case, the
unless specified otherwise by another modifier. It stated tolerances of .002 and .005 are FIM. For ex-
is considered a modifier even though it does not ample, FIM is the complete movement of a needle
permit any modification of stated drawing toler- on a dial indicator. To measure the variation of the
ances. As the name indicates, regardless of the .500 and 1.000 inch diameters, a dial indicator is
features size, the stated tolerance applies. rested on each surface and then that surface is ro-
This modifier is a very restrictive require- tated 360 degrees. During this complete rotation,
ment. It applies with respect to the individual tol- the dial indicator reading (FIM) must not exceed
erance, datum reference, or both where no modi- the stated tolerance.

.002 A-B

.002 B

.500.005 1.000.015

.005 A

Figure 2-31 Applying Full Indicator Movement (FIM).

The projected tolerance zone specifies a tol-

Projected Tolerance Zone P erance of location through the projected height.
As shown in Figure 2-32, the axis of the hole must
Projected tolerance zone is not abbreviated; be controlled within a specified tolerance above
the symbol is a capital P in a circle, as shown in the part the hole is in. The tolerance zone is pro-
the heading above and in Chart 3-3. The projected jected to a height equal to the thickness of the
tolerance zone describes a tolerance, usually for a mating part. The purpose of this control is to pre-
fixed fastener application, to prevent interference vent the hole for the fixed fastener from interfer-
between mating parts. ing with the mating part.

.010 M P .500 A B C

Figure 2-32
Projected tolerance zone. AXIS OF CLEARANCE HOLE




Free State F .005 T A

When an individual form or location toler-

ance is applied to a feature in the free-state, the
symbol, a capital F in a circle as shown in the 2.250.010
2.250 .010
heading above and in Chart 2-3, is placed in the
feature control frame following the specified tol-
erance and any modifier. See Figure 2-33. There
is no abbreviation. This symbol may be specified
for parts such as plastic, nylon, and rubber that
are not rigid enough to hold their form when

.026 F D E
Figure 2-33 Using free state modifier. TANGENT .005 TOLERANCE

Tangent Plane T

When a specified tolerance applies to the

tangent plane of a feature, the symbol, a capital
T in a circle as shown in the heading above and
in Chart 2-34, is placed in the feature control Figure 2-34 Using the tangent plane
frame following the specified tolerance for the modifier.
feature. See Figure 2-34. There is no abbrevia-
tion. The plane contacts the high points of the sur-
face and shall lie within two parallel planes that
are the stated tolerance apart.

.010 U .010 A B
Unequally Disposed Profile
The symbol refers to a unilateral and un-
equally disposed profile tolerance. More details
Figure 2-35 Unequally disposed profile
will be discussed in Chapter 6. Figure 2-35 is an
example of its use.


The symbol refers to a feature of size at .500.005 S T

MMC or LMC that does not require perfect form.

Figure 2-38 Designating statistical

A drawing note such as the following must
Figure 2-36 Using the independency
be added to the drawing: STATISTICALLY
modifier. ST
Statistical Tolerancing ST
If it is necessary to specify both the statisti-
cal limits and the arithmetic stacking limits (Fig-
This symbol, shown in the heading above ure 2-39) when the feature may be produced with
and in Chart 2-3, is introduced to indicate that a SPC, a note such as the following must be added
tolerance is based on statistical tolerancing. There to the drawing: FEATURES IDENTIFIED AS
is no abbreviation. When a tolerance is a statisti-
cal geometric tolerance, the symbol is placed in STATISTICALLY TOLERANCED ST

the feature control frame following the stated tol- SHALL BE PRODUCED WITH STATISTICAL
erance and any applicable modifier (Figure 2-37). PROCESS CONTROLS, OR TO THE MORE

.010 M ST D E P

Figure 2-37 Using the statistical

tolerancing symbol.
.015 S T
Statistical tolerancing may be applied to in- FEATURES IDENTIFIED AS STATISTICALLY TOLERANCED S T
crease individual feature tolerance. Tolerances CONTROLS, OR TO THE MORE RESTRICTIVE ARITHMETIC LIMITS.
for individual features of an assembly are deter-
mined mathematically by dividing the tolerances
Figure 2-39 Specifying both statistical and
among the features. When this tolerance assign-
arithmetic stacking limits.
ment is mathematically restrictive, a statistical
tolerance would be specified. Statistical toler-
ances on dimensions are designated, as shown in Statistical tolerancing may also be specified
Figure 2-38. for other features such as holes. Figure 2-40 illus-

.526 ST
- .008
.026 M D E P
.005 S T D


.526 .526
- .008 .012
.518 TO .538

Figure 2-40 Applying statistical tolerancing.

2.005 CF

Figure 2-41 Illustrating the continuous feature.


trates how statistical tolerancing may be applied ation depending on the design requirement. Fig-
to a hole specification. ure 2-42 shows an example of how basic may be
specified. Basic dimensions may also be indi-
CF cated in a note such as NOTE: Untoleranced di-
Continuous Feature
mensions locating true positions are basic.
The symbol shown in the heading above and
Between X Y
in Chart 2-3 refers to features that are interrupted
that should be considered as a single feature. Fig-
ure 2-41 gives such an example. There are designs where the tolerance for the
feature applies to only a portion of the feature. In
these instances, the designer has the between
symbol available as shown in the heading above
and in Chart 2-3. There is no abbreviation. The ar-
rowheads may or may not be filled. An example
1.000 of the between symbol is shown in Figure 2-43.

.005 F D M
Figure 2-42 Applying the basic dimension
symbol. Figure 2-43 Demonstrating the between

Basic 6.00

Basic is a term used to describe a theoreti- The symbol in the heading above, when in-
cally exact size, shape, or location of a feature or cluded in the Feature Control Frame, refers to a
datum. Basic dimensions do not have a tolerance. movable datum feature simulator that is free to
Tolerances for basic dimensions are specified in translate. See more discussion in Chapter 3.
feature control frames (discussed later), or tool-
ing tolerances applied under other conditions. Ba-
sic can be abbreviated as BSC. Most recently, the
use of the basic symbol is usedthe symbol for
basic is a rectangle around the dimension.
This completes your introduction to the ma-
Basic is used to describe the theoretically ex-
jority of the symbols and abbreviations associ-
act shape or profile of surfaces either regular or
ated with geometric dimensioning and toleranc-
irregular. Most frequently, basic is used to specify
ing. There are other symbols that will be intro-
the exact desired position of features. Then, each
duced in other chapters. Those chapters cover da-
feature is given a tolerance that allows some vari-

tums, form/orientation controls, and tolerances of examples throughout this book. They were intro-
location. duced in this chapter as a basis for the other ma-
The symbols and abbreviations introduced in terial.
this chapter will be applied to other drawings and

Chapter 2 Evaluation

Fill in the abbreviations and symbols that match the phrases. The abbreviations and symbols may be used
more than once.
________ 1. The symbol used to indicate Free State condition.
________ 2. The condition of an internal feature when it measures the largest size within design limits
or weighs the least.
________ 3. The symbol specified to indicate diametrical or circular features.
________ 4. Statistical Tolerance symbol.
________ 5. Dimensions that are for reference only.
________ 6. Dimensions that are theoretically exact and do not have tolerances.
________ 7. The symbol to indicate diametrical tolerance zones.
________ 8. The symbol specified to indicate the number of times or places a feature is repeated, or by
how many instances.
________ 9. A curved surface that is to be measured along the curve is specified with which symbol?
________10. A spotface is specified with which symbol?
________11. Parts or features requiring a rounded edge or corner are identified with which symbol?
________12. Features that are spherical-shaped are identified radially with which symbol?
________13. The symbol used to indicate the depth of a feature.
________14. The symbol that indicates the condition of an external feature when it measures the largest
or weighs the most.
________15. A symbol used to indicate the amount of taper on a flat part.
________16. Symbol used to identify conical tapers.
________17. Symbol used to indicate a countersink.
________18. Indicates the origin of a dimension.

________19. Symbol used to control the perpendicularity of a fastener to a given height.

________20. A counterbore is specified with which symbol?
________21. RFS, Regardless of Feature Size
________22. The total movement of a dial indicator needle.
________23. Features that are spherical shaped are identified with which symbol?
________24. The symbol that indicates a 3-dimensional control over an entire surface is?
________25. An interrupted surface that is intended to be represented as one continuous feature is indi
cated by what symbol?
________26. All Around symbol.
________27. The symbol used to identify the tolerance that applies BETWEEN two points on a profile
identified by letters at the start and end.

Evaluation of Machining Figures

A. X N.

B. L O.

C. SR P. P

D. S Q. F

E. R. CF

F. 6.00 S. (6.00)
G. R T. ST

H. U. M

I. V. 105


K. X. SF
L. Y.



rejected because the lower-left-hand hole was out It is from these actual surfaces that measure-
of design specification. ments are made to check feature relationships. On
Therefore, datums must be specified so the the drawing, these datum features are identified
drawing is interpreted the same by all who read it. with the datum feature symbol.
When the symbol for MMC or LMC is in-
cluded after the datum in the Feature Control
Frame, it refers to either Maximum Material
Boundary or Least Material Boundary. We deter-
mine the MMB or LMB by calculating the small-
est (in case of external) or largest (in case of in-
ternal) value that will contain the feature, with
consideration given for datum precedence for the
Datum Feature Simulator.
Figure 3-3 Bottom surface as primary A
location surface.

WHAT IS A DATUM? The datum feature symbol is a square box that

contains a capital block letter with a leader con-
necting it to the feature with a triangle. The trian-
A datum is a theoretically exact line, surface,
gle may be filled or not filled. Figure 3-4 shows a
point, area, or axis that is used as an origin for di-
drawing illustrating the proper symbol and at-
mensions. These regions are considered perfect
tachment. Any of the letters of the alphabet may
for orientation purposes only. During machining
be used except for I, O, and Q, which may be con-
processes, parts rest against a theoretically per-
fused with numbers. The letters may be used in
fect or exact datum surface where features of the
any order because alphabetical order is meaning-
parts have been identified as datum features. The
less in this system. The important mental distinc-
parts are oriented and immobilized relative to the
tion that must be made is that a datum is theoreti-
datum reference frame in their selected order of
cally perfect, whereas the datum feature itself is
precedence. This orientation makes the geometric
relationships that exist between features measur-
able. True geometric counterparts or physical B
features used to establish datums may be: A
a) a plane
b) a maximum material condition boundary 1.000.015
(MMB concept)
c) a least material condition boundary
(LMB concept)
d) a virtual condition boundary Figure 3-4 Datum feature symbols in use.
e) an actual mating envelope
f) a mathematically defined contour
Three-Plane ConceptFlat
The term Datum Feature Simulator re-
Theoretical datum planes or surfaces are es-
places the former term True Geometric Counter-
tablished from a perfect three-plane reference

frame. This frame is assumed to be perfect, with or positioned on is nearly perfect, but ultimately
each plane oriented exactly 90 to each other, re- it is not perfect. In every case, no matter how ir-
ferred to as the Datum Reference Frame. This ref- regular the part surface is, the highest points of
erence frame, with mutually perpendicular the part make contact with the device. This is re-
planes, provides the origin and orientation for all ferred to as the Simulated Datum.
measurements. When physical contact is made The Datum symbol may not be applied to
between each datum feature and its counterpart in center lines, center planes, or axes.
associated manufacturing or inspection equip-
ment, measurements do not take into account any SECONDARY
variations in the datum features. These planes are
identified as the primary, secondary, and tertiary The secondary datum plane must be at a 90
datum planes. This is considered the order of angle to the primary datum plane. The secondary
precedence. datum feature is usually selected as the second
most functionally important feature. This feature
PRIMARY must be perpendicular to the primary datum fea-
ture. There is only a two-point minimum contact
The primary datum is the one that function- required for this plane. These two points establish
ally is usually the most critical feature or surface the part in the other direction to prevent it from
on the part. It is part-to-part interface, typically rocking about the primary datum plane. This
the largest surface when area is involved. The pri- plane may be a stop, fence, or angle plate on pro-
mary datum feature must make contact with the cessing or inspection equipment. The illustration
theoretically exact datum plane in a minimum of in Figure 3-6 shows the secondary datum plane.
three points not in a line. The required contact is
to prevent the part from rocking during manu-
facturing or inspection processes. E
This three-point contact is not difficult to
achieve. If the designer has any concern about ex-
cessive surface irregularity, a surface control may D
be specified (see Chapter 6). Figure 3-5 shows an
example of the primary datum plane establish- PRIMARY
ment. PLANE

Figure 3-6 Secondary datum plane.

The tertiary datum plane must be at exactly a
Caption: Figure 3-5 Primary datum plane. 90 angle to the primary and secondary datum
planes. The tertiary or third datum plane is also
perpendicular to the other two planes. The part
Remember that in order to be inspected, the
must contact this plane at least at one point. This
fixture or surface plate that the part is clamped to
contact is required for dimension origin and to



Figure 3-7a The theoretical datum Figure 3-7b Orienting a part.

prevent any back-and-forth movement along the equally important when related to a feature. Thus,
third plane. The tertiary plane could be a locating they are combined to make up the datum. In this
or stop pin in a processing or inspection process. case, the Feature Control Frame will be given on
All measurements, setups, and inspections
.01 A _ B
are to be made from these three mutually perpen- the print as follows or as seen in
dicular planes. Figure 3-7a is an illustration of the the next chapter in Figure 4-11.
theoretical datum reference frame.
The fixture that could be manufactured to
orient this part might look like the one illustrated
Customized Datum
in Figure 3-7b. The part must contact three points
for a primary datum. Often flat parts similar to Reference Frame
this may rock if placed on a machine bed or in-
spection table; the three highest points in contact When it is necessary to restrain a datum fea-
will prevent the part from rocking. The second- tures rotation about the X, Y, or Z axes (degrees of
ary datum plane requires a two-point contact. In freedom), the designer must include coordinate
this illustration, these are the sides of the pins. labels of the affected axes in two views of the
The tertiary datum plane must be in contact with drawing. The axes and their rotational identifica-
the part in one place only. tion are then added to the Feature Control Frame
There are times when a datum plane is sepa- per datum reference in order of precedence. Rota-
rated by an obstruction or pocket and the design tional axis is identified by the lowercase letter u
intention is that both sides make up the entire about the X-axis, by v about the Y-axis, and by w
plane. In this case, a chain-line is added to the about the Z-axis. These identifications are to be
drawing in the appropriate view to indicate that contained within brackets inside the feature con-
both surfaces are required to establish the plane. trol frame, after the datum and any modifiers. A
We will look further at the use of chain lines to es- simple example of a conical part with a Cus-
tablish datums in Chapter 6 (see Figure 6-42). tomized Datum Reference Frame is given in Fig-
There is another instance where two separate ure 3-8.
surfaces with their own datum symbols may be

.008 A
.003 A

1.500.010 23 X

.005 A [x,y,u,v] B [z] 2.500 B A

Figure 3-8 Application of a customized datum reference frame.

Datum Targets .750

.5 OR
Datum targets are also used to establish the A2 A2
datum reference frame. Datum targets are used to
establish orientation on irregular parts. They may
Figure 3-9 Specifying datum target area.
also be used for large surfaces where it would be
impractical to use an entire surface as the datum
because of size, or it may be subject to warping,
bowing, or other distortions. Usually datum tar- B1
gets are specified on castings, forgings, and weld-
ments, or on any other application where it may Figure 3-10 Datum target identification
be difficult to establish a datum. Datum targets number.
may be points, lines, or areas of a part that pro-
vide an orientation-dimension origin. A datum
The contact area diameter is BASIC. When
target symbol is used to establish contact with da-
the symbol is used to identify any other datum
tum simulators and to identify the datum planes.
target, the upper half remains open (see Figure 3-
DATUM TARGET SYMBOL 10). The lower half of the symbol always contains
B1 the datum target identification number. The iden-
tification consists of a letter (the datum reference
The datum target symbol is a circle divided
letter) and target number. Sufficient targets are
in half by a horizontal line. When the symbol is
specified to satisfy the three-plane datum concept
used to identify a circular target contact area, the
and required points of contact.
top half will contain the diameter. Where it is im-
Datum target symbols are attached to the da-
practical to specify the circular target area inside
tum target with a leader line. A solid leader line
the upper half of the datum target symbol, the
indicates the datum target is on the near side of
area may be specified outside the symbol and at-
the part; a dashed or hidden line type leader line
tached to the upper half with a leader line, as
indicates that the datum target is on the back or
shown in Figure 3-9.
far side of the part, as illustrated in Figure 3-11.

point is usually located dimensionally with BA-

C1 SIC dimensions. The target point regularly iden-
tified is a front view of the part. Where there is no
front view, the point location is dimensioned on
two adjacent views. Datum target points are nor-
C1 mally simulated or picked up with the point of a
cone or spherical radius pin. Tooling pins are
Figure 3-11 spherical or pointed pins that are used to make
Using leader lines contact with the part for holding and inspection;
with datum targets. they are located by Target Points given on the
print. In cases where tooling area is given, flat
ended pins of the same size as indicated in the
Datum targets are dimensioned with BASIC
Target Area Symbol are used.
dimensions or toleranced dimensions (see Figure
3-12). When basic dimensions are specified, tool- DATUM TARGETLINE
ing tolerances apply. BASIC dimensions do not
have tolerance, but to aid in locating datum tar-
The datum target line is identified with a
gets properly, some tolerance is required. There-
phantom line in the direct view. The phantom line
fore, tooling tolerance (usually one-tenth of spec-
is shown in the front view and X in an adjacent
ified feature tolerance) is permitted. The feature
view. These symbols are located with BASIC di-
tolerance used to calculate the tooling tolerance is
mensions, as shown in Figure 3-13.
the specified tolerance for the feature oriented
Datum target lines are simulated with the
from the datums. Usually BASIC dimensions are
edge contact of pins.
specified because of subsequent machining and
inspection processes.

C1 B1 B2


1.250 3.750

- .000
Figure 3-12 Datum target located with BA-
SIC dimensions.


A datum target point is identified with an Figure 3-13 Datum target line represented
X, as shown in Figure 3-12. This datum target by a phantom line.

The datum target area is identified with a

phantom line circle, with hatch lines inside the
circle. The size is specified in the upper half of the .834
datum target symbol. If it is a circular area, the
size is preceded with the diameter symbol. Phan-
tom lines and dimensions are specified to define C1 C1
the size and shape of target areas. Dimensioning
of diameters is not required. The datum target
symbol specifies the target area diameters, as
shown in Figure 3-14.
Datum target areas are simulated with a flat .500
nose pin. In the case of diameters, the pin is the
Fig. 3-15 Datum target point dimensioning.
diameter specified in the datum target symbol, us-
ing gage tolerances for the pin diameter. The tar-
get area is indicated with hatch lines.

.3 .3
A2 A3

.688 C1 C1

A1 1.000

Figure 3-14 Use of datum target area

Fig. 3-16 Datum target line dimensioning.


Occasionally it may be necessary to identify
a datum target point or line without a direct draw-
When datums are identified on complex or
ing view. Some design requirements may force
irregular surfaces, the datum feature symbol
the datum identification to other drawing views.
should be attached only to identifiable datum fea-
Figure 3-15 shows point target dimensioning.
tures. When datums are established by datum tar-
When the datum target line is specified out of
gets, the datum feature symbol is not required. In
the direct view, the locating dimensions are only
this example (see Figure 3-17), like many com-
specified in one direction. In Figure 3-16, the pre-
plex parts, no surface can be identified as a datum
ceding part with a datum target line is shown.

D1 D2 D3

P 2 X 2.000



12.000 12.000 Figure 3-17 Datums

established by datum targets.

2 X .500
E1 E2

feature. The datum feature symbol may be ap-

plied to extension or center lines as appropriate.


This symbol may be used to indicate the po- .250 45

tential for movement of the datum target in order to
establish contact with the datum feature simulator.


This modifier is used in the Feature Control

Frame (discussed in Chapter 4) to indicate that
the BASIC location of the datum feature simula- TRUE
tor is free to translate, within the tolerance, to ac- CONTACTING
complish full contact with the feature. It may be
necessary, for clarity, to include direction of
movement for the simulator.


When the datum reference frame includes an Figure 3-18 True contacting plane oriented
angular feature, the angle of that feature must be at the BASIC angle.

specified as BASIC. Then to position the part in The drawing in Figure 3-20 provides an ex-
relation to the specified datums, a true contacting ample of how the three-plane concept applies to a
plane must be oriented at the BASIC angle of the circular part. Even though the overall diameter of
feature (Figure 3-18). the part is shown as datum A, only the theoretical
axis is used for orientation of related features.
Also, BASIC dimensions are used to locate fea-
Three-Plane ConceptCircular
tures from the theoretical planes.
Circular parts, like noncylindrical parts, also
require a three-plane concept for repeatable ori-
entation. The primary datum plane is frequently
one flat surface of the part. Then two planes (X
and Y), intersecting at right angles, establish the
axis. This axis is then used as the theoretically ex-
act datum axis. The two intersecting planes pro-
vide dimension origins in the X and Y directions
for related part features (see Figure 3-19).
There are only two datum features refer-
enced for a part like the one in Figure 3-19. The
primary datum plane is one datum feature and the +.000
6 X .157
- .005
other is the intersection or axis of the X and Y
.005 M A
planes. All dimensioning, orientation, and meas- A
urements originate from the axis and planes.
- .005
6 X 60
1.000 1.000 D
2.998 E


6 X .172
- .000
.005 M A

.376 +.005
4X 1.510 6 X 60
.374 - .000
.005 M A B M

Figure 3-19 Three plane conceptcircular.

Figure 3-20 Three-plane concept applied on
a circular part.

PARTIAL DATUMS can be used for datums only when they can be de-
fined mathematically and related to a three-plane
Occasionally, designs require a datum on a datum reference frame. When such surfaces are
particular surface, but not necessarily the entire used as datums, the theoretically true geometric
surface. Examples of such situations include counterpart of the shape is used to establish the
large parts, weldments, castings and forgings, and datum.
plastics. Some designs incorporating these parts
will have partial datums specified. A partial da-
Datums of Size
tum is specified to reduce special treatment to an
entire surface, such as machining or controlling
A datum of size is any feature subject to ac-
straightness or flatness. In Figure 3-21, a partial
tual mating size variation based on size dimen-
datum is specified with a chain line offset from
sions. A feature of size is a hole, slot, tab, pin, etc.
the datum area. The chain line is drawn parallel to
Because variations are allowed by the size toler-
the surface and dimensioned in length specified
ance, it becomes necessary to determine whether
in note form or by datum target.
MMC or LMC applies in each case. A datum fea-
ture of size is not a single point, line, or plane.
Features that are datumsand subject to actual
mating size variationmust be verified with a
simulated datum (Chapter 5, Rule 4).
Figure 3-22 is a drawing of an external fea-
ture of size. The diameter of this part is subject to
actual mating size variation. When features of
this type are specified as datums, the material
condition must be specified with the datum iden-
tification letter in the feature control frame
(Chapter 5, Rule 2). The effect of material condi-
tion and datum features of actual mating size vari-
ation is explained in detail in Chapter 8.

.002 A-B
Figure 3-21 Partial datum indicated with a
chain line.

Partial DatumsMathematically
.002 B .005 A
Figure 3-22 Datums that are an external
Sometimes compound curves and contoured
feature of size.
surfaces are required to be datums. These features

EXTERNAL CYLINDRICAL to simulate a true geometric counterpart of the

feature. The geometric counterpart axis becomes
External features of size are verified with an the datum axis for dimension origins and location
adjustable chuck, collet, ring gages, etc. They are of related features. This true geometric counter-
used to simulate a true geometric counterpart of part axis may be determined with a height gage,
the feature and to establish the datum axis or cen- coordinate measuring machine, or similar instru-
ter plane. The actual mating envelope is the small- ment. Figure 3-24 illustrates how the true geo-
est circumscribed cylinder that contacts the datum metric counterpart axis is determined.
feature surface that determines the simulated axis.
The axis of these irregular features must be estab-
lished so that measurements and feature relation-
ships may originate from them. The axis of the
simulated datum (true geometric counterpart) be-
comes the datum axis for all related dimensions.
This axis can be determined with a height gage,
coordinate measuring machine, or any other simi- ADJUSTABLE
lar instrument. External features are simulated, as GAGE PIN
illustrated in Figure 3-23.
Figure 3-24 True geometric counterpart for
internal cylindrical features of size.


Internal features may also be specified as da-

tum features. These features are subject to actual
mating size variation and must be simulated with
a true geometric counterpart to determine the da-
tum plane, center line, median plane, etc. The true
geometric counterpart plane is determined with
two parallel planes separated to make contact
with the corresponding surfaces of the specified
Figure 3-23 True geometric counterpart for datum feature. The true geometric counterpart
external cylindrical features of size.


Internal features of size are verified in a sim-

ilar manner. If the feature of size is a hole, the true
geometric counterpart or actual mating envelope
is determined by the largest inscribed cylinder
that will fit the hole. The cylinder must be an ex- Caption: Figure 3-25 True geometric coun-
pandable pin, mandrel, gage, etc. that is utilized terpart for noncylindrical features of size.

may be a gage block, an adjustable gage, or meas- Datum reference letters identifying features
uring instrument used to establish the datum of size are implied RFS if not modified with
plane, center line, etc. Measurements then origi- MMC or LMC; they must be treated like any
nate from the true geometric counterpart. Figure other datum feature of size. The datum is a true
3-25 illustrates a datum feature simulated with a geometric counterpart established by an ad-
gage block. justable gage to contact the datum feature as pro-
Datum features of size must also have modi- duced.
fiers specified for them when associated with the
positioning of features (Chapter 5, Rule 2). An
Pattern of Features
example of modifiers being specified is illus-
trated in Figure 3-26.
Feature patterns may also be used as datums.
For example, a pattern of holes may be used as a
datum to locate other functionally related fea-
.015 M A B M C tures. In Figure 3-27, the pattern of holes is at
MMC and, as a group, establishes datum A.
Figure 3-26 Specifying modifiers. Each hole has a datum axis established at true po-
sition for each hole. These axes of true cylinders
simulate the virtual condition of the holes. When
When a datum reference letter (B in this
the part is resting on the primary datum surface,
example) is followed with a modifier, additional
the hole pattern establishes the second and third
consideration must be made for that datum fea-
datum planes of the datum reference frame. The
ture. According to the datum/virtual condition
axis of the pattern of holes (X and Y planes) may
rule (Chapter 5, Rule 4), datum feature B must
depart from the axis of the datum reference frame
be used at its virtual condition even though it is
as the datum feature departs from MMC.
modified to MMC.

4x .250.010
Figure 3-27 Pattern of features. .005 M D



If there are multiple patterns sharing the datums were specified, assumptions were made
same datum, they may have a simultaneous re- about the intent of the design. Today, datums are
quirement. However, when they are meant to specified for all parts within a design, based on
have separate requirements, the note: SEPT the three-plane concept (Datum Reference
REQT is placed below the Feature Control Frame) for both circular and noncircular parts.
Frames. The three-plane concept provides a solid repeat-
able orientation.
Datum features are identified with a datum
feature symbol or datum target symbol. Letters of
the alphabet are used to identify the datum fea-
Datums are assumed to be theoretically exact
tures. Datum features may also be only part of a
in order to ensure repeatability from design to in-
surface, axis, center plane, etc. If so, the designer
spection. Datums are dimension origins used to
will indicate the partial feature with a chain line
establish measurements and feature-to-feature re-
and give required dimensioning for location and
lationships. Datum features, on the other hand,
length or area of the partial datum. Datums are lo-
are actual part features that include all variations
cated either with BASIC or toleranced dimen-
and irregularities. It is the irregular features that
make contact with the true geometric counterpart.
Features of actual mating size and patterns of
In some instances where a feature is not well de-
features may also be specified as datum features.
fined, the part might have to be adjusted in order
These features are permitted actual mating size
to achieve the best fit. Datum features may be a
variation, therefore, requiring adjustable gaging
point, line, surface, axis, center line, median
to determine the datum. The gaging provides a
plane, etc.
true geometric counterpart for dimension origins
Datums are specified to convey the design
and feature relationship dimensioning.
intent clearly to all who read the drawing. Before

Chapter 3 Evaluation

1. The ASME Y14.5-2009 Standard requires that datums are ________.

2. Datums are theoretically exact and are used for ________ origins and part ________.

3. List those features of parts that can be used as datums:

__________________ __________________

__________________ __________________

__________________ __________________

4. Is the alphabetical order for datum reference letters in feature control frames important? ________

5. How many points of contact minimum are required for a primary datum plane? ________

6. The planes of a datum reference frame are assumed to be at ________ degrees basic to each other.

7. Datum target areas are identified with a phantom line ________ with crosshatch lines inside.

8. The upper half of the datum target symbol contains the area ________ when the symbol is attached

to a datum target area.

9. Datum targets may be ________ with adjustable gages, pins, collets, etc.

10. Datums of size are features associated with a dimension and ________.

11. Datums of size are ________ with adjustable gages, pins, collets, etc.

12. Datums of size also need additional consideration when the ________ are specified with them.

13. Datums are specified on drawings to ________ a clear intent of the design.

14. The minimum point contact required in the three-plane concept is to eliminate part ________.

15. When a datum target area is specified, a ________ nose pin the size of the specified area is required.
Introduction of composite control frames. A feature control
frame may contain the following symbols and tol-
This chapter deals specifically with feature erance:
control frames, which are rectangular boxes with Geometric characteristics
many compartments. These compartments con- Diameter symbol
tain the symbols, tolerances, and datum reference Tolerance
letters discussed in Chapters 2 and 3. Where ap-
plicable, the tolerance is preceded by the diame-
Tolerance modifier
ter symbol and followed by a material condition Datum reference letter(s)
symbol. The datum reference letters may also be Datum modifier
followed by a material condition symbol. The
symbols, when combined in a specific sequence Figure 4-1 shows an example of a feature
in the feature control frame, provide a specific control frame that was specified to control the
control instruction for the feature or group of fea- position of a feature or group of features. The
tures to which it is attached. The contents of fea- first symbol in a feature control frame is the
ture control frames must always be specified in a geometric characteristic symbol.
standard arrangement. Each feature control frame
relates specific tolerancing information for man-
ufacturing and inspection. Feature control frames 1.5 M D E M P
may be single, combined, or composite.
Figure 4-1 This feature control frame
controls the position of a feature.
Symbol and Definition

Feature Control Frame Attachment

The feature control frame provides a speci- Introduction

fied control for single or multiple features. The
rectangular frame is constructed, as required by
Feature control frames may be attached to
the designer, to control one specific feature or
features in various ways. The method of attach-
group of features. A feature control frame must
ment picked by the designer determines the effect
contain at least a geometric characteristic symbol
of the control specified for that feature or group
and a tolerance value. Feature control frames are
of features. Feature control frames may be at-
read from left to right and line by line in the case


tached to a surface, axis, or center line. With each amples of how an axis or center line is controlled
method of attachment, the feature control is lim- are shown in Figure 4-3. (Note: Chapter 6 has
ited to only that portion of the part or feature to many examples of feature control frame attach-
which the frame is attached. For example, if a fea- ment.)
ture control frame is attached to a surface exten-
sion line, then only that surface is controlled.


Feature control frames that control surfaces

either control the entire surface or just the surface .500.005

indicated. For example, round features are con- .003

trolled all around. The control applies all around
Figure 4-3 How an axis or center line is
because it is usually too difficult to orient the part
for control on one side. Generally, a designer will
want the same control to apply all around the part.
In Figure 4-2, an example of how a feature con- .250.005
trol frame is attached to the surface of a circular .002 M B
part is shown.

.002 A
Figure 4-4 Attaching feature control frames
Caption: Figure 4-2 Feature control frame to the controlled feature.
applied to the surface of a circular part.
The feature control frame is usually attached
Axis or Center Line to the controlled feature with one of four meth-
ods. These methods are as follows, with an exam-
ple in Figure 4-4:
Feature control frames associated with round
a) The feature control frame is placed below
or width-type features are attached to extension
a dimension pertaining to a feature. The
lines of that feature. The interpretation means the
leader is from the dimension.
axis or center line of the feature is controlled with
b) A leader from the feature control frame
no regard for the feature surface. The designer is
runs to the controlled feature.
specifying the required control so that fasteners
c) A side or end of the feature control frame
will pass through parts or so that parts will mate
is attached to an extension line from the
with each other. The specification of such callouts
feature. The feature surface must be a
means the axis or center line orientationnot the
sides of the featureis the critical concern. Ex-

d) A side or end of the feature control frame ance and not a plus/minus tolerance, as with the
is attached to a feature-of-size dimension coordinate method of dimensioning.
extension line.
Datum Reference Letters
Content When required, the datum reference letter or
letters follow the stated tolerance (see Figure 4-
Geometric Characteristic Symbol 7). These letters are not always required, and the
number of letters may vary from one to three, de-
pending on the datum reference frame required.
The feature control frame consists of many
The alphabetical order is insignificant; the order
compartments that contain information specified
from left to right is what establishes the order of
by the designer. The first compartment of the
precedence for the datum reference frame. The
frame always contains the geometric characteris-
first letter identifies the primary datum plane, the
tic symbol for Form, Profile, Orientation, Loca-
second letter identifies the secondary datum
tion, or Runout. Figure 4-5 provides an example
plane, and the third letter identifies the tertiary
of a Feature Control Frame. The design in Figure
datum plane.
4-4 includes Feature Control Frames for Form,
Orientation, and Runout.
1.5 M D E M P
1.5 M D E M P
Figure 4-7 Datum reference letters.
Figure 4-5 Feature Control Frame.
Modifiers are required in certain situations,
or they may be specified in other cases depending
The next compartment always contains a tol-
on design requirements. Modifier specification is
erance (Figure 4-6). The tolerance is either a di-
explained in detail in Chapters 5 and 6. The mod-
ameter or a width. If the tolerance is cylindrical,
ifier symbols appear in feature control frames, as
the diameter symbol will precede the specified
shown in Figure 4-8. Refer to Chapter 2 for defi-
tolerance. The tolerance is always a total toler-
nitions and the remaining text for applications.

1.5 M 1.5 M D E M P


Figure 4-6 Compartment containing a
Figure 4-8 Modifier symbols.

How to Read Feature are conditions that require modifiers to be speci-

fied, whereas in other cases they are implied. See
Control Frames
Chapter 5, Rule 2 for more information.)

Left to Right Datum Reference Letter

Feature control frames are read from left to
right. If the feature control frame is a composite
or combined symbol, you must read the first line The Three-Plane Concept
and perform that requirement. Proceed with the
next line or lines performing each requirement in
Datum reference letters are arranged in the
succession. Feature control frames do not specify
feature control frame for a specific orientation of
an order of processing, but state the final require-
the part. The datum reference letters specify the
ment for the design. Figure 4-9 illustrates how to
three-plane, Datum Reference Frame concept.
read two feature control frames. Note that a fea-
The first datum reference letter in the feature con-
ture control frame is required for each feature or
trol frame determines the primary datum, the sec-
group of features to be controlled. (Note: There
ond letter identifies the secondary datum, and the





Figure 4-9 Reading feature FEATURE SIZE
control frames.
4 X 90




4 X .201
.380 .003 .19

.010 M A P M
OF .010 AT MMC

third letter identifies the tertiary datum. Feature frame and are separated by a dash.
control does not always require three datum ref- As illustrated in Figure 4-11, the center por-
erence letters, as shown in Figure 4-9. The de- tion of this part is controlled in relation to datum
signer will specify the number of letters (datum A-B. (The .500 and 1.000 diameters establish da-
references) required for proper part orientation tum A-B through the part.) These two features es-
and feature control. The datum reference letters tablish a single datum axis through the part.
are also specified in the feature control frame There is one other situation where two letters
from left to right in their order of precedence (see appear in the same compartment. That situation is
Figure 4-10). when all of the letters of the alphabet are used on
one design and there are still more datum features
to be identified. In this case, a double letter is
1.5 M D E M P
used to identify a single datum feature. An exam-
ple of such a feature control frame is illustrated in
PRIMARY Figure 4-12. This application is not found fre-
SECONDARY quently. Usually designs are not complex enough
TERTIARY to require such identification.
Figure 4-10 Datum reference letters in
order of precedence.
.005 AA
Two Datum Features Figure 4-12 Using double letters to identify
a single datum feature.
There are some designs that require the iden-
tification of two features as datum features to es-
tablish a single datum plane, axis, etc. In such
cases, each feature is identified with a datum ref-
erence letter (Figure 4-11). These two letters then
share the same compartment in the feature control Introduction

Feature control frames may be combined in

.002 A-B many different ways. Regardless of the combina-
tions used, there are only three types of feature
.002 B control frames. Some frames provide control of a
single characteristic; others are many combina-
tions of combined feature control frames. A third
.500 .005 1.000.015
.015 type includes those that are interpreted one line at
a time. Once the first line of a combined or com-
A posite feature control frame is used, then the next
line comes into effect. The following sections
give some examples of the various combinations
.005 A-B
that may be created to control the design intent
Figure 4-11 Two datum features.

Single Feature Control Frames

.015 A
A single feature control frame provides only .008 A
one control for a feature or pattern of features.
The control may be specified to control a surface
Figure 4-15 Combined feature control
or to control a feature. Figure 4-13 illustrates two
frame with refinement.
examples of single feature control frames.

Another type of combined feature control

frame is where a feature is given a specified tol-
erance and then identified as a datum feature.
This may be common practice where one feature
or group of features must be in a specific relation-
.010 M D P M ship to another feature. Figure 4-16 illustrates
two different combined feature control frames.
Figure 4-13 Single feature control frames.
.010 M D P
Combined Feature Control Frames
Combined feature control frames are just
what their name indicates. They are two or more .010 A
frames joined together, or they may be a feature
control frame and datum reference symbol com-
bined. These symbols are also interpreted one line B
at a time. For example, as shown in Figure 4-14, Figure 4-16 Combined feature control
a combined symbol first specifies the feature to frames with relationship.
be parallel to datum D and then refines that sur-
face to a flatness of less tolerance.
Composite Feature Control Frames

.020 D Composite feature control frames are speci-

fied to provide a maximum tolerance to orient or
position a feature and then refine that feature to a
tighter tolerance. A composite feature control
Figure 4-14 Combined feature control
frame will contain only one geometric character-
istic symbol; a combined feature control frame
may contain two different symbols.
Another application is a profile tolerance. With composite controls, the first line of the
Figure 4-15 illustrates a combined feature control feature control frame is considered to be the
frame that specifies a surface control and then re- largest orientation or location tolerance allowable
fines that control to any individual line along the for the feature(s). Then, once the feature is within
profile with a lesser tolerance. this tolerance, it is refined to a closer tolerance to

control it to ensure assembly with a mating part. control frames provide one instruction concern-
An example of a composite feature control frame ing the Form, Profile, Location, or Runout of fea-
is shown in Figure 4-17. This composite control tures. This means that each feature control frame
will be explained in depth in Chapter 8, and it is relates specific tolerancing information for man-
most frequently specified with location toler- ufacturing and inspection. The feature control
ances. frame contains the information for proper part
orientation in relation to the specified datums.
The datum reference letters in the feature control
.015 M D E P
frame denote the datum precedence in relation to
.005 M D the three-plane, Datum Reference Frame concept.
Feature control frames may be attached to
features in one of four ways. The selected method
Figure 4-17 Composite feature control
of attachment by the designer controls how fea-
tures are controlled. The feature control frame
may be constructed as single, combined, or com-
Summary posite. Regardless of the type of feature control
frame, they are read from left to right and one line
at a time. When one line is read and applied, that
The feature control frame is specified for line is finished. The information is only used once
each feature or group of features. These feature for a feature.

Chapter 4 Evaluation

1. Feature control frames are rectangular boxes that contain specific information to

________ a feature or group of features.

2. Feature control frames may be single, ________, or composite.

3. Feature control frames may be attached to a ________ axis or center line.

4. The first symbol in a feature control frame is a ________.

5. The feature control frame must always contain a specified ________.


6. Feature control frames are always read from ________ to ________.

7. When datum reference letters are specified in a feature control frame, the first letter always identifies

the ________ datum.

8. When reading a composite feature control frame, you always read one ________ of it at a time.

9. Feature control frames consist of a various number of ________ that contain symbols.

10. Is the alphabetical order of the datum reference letters important in the feature control frame?


11. Letters that cannot be used to identify datums in a Feature Control Frame are: ________ and

Rule Two: Regardless of Feature Size (RFS)
is implied for all geometric tolerances and the for-
Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing mer symbol is no longer used. Maximum Mater-
(ASME Y14.5-2009), like most other standards, ial Condition (MMC) or Least Material Condition
contains specific rules. This standard identifies (LMC) must be specified on the drawing where it
three rules, but in fact, there are four general rules is applicable. Note: Circular runout, total runout,
that apply in various situations. These rules are concentricity, and symmetry are applicable only
provided to control some general situations and to on an RFS basis and cannot be modified to MMC
provide a common foundation to apply and inter- or LMC.
pret GD&T. The rules provide a means to control Rule Three: For screw threads, splines, and
these situations with only one interpretation of gears, the tolerance and datum reference originate
engineering drawings throughout the world. The from the pitch cylinder axis.
rules pertain to feature actual mating size and Rule Four: A virtual condition exists for fea-
form tolerances, the specification of modifiers, tures of size and datum features of size.
and the origin of datums.

Rule One
Rule One applies to all features controlled
Most standards have limited rules that must with only plus/minus tolerances. Rule One states,
be observed at certain times. GD&T has rules that where only a tolerance of size is specified, the
must be observed by designers and those who in- limits of size of an individual feature prescribe
terpret drawings. These rules, in brief, are as fol- the extent to which variations in its geometric
lows: form, as well as size, are allowed. In such cases,
Rule One: When only a tolerance of size is the size limits of the individual feature control the
specified, that tolerance controls both size and amount of variation in actual mating size as well
form. as the form. The actual local size of an individual
feature at any cross-section will be within the
specified size and plus/minus tolerance. Although
0.5 D the feature must meet size requirements at any
cross-section, the form must also be within these
size limits.
Figure 5-1 Feature control frame with
The feature surface or surfaces may not ex-
Regardless of Feature Size requirement.
ceed the limits of size. These size limits become


the boundary of perfect form. For features like permits variation in a features form based on its
pins, the boundary is the features MMC. No vari- produced actual mating size. Figure 5-2 illus-
ation beyond this actual local size is permitted. trates a drawing specification.
For internal features, the MMC is the nominal When the feature varies or departs from
size minus the negative size tolerance. Rule One MMC toward LMC, its form is allowed to vary
from perfect. Parts are given tolerance to allow
for variation because the closer to perfect the fea-
ture is produced, the more expensive the parts are.
.500 Therefore, if variation is allowable, the designer
- .003
will allow as much as possible, based on the de-
sign requirements. Features then may wave, bow,
taper, step, etc., an amount equal to their depar-
ture from MMC. Figure 5-3 illustrates feature
When the feature departs from MMC to
+.015 LMC, there is no requirement for perfect form.
- .003 The feature is allowed to vary the full limit of the
size tolerance. Any variation in the form is ac-
ceptable. The variation bow, for example, cannot
exceed the MMC boundaries. Figure 5-4 shows
Figure 5-2 Feature tolerance, limits size an example of how the two mating parts may be
and form. produced.

.497 LMC
.515 MMC


.535 MMC
.497 LMC
.535 LMC .517 MMC

Figure 5-4 Feature variation for two

Figure 5-3 Feature variation. mating parts.

PERFECT FORM NOT REQUIRED other geometric controls must be specified. Fig-
ure 5-5 illustrates a piece of tubing; the inside di-
In certain conditions, Rule One is not desired ameter is an individual feature completely sepa-
or does not apply. Designers may wish to permit rate from the outside diameter.
a feature to vary beyond the boundary of perfect
form at MMC. Previously in such designs, they
Rule Two
could add a note, PERFECT FORM AT MMC
NOT REQD. In the current standard, the note is
Rule Two is primarily a designers rule. The
I rule states: Regardless of Feature Size (RFS) ap-
no longer used and a new symbol , for Inde-
plies, with respect to the individual tolerance, da-
pendency, is placed next to the dimension. This
tum reference, or both, where no modifying sym
boundary of perfect form may also be violated by
bol is specified. The former symbol S , is now
Rule Four, the datum/virtual condition rule. (Rule
Four is presented in this chapter and discussed in
eliminated from use. Maximum material condi-
detail in Chapter 7.)
tion (MMC) or least material condition (LMC)
Rule One does not control the geometric
must be specified on the drawing where it is ap-
form of commercial stock and parts subject to
plicable. Note: circular runout, total runout, con-
free-state variation. Commercial stock includes
centricity and symmetry are applicable only on an
bar, sheet, tubing, and structural shapes, and any
RFS basis and cannot be modified to MMC or
products produced to established industry or gov-
ernment standards. Parts subject to free-state
The designer must specify MMC or LMC for
variation (part distortion after removal of forces
features subject to size variation. These features
applied during manufacture) include rubber and


Rule One does not control the interrelation of

features; it applies only to the individual feature
of size. If the interrelationship is to be controlled, 4 X 90



.750 .015
4 X .201
.380 .003 .19
.500 .015
.010 M A P M

Figure 5-5 Rule One does not control inter- Figure 5-6 Specifying MMC or LMC in the
relation of features. feature control frame.

include those being positioned as well as any da- tum, a virtual condition exists for a datum feature
tum features subject to size variations. An exam- of size where its axis or center line is controlled
ple of such a feature control frame is shown in by a geometric tolerance. Virtual condition is the
Figure 5-6. Various other feature control frames worst acceptable condition of a feature. The vir-
are used in Chapter 8. tual condition for an internal feature is the MMC
size of the feature minus the geometric tolerance
or the LMC size of the feature, plus the geometric
Rule Three
tolerance. The virtual condition for an external
feature is the MMC size of the feature, plus the
Rule Three applies to all screw threads,
geometric tolerance or the LMC size of the fea-
gears, and splines. It states that for each toler-
ture, minus the geometric tolerance.
ance of orientation or position and datum refer-
Datum features of size apply at their virtual
ence specified for screw threads applies to the
condition, even though they are referenced in the
axis of the thread derived from the pitch cylinder,
feature control frame at MMC (Figure 5-8).
for gears and splines, the MAJOR DIA., PITCH
When the designer does not intend for virtual
DIA., or MINOR DIA. must be specified. The
condition to apply for a primary datum, the fea-
designer will specify one of these abbreviations
ture control frame is associated with the size di-
beneath the feature control frame. When there is
mension or is attached to an extension of the di-
an exception to the pitch cylinder diameter for
mension line.
screw threads, the designer may specify MAJOR
For secondary or tertiary datum features of
DIA., PITCH DIA., or MINOR DIA. Figure 5-7
size in the same datum reference frame, the size
illustrates a feature control frame and datum fea-
of the simulated datum is the virtual condition of
ture symbol with such notation.




4 X 90
.010 M D P


Figure 5-7 Applying Rule Three.


Rule Four 2.375

4 X .201
Rule Four, or the datum/virtual condition .380 .003 .19

rule, applies to datum features subject to size .010 M A P M

variation. The rule states, depending on whether
it is used as a primary, secondary, or tertiary da- Figure 5-8 Datum referenced at MMC.

2 X .187
.005 M X YM ZM

135 135

Figure 5-9 Virtual condition

requirements for datums.

2.250 .010
.010 X
Z .375.005
.005 M X

where the design requirements disallow virtual

condition is to specify an appropriate geometric
4X .53 control with a zero tolerance at MMC for features
- .00
P .89 X .25 of size. Figure 5-10 illustrates such a require-
.01 L D E P
0. M Summary

1.25 A full understanding of the GD&T rules is

critical if drawings are to be interpreted properly.
These rules provide guidelines for both the de-
signer and the interpreter of drawings dimen-
1.00 sioned with GD&T. The rules must become part
of the interpretation process. It becomes very
easy to get involved in the effect of the rules.
Figure 5-10 Zero tolerance at MMC.
Parts may be accepted or rejected incorrectly
if some of these rules are ignored. Some rules
control form and interrelationship of features;
the datum feature. In Figure 5-9, datum Y, the axis some control the tolerances of Form, Orientation,
of the actual 2.250 diameter, is the simulated da- and Location. One rule controls the datums and
tum. Datum Z is simulated with a virtual condi- virtual conditions of features. These rules must be
tion width perpendicular to datum plane X. The understood and utilized in order to interpret draw-
center plane of this simulated datum is aligned ings properly.
with datum axis Y. These rules will be applied and referred to in
Another method of specifying tolerance the following chapters. Various examples will

help you understand their application and effect. chapters when a rule controls a specific applica-
The rule number is not always referred to in later tion.

Chapter 5 Evaluation

1. Rule One controls both ________ and ________ of features.

2. Rule One controls only ________ features, not the interrelationship of features.

3. Rule Two specifies that ________ or ________ must be specified in the feature control frame where
it is applicable.

4. Rule One specifies a boundary of perfect form at ________ for features of size.

5. When virtual condition is disallowed, ________ positional tolerance may be specified.

6. ________ applies, with respect to individual tolerance, datum reference, or both, where no modify-
ing symbol is specified.

7. Tolerances and datum references originate from the ________ diameter of screw threads.

8. For gears and splines, the designer will specify MINOR, MAJOR, or PITCH DIA. ________ the
feature control frame.

9. The basic rules of GD&T provide a common ________ to apply and interpret GD&T.

10. These rules must be memorized because they are ________ specified on the drawing.

Introduction Tolerances of Form

Geometric dimensioning and tolerancing

provides the designer with a means to define mat-
ing parts completely. The portion of the GD&T
standard that provides methods of controlling
part features is the form and orientation controls. Symbol
These controls are specified for features critical
to function and interchangeability where toler-
ances of size and location do not provide ade- Definition
quate control. When form and orientation toler-
ances are specified, the tolerance for some fea-
Straightness is the condition where one line
tures may increase with the use of modifiers.
element of a surface or axis follows a straight line
Remember, GD&T is not a replacement for
within the tolerance stated.
the coordinate dimensioning system. It is used in
conjunction with it to completely describe design Tolerance
requirements. Also, remember that now you have
two tolerances to work with. The first, and it
Straightness tolerance provides a zone in
should be considered first, is the plus or minus
which a surface element or axis must lie. For sur-
size tolerance. Then, geometric tolerances of
face control, the tolerance is implied regardless of
form, orientation, and location must be consid-
feature size (RFS) because the straightness toler-
ered. You will learn that these tolerances are in-
ance controls line elements that have no size. For
terrelated in certain applications.
axis control, the tolerance is implied RFS if a
Form tolerances are most frequently applied
modifier is not specified. The tolerance is applied
to single features or portions of a feature. These
in a view of the drawing where the controlled el-
controls are specified without a datum reference
ements, surface or axis, are shown as a straight
because the features are not controlled in relation
line. Each line element or axis must lie within the
to another feature. Orientation tolerances control
limits of size for the feature. The tolerance zone
features in relation to one another; therefore, a da-
may be a width or a diameter. The feature must be
tum reference is required. All dimensions and tol-
within the stated size limits at each cross-sec-
erances apply at free-state unless otherwise spec-
tional measurement.



12.5 0.5

36 15.5


12.50 0.20

Figure 6-1 Applying straightness control to flat and cylindrical features.

Surface Control or verified with a dial indicator or any other digi-

tal readout. The only concern here is how much of
When a surface is to be controlled, the fea- the surface has to be verified one line element at
ture control frame is attached to the surface with a time. Enough line elements must be verified to
a leader or extension line. In the case of cylindri- ensure that the part or feature is within design re-
cal features, the entire surface must be checked. quirements. There is no hard and fast rule as to
All elements of the surface must first be within how many measurements to make.
the specified size tolerance, and then within the The feature surface may take any shape such
limits of the straightness tolerance zone, which is as barreling, waving, concaveness (waisting),
also within the size limits (tolerance). Figure 6-1 etc., as long as it meets the size requirements, and
shows examples of how the straightness control then falls within the specified form tolerance at
may be applied to flat and cylindrical features. full indicator movement (FIM). Figure 6-2 illus-
trates how the features may appear. Straightness
Tolerance Interpretation control specified for a flat part or surface would
have a tolerance zone like those shown in Figure
The tolerance zone is a space between two
6-1. The major difference is that for round fea-
parallel straight lines that may make contact with
tures, the tolerance applies all around whereas for
the surface of the feature. The tolerance zone for
a flat feature, the tolerance applies only to the sur-
both flat and cylindrical features is applied along
face indicated, as in Figure 6-1. The tolerance
the entire surface. This surface may be measured
will apply only to the top surface of the part.

12.7 MMC ure 6-3); furthermore, the diameter symbol pre-

cedes the geometric tolerance in the Feature Con-
trol Frame. The control is specified in a view
0.5 where the axis is shown as a straight line. This
type of attachment means that the axis must be
within a specified cylindrical tolerance zone. The
12.7 MMC
use of this control does not require perfect form at
MMC. In most cases, the geometric tolerance is
less than that of the size tolerance.

Tolerance Interpretation

12.7 MMC The axis of the feature may take any form, as
long as it stays within the cylindrical zone. If
modifiers are not specified, the tolerance is im-
plied as RFS. If applicable, maximum material
condition (MMC) may be specified for this form
Figure 6-2 Surface shapes acceptable
control. When MMC is specified, the collective
within size and form tolerances.
effect of the feature actual mating size and the
straightness tolerance may result in a virtual con-
Axis Control dition (Figure 6-4). In other words, the boundary
of perfect form may be exceeded to the limit of
the stated tolerance.
To control an axis, the feature control frame
Because the feature in Figure 6-3 is a feature
is specified below the diameter feature size (Fig-
of size, the modifier principles apply, if desired

Figure 6-3 Axis control.


12.5 0.2

Figure 6-4 Virtual condition 0.5

of pin in Figure 6-3. TOLERANCE


12.3 0.5 Definition

12.4 0.6
12.5 0.7 Flatness is the condition of a surface where
all elements are in one plane.
12.6 0.8
12.7 0.9
Figure 6-5 Tolerance table.
Flatness tolerance provides a zone of a spec-
ified thickness defined by two parallel planes in
which the surface or center plane must lie. The
by the designer. The feature control frame for the specified tolerance in the feature control frame is
part in Figure 6-3 could have contained a modi- implied as RFS. MMC does not apply to flatness
fied tolerance, diameter of 0.5 mm at MMC. If the control because only surface area is controlled,
tolerance was specified in this manner, the toler- and area does not have size. The modifiers do ap-
ance zone diameter in which the axis must lie ply to non-cylindrical features. The designer will
could vary, based on the actual diameter of the specify the flatness control in a drawing view
part. When the part is produced at 12.7 mm, the where the controlled surface elements are shown
tolerance zone has a diameter of 0.5 mm as spec- as a straight line. Then each surface element must
ified in the feature control frame. The cylindrical lie within the stated form tolerance zone. The
tolerance zone could increase to a diameter of 0.9 form tolerance zone must be contained within the
mm when the part is at the smallest actual mating limits of the feature size. Under no circumstances
size or least material condition (LMC). See the is the feature to exceed the specified limits of size
tolerance table in Figure 6-5. This same control or perfect form at MMC. The feature control
may be specified for noncylindrical parts. If frame may be attached to the feature with an ex-
straightness is specified for noncylindrical fea- tension line of the controlled surface, or attached
tures, the diameter symbol will not precede the with a leader pointed to the controlled surface.
stated tolerance in the feature control frame.

20 0.4
Figure 6-6 Flatness form control.


Figure 6-7 Flatness tolerance. 0.1


Application Circularity
Figure 6-6 illustrates a proper specification
of the flatness form control. The feature is given
a size and tolerance that must not be exceeded. Symbol
Then an additional form control tolerance is ap-
plied to the controlled surface. The form toler- Definition
ance does not allow the feature to exceed the Circularity is roundness. It is a condition of a
specified actual mating size requirements. cylindrical surface other than a sphere; at any
cross-sectional measurement during one com-
Tolerance Interpretation plete revolution of the feature, all points of the
surface are perpendicular at an equal distance
Flatness tolerance is the specified distance
from a common axis. Circularity of a sphere is a
between two parallel planes of which the upper
condition where all points of the surface inter-
limit plane must contact the actual feature surface
sected by any plane passing through a common
(Figure 6-9). The other plane then should be the
center are equal distance from that center.
stated tolerance from the first and below all sur-
face area irregularities. The actual surface may be Tolerance
verified with a dial indicator. The indicator
should be zeroed for the highest or lowest point
Circularity tolerance provides a circular
on the surface. Then the surface must be checked
zone in which all points of a cross-section or slice
sufficiently in all directions to ensure that it is
of the surface must lie. The tolerance zone is two
within the specified tolerance. The readings ob-
concentric circles that are the stated tolerance
tained are FIM and must not exceed the stated
apart. The specified tolerance is implied to be
FIM tolerance in the feature control.
RFS and FIM. Because circularity is a surface
control, the modifier principles do not apply. The
feature control frame is usually specified in the
end view. The tolerance zone must be within the


0.4 250.4
25 0.4

Figure 6-8 Applying a circularity tolerance.


size limits of the feature. All surface elements Circularity tolerance is a radial tolerance. The
must be within the boundary of perfect form at larger circle must make contact with the actual
MMC. This tolerance is not associated with a da- surface of the controlled external feature. Then
tum. The surface is controlled or compared to it- the smaller circle would have to be the stated tol-
self, the axis; therefore, a datum is not required. erance away from the larger one or the same as
the features smallest permissible diameter.
The opposite is true for internal circular fea-
Application tures. This tolerance zone is applicable to each
cross-sectional element of the feature. The toler-
The circularity tolerance is applied to com- ance zone must be perpendicular to the controlled
pare the circular elements or slices of cylindrical feature axis. All elements of the controlled fea-
features. Figure 6-8 illustrates the proper applica- ture must be within the specified size limits.
tion of a circularity tolerance. This tolerance may Controlled features may be verified with
be specified for any cylindrical feature such as several instruments. The primary concern, how-
cones, spheres, or cylinders that require only line ever, is how the feature is measured. For example,
control around the feature. Circularity may also if a V-block is used, the measurement may in-
be specified for internal features that are circular clude unwanted variables that may not be noticed,
in cross-section. such as lobing, out-of-straightness, and the com-
posite effects of a diametrical reading. If possible,
Tolerance Interpretation the measurements should be made in relation to
the axis because the specified tolerance is on the
The circularity tolerance is the space be-
radius. In this way, all readings on the indicator
tween two concentric circles that is the stated tol-
will be radial, as the tolerance is intended. Re-
erance apart. Figure 6-9 illustrates how the toler-
gardless of the method of measurement, suffi-
ance applies to an external feature. (Note: The
cient measurements must be made to ensure fea-
difference between the two diametral measure-
ture acceptance. The specified tolerance is im-
ments is 0.2, or twice the specified tolerance.)
plied FIM for each circular element of the con-
trolled feature.


Cylindricity is the condition of an entire fea-
ture surface during one revolution in which all
surface points are an equal distance from a com-
mon axis.
Figure 6-9 Applying circular tolerance to
an external feature.

Tolerance Tolerance Interpretation

Cylindricity tolerance provides a zone

Cylindricity tolerance is the space identified
bounded by two concentric cylinders in which the
by the geometric tolerance between two concen-
controlled surface must lie. Cylindricity tolerance
tric cylinders the stated tolerance apart. The
is a radial tolerance. The specified tolerance is
largest tolerance cylinder must make contact with
implied to be RFS in relationship to the feature
the actual surface of the maximum diameter per
axis. Because the feature is compared to itself, a
tolerance of the controlled external feature. Then,
datum reference is not required. The tolerance is
the smaller tolerance cylinder is the stated toler-
specified in either drawing view. The feature con-
ance away from the minimum diameter per toler-
trol frame is attached to the feature with a leader.
ance of the large cylinder. Neither of the cylinders
The cylindricity tolerance zone must be within
may exceed the feature size limits. When cylin-
the limits of feature size. At MMC, the feature
dricity tolerance is specified for an internal fea-
must have perfect form. Cylindricity tolerance
ture, the cylinders establishing the tolerance zone
may be applied to internal or external features.
would be opposite. This tolerance zone controls
Application all points of the surface at one time. The tolerance
zone is an equal distance from the controlled fea-
ture axis (radial measurement) for the length of
Cylindricity tolerance is specified in addi-
the feature.
tion to the specified feature size and tolerance. It
The controlled feature may be verified with
remains the same size for all possible actual mat-
several different measuring devices. This control,
ing sizes and is not an addition to the feature size
however, is composite, and the method of meas-
or tolerance. The cylindricity tolerance is a com-
urement is important. If functional gaging is not
posite control. It controls feature circularity,
used, then an inspection method must be used that
straightness, and any taper of the entire cylindri-
will detect excessive taper, out-of-straightness,
cal feature. When a cylindricity tolerance is ap-
and out-of-roundness in relation to the feature
plied, a datum reference is not required because
axis. The measuring device must not indicate
the feature is compared to itself, the axis. In Fig-
more than the stated tolerance. Figure 6-11 shows
ure 6-10, an example illustrates how cylindricity
an example of an external feature and the speci-
is applied.
fied tolerance zone.



Figure 6-10 Applying cylindricity.


not surface or line features. The feature control

frame is specified in drawing a view where the re-
lationship of features is shown.


Perpendicularity tolerance is specified for

designs that require one feature to be perpendicu-
lar to another; therefore, a datum reference is re-
quired. This datum error is not considered when
measuring the controlled feature. Perpendicular-
ity controls all surface error including flatness
and angularity. This control is specified in addi-
Figure 6-11 An external feature and the tion to actual mating size requirements and may
specified tolerance zone. be specified in four different methods. A perpen-
dicularity tolerance may be specified for 1) a sur-
face perpendicular to a datum plane, 2) an axis
perpendicular to an axis, 3) an axis perpendicular
to a datum plane, or 4) line elements of a surface
perpendicular to a datum axis. Each of these ap-
Perpendicularity plications will be explained in detail here.

Feature Surface Perpendicular to a

Symbol Datum Plane

The feature surfaces perpendicular to a da-

Definition tum plane is the most frequent application for per-
pendicularity. Figure 6-12 provides an illustra-
Perpendicularity is the condition of an entire
surface, plane, or axis at a right angle to a datum 0.5 A
plane or axis.


Perpendicularity tolerance provides a zone

defined by two parallel planes, two parallel lines,
or a cylinder parallel to a datum. The controlled
feature surface, plane, or axis must lie within the
specified tolerance zone. Perpendicularity is an
orientation control. Therefore, a datum reference A
is required, and the orientation tolerance is im-
plied RFS if not modified to LMC or MMC. Re- Figure 6-12 Feature surface perpendicular
member, only features of size can be modified to a datum plane.

tion. The feature control frame, which is specified The actual feature surface may be verified in
in a drawing view where the relationship between a number of ways. A simple check can be made
features appears, may be attached to the feature with a dial indicator or coordinate measuring ma-
with an extension line or leader. chine. The datum feature must be placed in con-
tact with the datum plane. Then, with a measuring
Tolerance instrument, make contact with the controlled sur-
face. Zero the measuring device on a high point
This perpendicularity tolerance provides a and continue to measure the entire surface. The
zone defined by two parallel planes that are the FIM may not exceed the tolerance specified in the
distance of the specified tolerance apart. The tol- feature control frame. Enough of the surface must
erance is implied RFS here because only surfaces be measured to ensure that design requirements
are controlled. The tolerance zone must be within are met.
the limits of the feature size. All elements of the
controlled feature must lie within the perpendicu- Feature Axis Perpendicular to a
larity tolerance zone. Datum Axis

Tolerance Interpretation Perpendicularity specified in this manner is

not a common application for this control. How-
The controlled feature must first meet the
ever, this use of perpendicularity does provide the
feature size requirements and then the geometric
required control for designs where a pin or hole
orientation tolerance. The datum reference fea-
must be at a 90-degree angle to the axis of another
ture must be placed in contact with the datum
cylindrical part or feature. Figure 6-14 illustrates
plane. Then the tolerance zone must be estab-
an application of this orientation control. The fea-
lished at exactly 90 degrees to the datum. All ele-
ture control frame is specified in a drawing view
ments of the controlled surface must lie within the
where the relationship between the datum axis
parallel planes of the tolerance zone, as in Figure
and the controlled feature are shown. The feature
6-13. (Note: Datum error is not additive to the
control frame is attached to the controlled feature
feature being controlled.)
with the feature size call out.

0.5 A

- 0.5


Figure 6-13 Parallel planes tolerance zone. Figure 6-14 Hole orientation control.

Tolerance mating size and geometric tolerances. This col-

lective effect is known as virtual condition. Rule
Four controls datum feature A. Virtual condi-
The perpendicularity tolerance, when speci-
tion is explained and illustrated in Chapter 7.
fied in this manner, provides a tolerance zone for
the axis to lie within. The tolerance zone may be
a width between two lines or a cylinder. The zone 0.5 WIDE
is a width when the diameter symbol is not spec- DATUM AXIS "A" TOLERANCE
ified in the feature control frame. The specified
tolerance is RFS if the designer does not specify
a modifier. In the example in Figure 6-14, the 0
hole is a feature of size. Therefore, the modifiers - 0.5
may be specified depending on design require-
ments. The axis of the feature must be within the FEATURE
boundaries of the tolerance zone if it is a width or
diameter at RFS or modified.
Figure 6-15 Width-type tolerance zone.
Tolerance Interpretation
The controlled feature must meet actual mat-
ing size requirements; then, geometric controls Feature Axis Perpendicular to a Datum
can be considered. The geometric tolerance zone Plane
must be established at 90 degrees to the datum
axis. The controlled feature axis must then be Specifying perpendicularity to control the
within the width or cylindrical zone, as specified relationship between a cylinder and plane in this
in the feature control frame. The feature axis may manner is a common application of perpendicu-
take any shapebow, wave, angleas long as it larity. The feature control frame is attached to the
remains within the tolerance zone. Figure 6-15 il- controlled cylindrical feature with the feature size
lustrates a width-type tolerance zone. The toler- callout. This callout is in a drawing view where
ance applies to the feature as a width in the draw- the relationship between features can be seen.
ing view shown. If the diameter symbol is speci- Figure 6-16 illustrates a proper specification. The
fied, the tolerance zone would be cylindrical, al- perpendicularity tolerance is usually specified in
lowing the axis of the hole to lean or move in all
directions. The amount of movement is called at-
titude variation. 250.25
The actual controlled hole may be verified 0.5 A
with several different methods. This feature may
best be verified by using a functional gage rather
than by measuring the angularity. Direct meas-
urements would provide the required information A
to make this check. If a functional gage were used
for verification, it would simulate the mating part.
This gage would have to simulate acceptance of
the worst condition for the controlled feature. The Figure 6-16 Perpendicularity between a
worst condition is the collective effect of actual plane and surface.

a drawing view where the relationship is clearly larity, the feature must meet the location toler-
shown. ance and then the perpendicularity tolerance. The
perpendicularity tolerance must be at a 90-degree
Tolerance basic angle to the datum plane. The controlled
feature axis must lie within the tolerance zone as
A perpendicularity specification like this is specified in the feature control frame or as modi-
usually a refinement of location tolerancing. Each fied based on actual mating size. The actual axis
control, location, and perpendicularity will have a may be bowed, angled, wavy, etc., as long as it re-
tolerance specified. The axis of the controlled mains within the tolerance zone. Figure 6-17
feature must lie within the tolerance(s). The toler- shows how the actual feature may be produced
ance zone for this application is usually diame- and how the tolerance may vary when the toler-
tral. Because the controlled features are features ance is modified to MMC.
of size, the modifiers may be specified, depend- The cylindrical feature may be verified with
ing on the final assembly requirements. The axis various inspection methods. A gage will provide
of the actual feature must lie within the bound- the most effective way to check the feature with
aries of the tolerance zone. complete assurance that it will assemble with the
mating part. The gage will have to be made at the
Tolerance Interpretation virtual condition. At virtual condition, it will al-
low or reject all parts that are presented as accept-
The controlled cylindrical feature must meet
able for assembly. This gage takes into account all
the feature size requirements and then geometric
possible feature errors such as out-of-perpendic-
controls. If the feature is controlled with a loca-
ularity and out-of-location.
tion tolerance and then refined with perpendicu-
Line Element Perpendicular
to a Datum
FOR EACH LINE The designer may specify a surface perpen-
ELEMENT dicular to another datum plane or axis. In this

.98 A

24.75 1

25 0.75
0.5 A
25.25 0.5 EACH RADIAL

Figure 6-17 Perpendicularity tolerance Figure 6-18 Specifying

chart for feature modified to MMC. EACH RADIAL ELEMENT

case, the feature control frame is attached to the trates how the tolerance zone will appear for a
controlled surface with a leader in a drawing view controlled feature.
where the surface to be controlled can be seen. This feature may be verified with basic pre-
Below the feature control frame, the phrase cision measurement devices. The controlled fea-
EACH RADIAL ELEMENT must be added by ture must be verified at 90 degrees from the da-
the designer. Figure 6-18 shows an example of tum axis or plane. A simple check with a dial in-
how this control is specified. dicator or coordinate measuring machine along
line elements of the controlled surface is all that
is required. Adequate measurements must be
Tolerance made to ensure design intent. Each line element
of the controlled feature must lie within the spec-
This perpendicularity tolerance provides a ified tolerance between two parallel lines. The
tolerance zone defined by two parallel lines that surface form may vary from measurement to
are the stated tolerance apart. This zone must be measurement, but each line element must be
perpendicular to a datum plane or axis. Then each within tolerance at FIM and RFS.
controlled line element must lie between the two
lines of the tolerance zone. This tolerance is al-
ways RFS because surface elements are being
controlled. The tolerance zone must be within the
size limits of the controlled feature.
Tolerance Interpretation
The controlled feature must first meet the Definition
feature size requirements. Then the perpendicu-
larity tolerance is applied by making contact with
Angularity is the condition of an axis or
the actual part surface line by line. The tolerance
plane other than 90 degrees to another datum
zone is the thickness of the specified tolerance
plane or axis.
and perpendicular to a datum. Each line element
of the controlled surface is subject to complying Tolerance
with the specified tolerance. Figure 6-19 illus-
Angularity tolerance provides a zone defined
by two parallel planes that are a stated tolerance
apart and at the specified basic angle to the datum
reference. The controlled feature surface, plane,
or axis must lie within this zone. Angularity is an-
other of the orientation tolerances; therefore, a
datum reference is always required. The tolerance
0.5 TOLERANCE may be modified if a feature of size is being con-
ZONE (RFS) FOR EACH trolled. If modifiers are not specified, Rule Two
governs the tolerance. The feature control frame
is specified in a drawing view where the angular
Figure 6-19 The tolerance zone for a
relationship is shown. This relationship must be
controlled feature.

specified with a basic angle. The datum reference When angularity is specified for an internal
feature irregularities do not affect the controlled feature such as a slot or hole, the tolerance applies
feature surface or axis. only in the view and relative to the datums indi-
cated. The feature is not controlled in any other
Application direction. The tolerance is implied RFS, but may
be modified depending on the final requirement
A control is specified to control features that of the feature. If angularity is specified for a fea-
are required to be at an angle other than 90 de- ture of size, it is usually a refinement of a location
grees in relation to another feature plane, or axis. control. Figure 6-21 illustrates an axis control.
Angularity tolerance controls surface, plane, or
axis errors within the limits of the tolerance zone. Tolerance Interpretation
Angularity also controls flatness and straightness.
The controlled feature must meet all other
The angularity tolerance is in addition to the fea-
tolerance, and then the orientation control for an-
ture size tolerance. The tolerance provides a zone
gularity. The datum reference feature irregulari-
that controls feature origin in relation to another
ties are not considered when measuring angular-
datum feature. Figure 6-20 illustrates a surface
ity. The tolerance is established at the specified
basic angle to the datum. The outer plane of the
0.5 A tolerance zone contacts the highest point(s) on the
controlled surface. The inner plane is at the spec-
ified tolerance from the first. The controlled sur-
face may take any form through this tolerance
zone. The beginning of the angle must be within
A 501
the length requirement of the part, and may be
curved, bowed, twisted, or at a different angle.
Figure 6-20 Angularity tolerance. Figure 6-22 illustrates how a tolerance zone for a
surface is applied. The surface may be verified
with a dial indicator or coordinate measuring ma-

3 X 12

SLOT 10 X 30
0.2 D A

100 0.5

Figure 6-21 Angularity tolerance applied Figure 6-22 Applying a tolerance zone
to a slot. for a surface.

The control of an axis or plane is slightly dif- Tolerance

ferent than the control of a surface. The major dif-
ference is the tolerance zone. The tolerance only Parallelism tolerance provides a zone de-
applies in the view that it is specified in and rela- fined by two parallel planes, lines, or a cylinder
tive to the indicated datums. The actual tolerance parallel to a datum plane or axis. The surface ele-
zone, then, is a slice-the-thickness of the speci- ments or axis of the controlled feature must lie
fied tolerance that passes through the controlled within this zone. The specified tolerance is im-
feature. When viewing the feature as shown in the plied RFS by Rule Two. The designer may spec-
drawing view with the orientation control, the end ify modifiers for features of size based on design
of the tolerance would be seen. This zone extends requirements for final assembly. The feature con-
the total length of the part. Figure 6-23 illustrates trol frame is specified in a drawing view where
the tolerance zone for a slot or hole. the parallel relationship is shown. This feature
control frame must contain a datum reference let-
ter because parallelism is an orientation toler-
0.2 TOLERANCE ance.


Parallelism tolerance is specified for designs

where a plane, surface, or axis must be controlled
for parallelism in addition to the feature size tol-
Figure 6-23 The tolerance zone for a slot or
erance. A datum reference is required with this
orientation control. Parallelism also controls flat-
ness of a surface and straightness of an axis
Angularity may be verified with several within the limits of the tolerance. When paral-
methods. If a modifier were specified, then a gage lelism is specified for a surface, the controlled
would be the most effective way to verify correct surface must be within the specified size limits.
feature angularity. If the feature is toleranced at Parallelism orientation may be specified to con-
RFS, an expandable gage pin, dial indicator, or trol three different conditions: 1) a surface paral-
coordinate measuring machine might be used to lel to another surface, 2) a cylinder parallel to a
determine correct angularity. surface, and 3) a cylinder parallel to a cylinder.
These various applications are discussed here in

Symbol Surface Parallel to Another Surface

Definition This application is the most frequent of the

parallelism orientation control (Figure 6-24). The
feature control frame is attached to the controlled
Parallelism is the condition of a surface, cen-
feature with an extension line in a drawing view
ter plane, or axis that is an equal distance at all
where the relationship is shown.
points from a datum plane or axis.

0.5 A

1001 200.2
20 0.2
Figure 6-24 Surface
50 parallel to another
40 0.2 surface.



The tolerance for the controlled feature is the

space between two parallel planes that are a spec-
ified tolerance apart and parallel to the datum
plane. This zone must be within the limits of fea-
ture size and is implied RFS according to Rule
Two. All elements of the controlled surface must A
be contained within the tolerance zone.
Figure 6-25 Applying the tolerance zone to
Tolerance Interpretation a features actual mating size.
The controlled feature must first meet the ac-
tual mating size limit requirements, and then the The surface may be verified with the basic
geometric orientation tolerance. The datum refer- instruments of inspection, such as a coordinate
ence feature must contact the simulated datum measuring machine or dial indicator. The datum
plane. Any irregularities in the datum reference surface must have the minimum three-point con-
surface are not additive to the controlled feature. tact with the datum plane. The controlled surface
The outer tolerance zone plane must be estab- must be measured in many directions and across
lished from the outermost surface elements and the entire surface until it is ensured of acceptance.
must be parallel to the datum plane. The inner
plane is then the specified orientation tolerance Tangent Plane
apart from the outer plane. All controlled surface
elements must be within the limits of actual mat- When it is desirable to control a feature sur-
ing size and the parallelism tolerance zone. Fig- face by contacting points of the surface, the tan-
ure 6-25 illustrates how the tolerance zone would gent plane symbol is specified in the feature con-
apply to the actual mating size of a feature. trol frame following the stated tolerance. Figure
6-26 illustrates this specification.

0.5 T A

Figure 6-26
1001 200.2
20 0.2
Applying the
tangent plane
50 symbol.
40 0.2


PLANE with a location tolerance and then refined with


The tolerance for a controlled feature is a

width zone that is the size of the specified toler-
ance. The axis must lie within two parallel lines
Figure 6-27 Tangent plane that are the length of the controlled feature. The
tolerance zone. axis may pass through this zone at an angle or it
may be curved, waved, etc., as long as it is within
the width tolerance zone. This tolerance zone
Tolerance Interpretation
must be exactly parallel to the datum plane.
The controlled surface of the feature must lie
within two parallel planes 0.5 apart. A plane con- Tolerance Interpretation
tacting the high points of the surface must lie To determine if the controlled feature is ac-
within this established zone. Figure 6-27 illus- ceptable, it must first meet the specified size re-
trates this specification. quirements. Then the part must be placed in con-
tact with the specified datum plane. The simu-
lated datum plane may be a knee or stop on the in-
Cylinder Parallel to Another Surface spection table or workbench. The part must be
oriented as shown on the drawing. The cylindrical
Specifying a cylinder parallel to another axis feature is only controlled in the direction it is
is a practice that may be used when a cylindrical shown on the drawing. The tolerance zone for the
feature is to be controlled in only one direction. axis to lie within is determined from the simu-
Figure 6-28 illustrates an application of this ori- lated datum plane. This can be achieved with di-
entation control. Here the controlled feature is rect measurements. The produced feature must
controlled only in the direction shown in the also be measured to determine size and shape.
drawing view that contains the feature control Figure 6-29 shows how the actual feature might
frame. The controlled feature is usually located appear in relationship to the tolerance zone.

0.5 D

Figure 6-28 Controlling a cylindrical feature in only one direction.

0.5 WIDE 25.2


Figure 6-29 Feature relationship to tolerance zone.

(Note: The tolerance for this feature may be mod- Tolerance

ified because it is a feature of size. If modified,
the tolerance zone would vary depending on ac- The tolerance zone for the controlled feature
tual mating size.) may be a cylinder or a width, and modifiers may
be specified. The axis of the controlled cylinder

Cylinder Parallel to Another Cylinder

0.5 M E
Specifying a cylinder parallel to another
cylinder is one method of controlling cylinders or
holes parallel to each other. Depending on the ap-
plication, this control may provide the required E
accuracy for final assembly. Figure 6-30 illus-
trates the application of this parallelism control.
The feature control frame is shown in a drawing 12.50.5
view where the parallel relationship is required.
This parallelism control provides a diametral tol- Figure 6-30 Cylinder parallel to another
erance zone for the controlled feature. cylinder.

must lie within the specified zone for the length Verification of this part is best accomplished
of the controlled feature. In turn, the controlled with a functional gage. The gage would have
feature must be within the limits of size and not holes in it that are used to verify the controlled
exceed the boundary of perfect form at MMC. feature. The hole to simulate the datum must be
adjustable to fit the produced datum feature. The
Tolerance Interpretation hole to check the controlled feature would be
The tolerance may be specified in several made at virtual condition.
ways, as discussed. Here, the tolerance will be Another method of specifying the paral-
discussed as a cylindrical zone at MMC; the da- lelism control for these cylindrical features is to
tum feature is considered at RFS. Then, the datum specify both features of size with the MMC mod-
must be established by the largest circumscribed ifier. If they were specified in such a manner, the
cylinder. The cylinder should be adjustable so datum feature is controlled by Rule Four, the da-
that it will make contact with the irregularities of tum/virtual condition rule. By Rule Four, the da-
the pin. The axis of this cylinder is the simulated tum feature gage hole for simulating the datum
datum used to verify the controlled feature. The would have to be at virtual condition rather than
adjustable cylinder may be a gage used for verifi- adjustable as it was for RFS. The gage hole for the
cation. controlled feature would also be at virtual condi-
The controlled feature (pin) has the mini- tion. Figure 6-32 illustrates the part described.
mum tolerance zone at MMC that must be paral-
lel to the simulated axis of the datum feature. The
axis of the controlled feature must lie within that 12.50.5
cylindrical zone. The axis may take any form as it 0.5 M E M
passes through the cylindrical tolerance zone.
The tolerance zone for the controlled feature is
permitted to increase an amount equal to the
amount the feature departs from MMC. Figure 6-
31 illustrates the tolerance zone and the tolerance
increase from MMC to LMC. This increase in tol-
erance is sometimes called bonus tolerance.
Figure 6-32 Virtual condition requirement
for gage.


DATUM AXIS "E" Definition

Profile tolerancing is a method of specifying

Figure 6-31 Tolerance zone increases from control of deviation from the desired profile
MMC to LMC. along the surface of a feature.

Tolerance plied to parts having constant cross-section, sur-

faces of revolution, weldments, forgings, etc.,
Profile tolerances may be specified either as where an ALL OVER requirement may be de-
a surface or line profile. The tolerance provides a sired. Surface control may apply, ALL
uniform zone along a desired true profile (a bilat- AROUND. Surface profile requirements may
eral zone) or a zone defined by a phantom line ei- also be specified for coplanar surfaces (Figure 6-
ther inside or outside the basic true profile of the 34). Surface profile controls actual mating size as
part (a unilateral zone). The surface of the con- well as shape; therefore, actual mating size and
trolled feature must lie within this zone. The geometric form are verified simultaneously. Fig-
specified tolerance is always RFS because only a ures 6-33 and 6-34 illustrate the proper applica-
surface is controlled. tion of surface profile tolerancing.
The feature control frame is usually attached
with a leader to the surface to be controlled. The
feature control frame is specified in a drawing R 50
view where the profile is shown. The feature con-
R 25
trol frame must contain a datum reference and BASE RADIUS X
may also have a note added beneath stating: BE-
TWEEN two points (X and Y) or include the
symbol for ALL OVER.


Profile tolerance is specified for designs

where the surface is to be controlled within a
given basic shape. Most frequently, profile toler- 0.5 A B M

ances are specified for irregular features that are X Y
difficult to control with other form or orientation
tolerances. However, they may also be specified
Figure 6-33 Profile tolerancing for surface
to control the all-around shape of stampings,
of revolution.
burned parts, etc. The basic profile of a part is de-
scribed with basic dimensions, radii, arcs, angles,
etc., from the datum. Then the specified profile
tolerance controls the amount of deviation in re-
lation to the datum reference(s).
Profile tolerances may be specified to con-
trol either a surface or line element of a feature.
These two applications are discussed next.
Surface Profile
0.5 A-B

Surface profile is a method of specifying a

three-dimensional control along the entire sur- Figure 6-34 Profile tolerancing for
face to be controlled. This control is usually ap- coplanar surfaces.




Figure 6-35 Bilateral profile tolerance. BILATERAL TOLERANCE

Tolerance when the tolerance is unilateral; all tolerance is

applied to one side or the other of the basic profile.
Surface profile tolerance may be specified as Tolerance Interpretation
an equal or unequal tolerance on either side of the
Profile tolerance for a surface control is im-
desired basic profile. If the design requires an un-
plied to be bilateral. If the design requires the tol-
equal application of a bilateral tolerance, a phan-
erance to be unequal or unilateral, phantom lines
tom line is included along the basic profile, and
are added to the drawing view indicating how the
the amount of tolerance between the basic profile
tolerance is to be applied. The controlled features
and the phantom line is specified. Then the bal-
size and shape are toleranced with the profile tol-
ance of the tolerance is applied to the other side of
erance. Surface profile tolerance is a three-di-
the basic profile. Phantom lines are also specified
mensional zone. The tolerance applies perpendi-




Figure 6-36 Unilateral

outside profile tolerance.





Figure 6-37
Unilateral inside
profile tolerance.


cular to the true profile at all points along the con- Line Profile
trolled surface. If the tolerance is bilateral, the ac-
tual surface of the feature may vary both inside
Line profile tolerancing is a method of spec-
and outside of the true basic profile. If the toler-
ifying a two-dimensional control for a single line
ance is unilateral, then the actual feature may
element along the true profile of a surface. This
vary only to the inside or the outside of the basic
control is usually specified for the shape of cross-
true profile as indicated with a phantom line. Fig-
sections or cutting planes of parts. The control is
ures 6-35, 6-36, 6-37, and 6-38 illustrate the var-
most frequently specified for manufactured parts
ious tolerance zones permitted by surface profile
for trucks, automobiles, and marine uses (im-
tolerancing. The tolerance zone is established in
pellers, body parts, propellers, etc.). This control
relationship to the basic true profile of the feature,
should be used where blending is required.
not the actual feature surface.
Line profile, like surface profile, may be speci-
The actual part surface may be verified with
fied between points or all-around. Line profile
several techniques. The actual part may be com-
tolerancing is usually a refinement of some other
pared to a master part, an overlay may be used,
geometric control, form and size control. The ap-
optical comparison can be made, or a dial indica-
plication of line profile is illustrated in Figure 6-
tor or coordinate measuring machine can be used.
39. In this Feature Control Frame, the combined
Verification will depend largely on the accuracy
geometric tolerances are applied. First, the entire

Figure 6-38 Bilateral profile

tolerance applied to coplanar
0.5 WIDE surfaces.

R 50
R 25

12.5 0.1
0.2 M A


0.5:1.0 0.5 A B M
0.1 A B M

Figure 6-39 Line profile tolerancing.

surface (Profile of a Surface) is required to be must lie within the specified tolerance, as shown
within the 0.5 mm tolerance. Then, each cross- in Figure 6-40.
sectional line, (Profile of a Line) is further refined Line profile may be verified with the same
to a lesser tolerance requirement. method used to verify surface profile.


The tolerance for line profile may be speci-

fied as either bilateral or unilateral. The bilateral
tolerance is implied by the absence of phantom
lines to indicate the tolerance zone. The unilateral
tolerance zone is indicated with a phantom line
either inside or outside the desired true profile of
the controlled part.
Tolerance Interpretation
Figure 6-40 True profile relationship to tol-
The actual surface must lie within the bound- erance zone.
aries of the specified zone. The tolerance applies
perpendicular to the line profile at all points along
the controlled surface. Line profile control may Boundary Control for Noncylindrical
require datum references. When specified, the Features
feature must be properly oriented when applying
the specified tolerance. The profile tolerance con- INTRODUCTION
trols both actual mating size and form. The toler-
ance zone is established in relationship to the true Profile tolerancing may be combined with
profile of the controlled feature, not the actual positional tolerancing where it is necessary to
surface. All points along the controlled surface control the boundary of a noncylindrical feature.

This application may be specified where it is de- sions. For internal features, the boundary equals
sirable to establish a tolerance zone to control both the MMC size of the profile minus the positional
the size and shape of a feature (see Figure 6-41). toleranceand the entire feature surface must lie
outside the boundary. For an external feature, the
boundary equals the MMC size of the profile plus
the positional toleranceand the entire feature
2 D
surface must lie within the boundary. When this
1 M D E P
method of tolerancing is specified, the term
BOUNDARY may be placed beneath the posi-
tional tolerance feature control frame.

Tolerance Interpretation
50 Boundary control for a noncylindrical fea-
ture is illustrated in Figure 6-42. The profile-con-
75 trolled surface of the feature, all-around, must lie
between the boundaries established by the profile
50 7 tolerance. Then the positional control regulates
75 the surface at MMC. In this illustration, no por-
tion of the surface is permitted to lie within the
Figure 6-41 Boundary control for noncylin- boundary of the MMC contour minus the posi-
drical features. tional tolerance when positioned in relationship
to the datum planes.

Tolerance Composite Profile

The positional tolerance establishes a theo- Composite profile is a method of specifying

retical boundary, as described by basic dimen- a profile where requirements will permit a feature

1mm P
1 mm 75


Figure 6-42 True profile boundary control for noncylindrical features.


locating tolerance zone to be larger than the toler- tures axis. It provides a zone between two con-
ance zone that controls the actual mating size. centric cylinders for total runout control and be-
tween two concentric circles for circular runout
Tolerance control. The surface or all points on a cross-sec-
tional line must lie within the specified tolerance
Composite profile tolerance provides a toler- zone. The tolerance is always implied to be RFS
ance for location of a profiled feature. It also pro- as measured in relation to the datum axis. The tol-
vides the tolerance for form, orientation, and, in erance is specified in a drawing view where the
some instances, the actual mating size of the fea- controlled feature(s) are shown. The feature con-
ture, within the larger profile locating tolerance trol frame is attached to the controlled feature
zone. Each horizontal line of the feature control with a leader or associated with the feature size
frame constitutes a separately verifiable require- callout. A datum reference is required.
ment. The upper segment is the profile locating
control. The lower segment is refinement control APPLICATION
for actual mating size, form, or orientation. Fig-
ure 6-43 illustrates a composite profile tolerance Runout tolerance is specified for designs
feature control frame. where rotation is involved, such as shafts, pul-
leys, and bearing surfaces. Runout may also be
1 D E P = LOCATION specified for coaxial features. This control, how-
0.5 D = REFINEMENT ever, is restrictive for manufacturing because the
tolerance is always RFS. Location controls may
Figure 6-43 A composite profile tolerance
be a better choice for coaxiality, depending on de-
feature control frame.
sign requirements. Runout tolerances control the
amount of radial deviation for a line or surface of
parts that are circular in profile.
Total Runout

Symbols Total Runout is specified to control feature

surfaces that are manufactured with an axis. This
control is more stringent than Circular Runout. It
Definition provides a composite control of all surface ele-
ments in relation to a datum axis. The controlled
surface may be at right angles to or around the da-
Runout is a composite form and location
tum axis. This control is specified when the com-
control of permissible error in the desired part
posite effect of all surface elements together are
surface during a complete revolution of the part
critical to the final assembly. Figure 6-44 illus-
around a datum axis.
trates an application of Total Runout control.
Runout tolerances may be specified as either Total Runout tolerance is specified in the
total or circular. The specified tolerance is the de- feature control frame and is implied to be radial
viation permitted in relation to the controlled fea- RFS and FIM. The Feature Control Frame is at-

0.2 A-B Total Runout may be verified by mounting

the datum axis in a precision rotational device
that will rotate the controlled feature(s) around
the datum. The feature may be mounted on a
functional diameter or mounted on centers. When
0.1 the method of measurement is selected, an indica-
tor is set up in contact with the controlled surface
and zeroed. The indicator is not re-zeroed during
Figure 6-44 Total Runout control.
the measuring operation. The controlled feature is
measured parallel to the datum for circular con-
trol and perpendicular to the datum for surfaces
tached directly to the controlled feature. The ac-
perpendicular to the datum. The part must be ro-
tual feature must not exceed the boundary of per-
tated 360 degrees during the measuring opera-
fect form at MMC. The controlled surface must
tion, and the indicator reading must not exceed
lie within two concentric cylinders that are the
the tolerance stated in the feature control frame.
stated tolerance apart and an equal distance from
Sufficient measurements must be made to satisfy
the datum axis. The entire actual feature must lie
the drawing requirement.
within this tolerance zone simultaneously.
Circular Runout
Tolerance Interpretation
Total Runout tolerance always applies at Circular Runout is specified to control only
RFS. The tolerance establishes a cylindrical toler- surface elements of features that are circular in
ance zone that is the width of the specified toler- cross-section or surfaces perpendicular to a da-
ance in the feature control frame. This cylinder of tum axis. Circular Runout is only a line-by-line
tolerance is an equal distance from the datum axis control of a surface. Each line is completely inde-
all around. The tolerance is applied simultane- pendent of the other. The tolerance is implied
ously to all circular and longitudinal elements in FIM in relation to a feature datum axis. This con-
one setup during a complete revolution of the trol is specified when the part function is not crit-
controlled feature. The tolerance is composite ical to rotational speeds. Circular Runout is ap-
and cumulative. The feature is controlled for ta- plied in Figure 6-46.
per, coaxiality, circularity, cylindricity, straight-
ness, angularity, flatness, perpendicularity, and Tolerance
profile. Figure 6-45 illustrates the actual toler- The tolerance for Circular Runout is speci-
ance zone for a controlled feature. fied in the Feature Control Frame and is always


Figure 6-45 Total Runout tolerance zone.



0.2 A-B


Figure 6-46 Applying Circular Runout


implied RFS. The tolerance is radial and normally Unit Control

implies FIM. The feature control frame is at-
tached to the controlled feature with a leader or There is no symbol for unit control. It is
with the feature size callout. The actual feature specified as a ratio, usually in the second line of a
surface must not exceed the boundary of perfect feature control frame.
form at MMC. Each cross-sectional slice of the
surface must lie within the two concentric circles Definition
established by the tolerance zone.
Unit control is a method of controlling fea-
Tolerance Interpretation ture abruptness in a relatively short length of the
controlled feature.
Circular Runout tolerance is a width between
two concentric circles the size of the stated toler- Tolerance
ance. Each circular element independent of the
next must lie within the RFS tolerance zone. This
The unit control tolerance is usually calcu-
tolerance zone is an equal distance from the da-
lated as a fraction of the form or orientation toler-
tum axis all around. The tolerance controls the cu-
ance. The generally accepted rule of thumb is that
mulative variations in circularity and coaxiality
the unit tolerance be one-quarter of the stated
of controlled features around a datum axis. For
form or orientation tolerance for any unit of
features perpendicular to a datum axis, the toler-
length. Unit control tolerancing is usually an ad-
ance controls circular elements on the plane. Fig-
ditional tolerance to form and orientation control.
ure 6-47 illustrates how each circular element is
controlled by the specified tolerance. Application
Circular Runout may be verified similar to
Total Runout. The difference is the indicator does
Depending on design requirements, unit con-
not have to be moved along or over the controlled
trol may be specified for features that are con-
surface. The indicator may be rezeroed for each
trolled with straightness, flatness, and profile tol-
measurement. The feature must be rotated a com-
erancing. The illustration in Figure 6-48 shows a
plete 360 degrees for each measurement. To en-
unit control in conjunction with a profile toler-
sure acceptablility, several independent measure-
ance. This application specifies a surface profile
ments along the controlled surface should be
control of 0.5 mm along the surface. Then units of
that surface must also meet the unit control of 0.1
mm per any 56 mm of length.

same measuring instruments that are used to ver-

ify the profile tolerances. The other applications
of unit control can be verified with the instru-
ments used to measure the form or orientation


Free-State Variation
Figure 6-47 Circular runout for features
perpendicular to a datum axis. Free-State variation is a term used to de-
scribe distortion of a part after removal of forces
applied during manufacturing. Variation or flexi-
bility is due to thin cross-section, weight, and
Tolerance Interpretation
stress relief. In some cases, parts are required to
meet drawing requirements while in Free State,
The surface profile tolerance is the first con- whereas others are to be restrained. Restraining
sideration in Figure 6-48. If the controlled feature forces are those exerted in assembly or function-
meets the stated requirements, then unit control is ing of the part. If Free-State variation must be
applied. Unit control simply means that the pro- controlled, it may be accomplished by specifying
file tolerance of 0.1mm applies at any unit 56 mm tolerances subject to Free-State variation or by
of length along the controlled surface. The units specifying tolerances on features to be restrained.
of length may be selected at random or even over-
lap along the controlled surface. Figure 6-49 il-
lustrates how unit control might apply to a surface Specifying Geometric Tolerances on
controlled with a profile tolerance. Features Subject to Free-State
Verification of unit control depends prima- Variation
rily on the application. Unit control specified
with a profile tolerance must be verified with the Where an individual form or location toler-
ance is specified for a feature at Free State, the



0.5 A BM
0.1/56 ZONE

Figure 6-48 A unit control in conjunction Figure 6-49 Unit control tolerance
with a profile tolerance. zone for a profile.

Straightness of an axis. Flatness controls all ele-

ments or points of a surface simultaneously in all
directions. The remaining controls can all be re-
lated to Straightness and Flatness. Consider Cir-
cularity and Cylindricity. Circularity is a line con-
trol around features circular in form. It is like
Straightness around a feature. Cylindricity con-
trols the complete surface area of circular fea-
tures. Cylindricity is like Flatness rolled around a
1.953 Perpendicularity may be compared to both
- .002
.015 F Straightness and Flatness depending on the fea-
tures being controlled. Perpendicularity may be
Figure 6-50 Free State Symbol.
specified to control four different types of fea-
ture-to-datum relationships. When the control is
specified for a plane or surface, the control can be
maximum allowable tolerance is specified in the
related to Flatness. When the Perpendicularity
feature control frame. This tolerance is followed
control is specified for line element, axis, or me-
by any applicable modifiers and then the Free-
dian plane, it can be related to Straightness.
State symbol. Figure 6-50 illustrates such a re-
Angularity is similar to Perpendicularity be-
cause it controls all angles other than 90 degrees.
When the free state symbol is given with the
Some of the angular relationships will be sur-
geometric tolerance, it indicates that the part must
faces, and others will be cylinders or noncylindri-
be inspected in a restrained condition while lo-
cal features. Therefore, Angularity can be related
cated on the datums. Because these datums may
to Flatness when controlling surfaces. When An-
be subject to Free-State variation, the maximum
gularity is specified for cylinders or noncylindri-
restraining force must be specified. This force or
cal features, a line or median plane is being con-
method of restraint is specified on the drawing in
trolled like Straightness.
the form of a NOTE. The restraining note may
Parallelism can also be related to either
specify a particular type of clamp, bolt and torque
Straightness or Flatness depending on the type of
value, partial assembly to achieve actual fit, etc.
feature being controlled. When surfaces are con-
trolled, it is similar to Flatness where all elements
Summary must be in one plane of given thickness. When
features with a median plane or axis are con-
The GD&T form and orientation controls are trolled with Parallelism, the control is similar
important to understand because they control the again to Straightness where a line must be straight
required shapes of features. In this summary, each within a given tolerance.
of the controls will be grouped to aid in remem- Profile tolerances are specified to control ei-
bering what and how they control. The groups ther surfaces or lines. These may be features that
will address those controls that control lines and are irregular where Flatness or Straightness do
those that control surfaces or areas. All of the con- not apply. Surface profile tolerance provides a
trols will be compared to the two basic form con- thickness zone around or over the controlled sur-
trolsstraightness and flatness. Straightness face like Flatness control would provide. Profile
only controls one line element at a time or the of a line is like Straightness where only a line el-

ement is compared to the true basic profile. Each rized. The primary difference between a Runout
line element is considered individually. control and Cylindricity is that Runout, either To-
The Runout tolerances also provide for two tal or Circular, controls surface-to-axis, whereas
types of control, where Total Runout requires Cylindricity controls axis-to-axis. Another differ-
measurement of an entire circular surface in one ence between controls is that of Perpendicularity
setup similar to Flatness. Circular Runout is only and Runout. Perpendicularity is primarily speci-
a cross-section or slice of a circular feature con- fied to control noncylindrical features where
trol similar to Straightness. Only one line element Runout is specified to control cylindrical fea-
at a time is measured and compared to the speci- tures.
fied tolerance. In the end, the design requirements will al-
These comparisons provide a means to iden- ways dictate the control to be specified. Parts are
tify the control provided by each of the geometric not commonly designed to be used independently
form and orientation controls. There are some dif- of others. Instead, they are designed for function
ferences between controls that should be summa- and relationship in a final assembly.

Chapter 6 Evaluation

1. Flatness is a form control that controls surface elements in all ________ within a specified tolerance.

2. Circularity control applies to feature surfaces during one complete revolution as measured ________
of a surface or axis is in a straight line.

3. Straightness is the condition where one line ________ of a surface or axis is in a straight line.

4. Form and orientation tolerances permit features to vary within the ________ of the tolerance zone.

5. Cylindricity controls the ________ surface of the features.

6. Per unit control is specified to prevent the continuation of feature ________ or abruptness of the
controlled feature.

7. For tolerances of perpendicularity, the zone established by the specified ________ must be within the
limits of feature size.

8. The tolerance boundary for a cylindrical feature axis is diametrical when the ________ symbol is

9. Feature control frame ________ determines whether a tolerance is applied to the median plane,
center line, or axis of a controlled feature.

10. Form and orientation tolerances are ________ to be RFS.

11. When a form or orientation tolerance is specified for a feature in relation to a datum feature, the
datum feature is ________ to be theoretically exact.

12. With the application of GD&T, there are two tolerances allowed: ________ and ________.

13. Angularity is the condition of a surface or ________ at an angle other than 90 degrees from a datum.

14. Parallelism is the condition of a surface or axis an equal ________ at all points from a datum plane
or axis.

15. For noncylindrical features, angularity tolerance is a ________ and not an angular tolerance zone.

16. Total runout is always implied ________.

17. A ________ tolerance is applied on either side of the basic profile.

18. A ________ profile is specified to control a line element of a surface.

19. Profile tolerance is a method of specifying control of deviation from the desired basic ________ along
the surface of a feature.

20. Runout is a composite form and location control of permissible error in the desired part surface
during a complete ________ of the part around a datum axis.

21. Orientation tolerances need not be referenced to ________.


This chapter introduces you to a very impor- Virtual condition is not a control, but a con-
tant concept concerning the mating parts of an as- dition of a feature as a result of size, geometric
sembly. Today, interchangeability of parts is more tolerance, and the modifiers. Virtual condition is
critical than ever before. Interchangeability in- the boundary (locus) at which features are no
cludes those manufacturing situations where sub- longer acceptable. The locus may violate Rule
assemblies may be shipped from one country to One, which in part states, the boundary of per-
another for assembly; it also includes the replace- fect form at MMC. In certain applications, the
ment of a single part within an assembly. The re- combined effect of the actual mating size, geo-
quired assembly and interchangeability of parts metric tolerance, and the modifiers will exceed
and assemblies can be ensured only when parts the boundary of perfect form. The following ex-
are accepted at virtual condition or better. The amples illustrate how the boundary may be ex-
virtual condition of a part is the condition that de- ceeded.
fines the boundary of acceptability. This condi-
External Feature
tion is the boundary established by the collective
effect of size and geometric tolerance.
The first indication that a virtual condition
Virtual condition is explained and illustrated
may exist for a feature is the size tolerance; it
for both internal and external features. The prin-
must be a feature of size. The feature must also be
ciples and the appropriate use of modifiers are
controlled with a geometric tolerance. The next
also involved here. If the use of modifiers is not
indication is whenever a center line or an axis is
clear, review them before attempting to compre-
being controlled. Figure 7-1 illustrates these two
hend the concept of virtual condition. The virtual
condition concept is especially important when
developing inspection gaging. Gages must be
made to the virtual condition boundary and the re-
sultant condition boundary as derived from the 100
material condition specified. Their purpose is to
accept features, but not to accept those worse than
virtual condition. Mating parts are dimensioned
with consideration for virtual condition. It is 0.5 M
through proper dimensioning and gaging with
virtual condition that 100% interchangeability Figure 7-1 Feature of size with centerline
and proper function are achieved. or axis controlled by geometric tolerance.


The virtual condition of an external feature is

a constant value equal to its Maximum Material
Condition size plus its applicable tolerance of 13.2
form or location. For this pin, the virtual condi- CONDITION
tion is equal to 12.7 plus the geometric tolerance
of 0.5. The virtual condition is 13.2 (outer bound-
ary, locus).
The resultant condition of an external feature GAGE
is a variable value equal to its actual mating enve-
lope size minus its applicable tolerance of form or Figure 7-2 Functional gage for the pin in
location. For the pin in Figure 7-1, the resultant Figure 7-1.
condition is equal to 12.7 minus 0.5. The resultant
condition is 12.2 (inner boundary, locus).
The outer boundary of this pin does exceed
the boundary of perfect form according to Rule
One. This is permitted because Rule One estab-
lishes the boundary of perfect form for only those 12.7
features that are not controlled with a geometric
form tolerance. This pin may then occupy a diame-
tral area up to, but not exceeding, 13.2 mm. This
does not mean that the pin diameter may exceed GAGE
the stated size and tolerance. If the pin does not
meet the specified size requirements, it is not ac- Figure 7-3 Pin at maximum diameter and
ceptable. It means thatwith the pin at the largest perfect form.
diameter (12.7) and the axis requiring the entire
tolerance zone (0.5)the effective diameter outer
boundary is 13.2 mm. The actual mating size and
geometric tolerance are within specification.
The designer must always consider virtual
condition when dimensioning and tolerancing 12.7
functional parts, because parts are inspected with
functional gaging at virtual condition that repre-
sents the mating part. The functional gage for the TOLERANCE
pin in Figure 7-1 is illustrated in Figure 7-2. ZONE GAGE
This functional gage diameter must be 13.2
mm in order to check all acceptable pin shapes.
This gage is not used to check feature diametral Figure 7-4 Axis variation allowed within
size. Figure 7-3 shows how pin forms are verified tolerance at MMC.
with a functional gage. When the pin is at the
maximum diameter and at perfect form, it will fit
tral tolerance zone of 0.5 mm. This means the pin
the gage similar to that shown in Figure 7-3.
may also bow or wave to that extent. Figure 7-4
When the pin is manufactured at MMC (12.7
illustrates how this pin would be accepted by the
mm), the axis is permitted to lie within a diame-
functional gage.

The pin may also be produced to the other ac- The two pins in this part are subject to virtual
tual mating size limit (LMC). In this condition, condition. The lower pin, because it is the datum
the tolerance zone for the axis would increase to feature, must be simulated with a gage to estab-
0.9 mm. The pin may take any shape as long as lish the datum axis. In such cases, the datum fea-
the axis lies within the tolerance zone of 0.9. Fig- ture applies at its virtual condition even though it
ure 7-5 illustrates how pin straightness could vary is referenced in a feature control frame at MMC
up to as much as 0.9 mm at the axis and still be ac- or LMC. The upper pin must also be considered
ceptable. with a virtual condition gage because it meets the
requirements of virtual condition.
The gage cylinder for the lower pin would
have to be adjustable to fit the produced condition
of the pin. The gage cylinder for the upper pin
12.3 (LMC) will have a virtual condition diameter of 13.7
mm. The virtual condition is determined by
adding the 0.5 mm tolerance in Figure 7-1 to the
0.9 MMC size of 13.2 mm in Figure 7-5. The gage
ZONE GAGE must be capable of accepting the entire length of
the pins. Figure 7-7 illustrates the gage for the
part in Figure 7-6.
Caption: Figure 7-5 Axis variation
allowed within tolerance at LMC.

The concept of virtual condition is not too

difficult to follow with one feature. The applica-
tion on a more realistic part that will require as-
sembly will help to expand on this concept. The
drawing in Figure 7-6 has two features that must
mate with another part when assembled.
ZONE (TOLERANCE ZONE MAY Figure 7-7 Virtual condition or functional
INCREASE TO 1.5 AT LMC gage for assembly in Figure 7-6.

Internal Feature

Virtual condition for an internal feature must

have the same condition as an external feature.
The feature must have size, a geometric toler-
ance, and a modifier. The virtual condition is cal-
Figure 7-6 Part one of an assembly.

R 50
R 25

0.2 M A

B Figure 7-8 Feature of size

and modified geometric
0.5 A B M

0.5:1.0 0.5 tolerance.


culated opposite of an external feature. Virtual acceptable because the hole at any cross-sectional
condition is the feature MMC size minus the geo- measurement is within the size limits and the axis
metric tolerance. Figure 7-8 illustrates a feature may lay any place within the diametral tolerance
of size (hole), the geometric tolerance, and a zone of 0.2 mm at MMC. This hole, like the pin in
modifier. earlier examples, is permitted to bow, taper, or
The virtual condition of an internal feature is wave. The shaft that passes through this hole may
a constant value equal to its Maximum Material not be the same shape as the hole. Therefore,
Condition size minus its applicable tolerance of some acceptable condition must be established
form or location. For this hole, the virtual condi- the virtual condition. Figure 7-9 illustrates how
tion is equal to 12.4 mm (MMC) minus 0.2 mm. the hole may be produced.
The virtual condition is 12.2 mm (inner boundary, The functional gage used to check this hole
locus). would have a 12.2 mm diameter pin (fixed). The
The resultant condition of an internal feature pin is not expandable as it would be if the tolerance
is a variable value equal to its actual mating size was specified at RFS. The pin is positioned in the
plus its applicable tolerance of form or location. fixture so that it would also check the hole in rela-
The virtual condition of this hole is smaller tion to the datums. Figure 7-10 illustrates how this
than the specified size limits of the hole. This is part might fit a gage for checking the hole.




Figure 7-9 Acceptable hole conditions for Figure 7-10 Functional gage for checking
part in Figure 7-8. the hole in the part for Figure 7-8.

This gage, then, will accept only parts that Summary

are 100% interchangeable if properly designed.
The gage accepts holes of any configuration that Virtual condition is a critical concept of
are within the stated tolerances. This part will GD&T from design through inspection. It is with
need two gages or a gage for the hole and an op- proper application of GD&T and interpretation of
tical comparison for the profile, in order to check the virtual condition concept that parts are 100%
and accept the part. interchangeable. The concept of virtual condition
When the controlled feature is also a datum, may best be remembered as an extension of the
as is the case with the hole in Figure 7-8, the da- modifier principles. Virtual condition is always
tum feature applies at its virtual condition. The determined to be the MMC size plus geometric
gage-pin axis is considered theoretically exact tolerance for external featuresin other words,
for the purpose of locating the part profile. the features largest effective actual mating size.
When a gage is used to check a datum feature, For an internal feature, the virtual condition is
the gage axis or center line becomes the simu- MMC minus the geometric tolerance. This would
lated axis. be the features smallest effective actual mating

Chapter 7 Evaluation

1. Virtual condition is a boundary of perfect form and orientation, generated by the ________ effects
of the feature MMC size and applicable geometric tolerances.
2. To determine the virtual condition for an external feature, the features ________ tolerance must be
added to the feature MMC size.
3. A feature at virtual condition may ________ the boundary of perfect form as required by Rule One.

4. Virtual condition is the condition in which ________ are made.

5. Virtual condition is the boundary at which features are no longer an ________ part.

6. Functional gaging at virtual condition represents the ________ part.

7. The method for calculating virtual condition for an internal feature is the ________ of that for an
external feature.
8. According to Rule ________, the virtual condition of a feature of size is considered the simulated

9. Parts and features made at virtual condition or better are 100% ________.

10. Virtual condition may also be considered as an extension of the ________ principles.
of a figure or revolution (or correspondingly-lo-
cated elements of two or more radially disposed
features) are congruent with the axis (or center
This chapter introduces the principles of tol-
point) of a datum feature.
erances of location. These tolerances or geomet-
ric controls are Concentricity, Symmetry, and Po- Tolerance
sition. The location controls are specified to con-
trol the relationships between features or between
Concentricity tolerance is always implied
features and a datum feature. The relationships
and specified Regardless of Feature Size, RFS.
are toleranced at the axis, center line, or center
The tolerance is a diametral zone in which the
plane. Positional tolerance then provides the per-
axis of the controlled feature must lie. This zone
missible variation in the specified location of the
must coincide with the axis (center point) of the
feature or group of features in relation to another
datum features. Concentricity is a very restrictive
feature or datum. A tolerance of location is ap-
geometric control. A specified tolerance controls
plied to at least two features, of which one must
the amount of eccentricity error, parallelism of
be a feature of size (meaning one is a datum).
axis, out-of-straightness of axis, out-of-circular-
Because one of the features must be a feature
ity, out-of-cylindricity, and any other possible er-
of size, the modifier principles do apply. General
rors in the feature axis. This tolerance controls all
Rule Two requires the designer to specify modi-
possible errors at the feature axis. Therefore, it is
fiers for all features, tolerances, and datums of
difficult to verify and may be excessively expen-
size. The advantages of the modifiers can be used
sive to produce. The actual feature axes must lie
to their greatest extent with tolerances of location
within the specified tolerance zone. It may be
involving part interchangeability and functionality
more effective to use Runout or Position toler-
of mating parts. GD&Ts advantages are best real-
ized when position and modifiers are specified.
Concentricity Concentricity is considered when critical
axis-to-axis control is required for dynamically
Symbol balanced features. This control is selectively
specified, because features may be controlled
with runout or position. Runout only controls a
surface-to-axis at RFS. Position offers all the ad-
Concentricity is the condition where the me-
vantages of GD&T. Concentricity is an axis-to-
dian points of all diametrically opposed elements


axis control at RFS. Concentricity is normally to determine the midpoints relative to the axis of
specified for high-speed rotating parts, rotating the datum.
mass, axis-to-axis precision, or any other feature For coaxial features located with a positional
critical to function. Figure 8-1 illustrates the tolerance, the location of the axis of the features
proper application of concentricity. actual mating envelope is controlled relative to
the axis of the datum feature.

0.2 A-B

Figure 8-1 Applying concentricity.
Symmetry is the condition where a feature or
part has the same profile on either side of the cen-
ter plane (median plane) of a datum feature.
Tolerance Interpretation
Concentricity tolerance is always interpreted Tolerance
as RFS. The tolerance zone is diametral around
and parallel to the datum axis. Verification is dif- The tolerance for symmetry is always im-
ficult. Concentricity is the determination of the plied to be RFS. The tolerance is applied equally
controlled features axes in relationship to the da- on either side of the controlled feature center line.
tum axis. A radial differential measurement is the The implied modifier restricts the tolerance to the
most accurate method of determining the actual specified amount only.
controlled feature axis. These measurements
must be taken opposite of each other. The toler-
ance zone for the part in Figure 8-1 is illustrated
in Figure 8-2.



2.000 .015
Figure 8-2 Concentricity tolerance zone. .010 A

3.000 A
For concentricity, the feature surfaces must
be measured diametrically opposed to each other Figure 8-3 Applying symmetry.

Application requirements and intentions. Through clearer

specification, higher production yields are possi-
Symmetry is specified for features to be lo- ble, interchangeability is ensured, and definable
cated symmetrically with respect to the median quality requirements are attained.
plane of a datum feature. It may also be specified The coordinate method of dimensioning
for a feature in a common plane with a datum does not provide the same advantages. The coor-
plane. This symbol is specified extensively dinate dimensioning system is not replaced with
throughout industry. Figure 8-3 illustrates an ap- GD&T; it is enhanced with it. The two methods of
plication of symmetry. dimensioning and tolerancing may be specified
simultaneously on engineering drawings. As we
Tolerance Interpretation stated, the coordinate method doesnt provide the
same tolerance advantages; system comparisons
The specified tolerance establishes a toler-
are illustrated in Figures 8-5 through 8-9.
ance zone that is the specified width, with half of
Position is always specified for features of
the tolerance on either side of the datum feature
size, and datums must be specified. Positional tol-
center line. This width zone allows the feature to
erance enables the designer to specify geometric
vary from side-to-side or angularly within the tol-
controls that utilize the majority of the advan-
erance zone. The tolerance zone size is not per-
tages for specifying GD&T. Position may be
mitted to vary with feature size. Figure 8-4 illus-
specified to control feature locations, relation-
trates how the interior of the part could vary in re-
ships, coaxiality, Concentricity, and Symmetry of
lation to the exterior, which is the datum feature.
cylindrical and noncylindrical features of size.
The controlled feature is permitted a maximum of
Because Position is specified for size features,
.005 inch shift to the side in either direction.
the modifier principles must be considered. These
principles do provide many of the advantages for
specifying GD&T. The datum reference frame
becomes an important concept when position is
specified in relationship to datums. Position is al-
ways specified in conjunction with Basic dimen-
sions from specified datums or between interre-
lated features. Basic dimensions establish true
Positional tolerance may be explained either
.01 TOLERANCE in terms of the internal surface of a hole, slot, etc.,
or in terms of the axis, center plane, or center line.
Figure 8-4 Symmetry tolerance zone. This book, like most documents on the subject,
explains position in terms of feature centers. The
specified positional tolerance defines a zone
within which the center of the feature of size is
Position Introduction
permitted to vary from true position (theoretically
exact) in relation to another feature or datum.
Position is one of the most effective and used True Position is established by Basic dimensions
controls in GD&T. This control provides the de- from specified datum features and between inter-
signer with the ability to specify clearly all design related features. True position is an axis, center

line, or center plane of a feature as defined by Ba- .008

- .002
sic dimensions. The tolerance specified in the fea-
ture control frame is either a diameter or a width
located equally around true position.
The tolerance zone may be modified with the A
geometric modifiers. Application of the modifiers
allows the specified tolerance to increase an 2.000.010
amount equal to the features size departure from .02



Position Theory Figure 8-5 Square tolerance zone.

Introduction Axis Location

Design requirements for assemblies with in- The axis of the hole must lie within the
terfacing mating parts usually relate one feature square tolerance zone of .020 to be an acceptable
to another. These featuresholes and pins, or part. To further expand upon this, assume that
holes for floating fastenersrelate to each other five parts were inspected, and the center point
in 360 degrees of location to each other. The co- axis of each hole is illustrated in relation to the
ordinate dimensioning method of tolerancing .020 tolerance zone in Figure 8-6. The illustration
does not permit 360 degrees flexibility. The coor- shows that two parts are acceptable and three are
dinate dimensioning system makes no provisions out-of-tolerance. Please note: in Figure 8-6, only
for feature size variations in relation to feature the tolerance zone is depicted.
location. GD&T takes into consideration both
size and location when determining feature
or part acceptability.

The following is an explanation of the rea-

soning behind the use of Position tolerancing ver- #5
sus the coordinate dimensioning system. For dis- #1
cussion and illustration purposes, consider the re-
quirements in Figure 8-10 for a .530 plus .008, #2 #3 #4
minus .002 diameter hole in a part. The hole is to
be located within plus or minus .010 to the center
of the part. This translates to a .020 square toler- NOTE: .02 TOLERANCE ZONE ONLY
ance zone around true position which the actual
Figure 8-6 Parts rejected due to square
axis of the hole must lie within. Figure 8-5 illus-
tolerance zone.
trates the drawing requirement.

Diagonal Measurement tion of .010. The tolerance zone must be an in-

scribed circle .020 in diameter. Figure 8-8 illus-
The concept behind positional tolerancing is trates the proper comparison between the coordi-
to use a circular tolerance zone rather than a nate and geometric tolerance zones. This illustra-
square one. The circular zone allows for 360 de- tion appears to have reduced the allowable varia-
grees of axis or feature movement. To achieve the tion in feature location; in fact, it has for a feature
circle, the diagonal measurement from center to a of minimum size. When the modifier principles
corner becomes the radius for a circular zone. In are considered, the tolerance is not lost, but
this illustration, the total diagonal measurement gained.
is .028. Therefore, if part number two is accept-
able, then part three should also be acceptable be-
cause it is closer to true position. By specifying a .02
circular tolerance zone, five of the five parts are
acceptable. Figure 8-7 illustrates the two toler-
ance zones. The shaded area indicates the amount
of tolerance gained with the circular tolerance
#5 #1
#2 #4

Figure 8-8 Square and Circular tolerance

.014 zone comparisons.
#1 Bonus Tolerance

#3 #4 One of the advantages of GD&T is a greater
tolerance based on actual mating size. In this ex-
ample, assume parts four and five were produced
Figure 8-7 Tolerance gained with a circular at the largest permissible size, .538. The preced-
tolerance zone. ing .020 tolerance zone has increased to .028.
This practice is possible with the application of
the modifier principles. The ASME Y14.5M-
Circular Tolerance 2009 standard states in part that the tolerance is
limited to the specified value when the feature is
In Figure 8-7, the illustrated approach to tol- a MMC. Where the actual mating size departs
erancing appears to be more logical, but another from MMC, an increase in tolerance is allowed
consideration must be made. The designer in- equal to the amount of departure. Figure 8-9 il-
tended for the holes to vary in the X and Y direc- lustrates how the bonus tolerance zone accepts
tions, not diagonally. Therefore, the circular tol- parts four and five when they are made larger than
erance zone must not exceed the original inten- the specified MMC size. All of the parts are ac-

ceptable if their axes remain in this .028 toler- axis or center line must lie within the allowable
ance zone for the thickness of the part thus creat- tolerance zone, which is distributed equally
ing a cylindrical zone. This tolerance zone can be around true position. True position is a theoreti-
considered to be a tube or cylinder (see Figure 8- cally exact location determined with Basic di-
11). The axis of the controlled feature must lie in mensions. The specified tolerance zone may in-
the tube or cylindrical zone and may take any crease in size based on the actual mating size.
shape as long as it is within the zone there. For Tolerance zone increase is permitted with the
noncylindrical features, the zone would be like a specification of modifiers.
box or rectangle.

Position may be specified to control nearly

all features of a part. Position should be specified
whenever the design requirements permit. This
control provides an opportunity to utilize many of
028 the advantages of GD&T. Figure 8-10 illustrates
#5 #1 a simplified application of position.
#2 #4 Tolerance Interpretation
The tolerance in this example is .010 in di-
Figure 8-9 Gained tolerance allows more ameter when the feature (hole) is at MMC, .528.
acceptable parts. The tolerance zone is cylindrical because the de-
signer specified the diameter symbol preceding
the tolerance. Figure 8-11 illustrates how the tol-
erance zone is determined. The tolerance zone in
this position example is permitted an increase in
size by .010. This is available based on the feature
plus/minus size tolerance. The tolerance zone di-
Definition ameter is determined by actual mating size. Be-
fore the feature is produced, only the minimum
and maximum tolerance zone sizes can be deter-
Position is the condition where a feature or
mined. If this example contained a group of fea-
group of features is located (positioned) in rela-
tures, each of them may have a different size tol-
tion to another feature or datum feature.
erance zone based on the actual mating size.
Tolerance Positional tolerance specified at MMC may
be explained in terms of the surface of a hole or
the axis of a hole.
Location tolerance zones are either cylindri-
a. In Terms of the Surface of a Hole
cal or noncylindrical; this determination is made
While maintaining the specified size lim-
in the feature control frame. The tolerance zone is
its of the hole, no element of the surface is
cylindrical if the diameter symbol precedes the
permitted to be inside the theoretical
specified tolerance. The absence of the symbol
boundary located at true position.
indicates a width zone. The controlled feature(s)

- .002
.010 M A B C

Figure 8-10 A simplified

application of position.

B 1.500



C Figure 8-11 Cylindrical/tubular

tolerance zone.

b. In Terms of the Axis of a HoleWhere Position tolerance in this book is explained

a hole is at MMC (minimum diameter), in terms of the axis. In any case, the MMC-LMC
its axis must lie within a cylindrical surface interpretation take precedence over the
tolerance zone whose axis is located at axis interpretation.
true position. This zone diameter is equal
to the positional tolerance specified for
Position of Multiple Cylindrical
the hole.
Note: In certain cases of extreme form devi-
ation (within limits of size) or orientation devia-
tion of the hole, the tolerance in terms of the axis Introduction
may not be exactly equivalent to the tolerance in
terms of the surface. In such cases, the surface in- The advantages of GD&T and position can
terpretation shall take precedence. The length of best be explained when two or more features are
the tolerance zone is equal to the feature length, positioned. When a group of features are to be
unless otherwise specified. controlled with position, a tolerance for location

is specified and appropriately modified. The fea- gage is simulating the fit or assembly of a mating
ture is then related to something, which may be an part.
edge, surface, or other feature(s); these are the da-
tum reference features. Specification in this man-
ner ensures a clearer intent of the design. The da-
tum reference frame is utilized for the relation-
ships as required for part function. The rules are
applied as required for the specified controls and .498 GAGE
controlled features. The geometric controlposi- PINS
tionbrings all of these concepts together better
Figure 8-13 Holes with gage inserted.
than any of the other controls. An illustration of
how multiple features are specified and con-
trolled with position is shown in Figure 8-12.
Opposite Offset at MMC

The gage will allow all acceptably-located
1.000 1.500
features regardless of their shape, location, and
.750 size (must be verified separately). Each feature
may be off true position in a different direction
+.008 and be of different sizes. Figure 8-14 illustrates a
3X .530
E P - .002 possible hole arrangement. These features are at
.01 M D E P
their maximum tolerance location when at MMC.
The axis of each feature is .010 of an inch from
true position.

Figure 8-12 Multiple features are specified

and controlled with position.
1.000 1.500

Feature Location

The effects of feature size, MMC, and virtual

condition can best be illustrated when the expla-
nation begins with the features perfectly located DIAMETER AND OFFSET .010
at MMC. Figure 8-13 illustrates these holes with
the gage inserted. Note that the gage pins are per-
Figure 8-14 Hole center axis
fectly centered in the holes when they are in this
offset at MMC.
condition. There is clearance between the pins
and holes because the gage is at virtual condition.
For this multiple-feature example, the gage pins The gage will accept this part when the fea-
are .498 in diameter. When all features are located tures are offset in various directions. Figure 8-15
perfectly as they are here, there will be an equal illustrates the part and gage. Note there is line
distance between each gage pin and the hole. This contact between the gage and part.

The gage will accept the part in Figure 8-16.

1.000 1.500
All features are within specified size and location
tolerances. Figure 8-17 illustrates the part and
gage. Note that there is a tangency line contact
between the gage and features. The examples il-
.010 .010
lustrated in Figure 8-15 and 8-17, or any other
.010 conceivable combination, illustrate part accept-
ance when manufactured to the specifications.
GAGE PINS ARE .518 DIAMETER The LMC method is used to protect wall thick-
ness on parts like thin sheet-metal parts or thick
castings. Again, the feature axis must lie within
Figure 8-15 Gage allows acceptance for
the tube cylindrical zone of tolerance for the
hole centers offset at MMC.
thickness of the part.

Opposite Offset at LMC 1.500

1.000 1.500

The three features are more likely to be pro-

duced at some size larger than MMC. Normally,
holes and other features are produced at or near
their nominal size or larger. In Figure 8-16, the out-
side two holes are at their maximum opposite off- NOTE: GAGE PINS ARE .518 DIAMETER
set at LMC, and the center one is at the maximum
vertical offset at MMC. When the holes are pro- Figure 8-17 Gage allows acceptance for
duced at LMC, as they are in this figure, the advan- hole centers offset at LMC and MMC.
tage is maximum tolerances or bonus tolerance.
Here an internal feature is produced at its largest
specified size. In this condition, the additional fea-
Composite Positional
ture size increase beyond MMC may be added to
the specified location tolerance. Therefore, for the
two outside holes, the location tolerance is .020 of
an inch, a bonus of .010 over MMC. Introduction

1.000 1.500 Composite positional tolerancing is usually

specified when a feature-to-feature relationship is
more critical than the pattern relationship to the
part edges. Composite tolerancing is the combin-
ing of two or more feature control frames for the
.538 LMC purpose of locating a pattern of features to a
.528 MMC three-plane datum reference and then controlling
.538 LMC the feature-to-feature relationship within the pat-
Figure 8-16 Holes produced at tern. Composite tolerancing allows the designer
LMC vs. MMC. the flexibility of specifying the required precision

for pattern location and features within the pat- = PATTERN

.015 M D E P
tern. The modifiers are usually specified to gain
the advantages provided by them. .010 M D = FEATURE
Where design requirements permit compos-
ite positional tolerancing, a Feature-Relating Tol- Figure 8-18 Composite positional control.
erance Zone Framework (FRTZF) is used; it will
be located and oriented within the limits imposed
by the Pattern-Locating Tolerance Zone Frame-
lishes individual tolerance zones for each feature
work (PLTZF). (The acronyms are pronounced
in the pattern. The tolerance controls feature-to-
fritz and plahtz.)
feature relationship and feature attitude or per-
pendicularity as it passes through the part. Usu-
Composite Control ally, the same datums and datum precedence are
not specified for the individual feature control.
Where datum references are specified, one or
The combined feature control frame shown
more of the datums specified in the upper seg-
in Figure 8-18 provides composite positional
ment of the frame are repeated, and are applicable
control. The first line (PLTZF) controls the loca-
in the same order of precedence, to establish the
tion of a pattern by Basic dimensions in relation-
orientation of the FRTZF.
ship to the specified datum reference frame. This
PLTZF provides pattern control for shift or rota- Pattern Control
tion in the part. The second line (FRTZF) speci-
fies the positional tolerance to control feature-to-
PLTZF is specified to provide an orientation
feature relationship within the pattern. This toler-
requirement. The control only specifies where the
ance allows individual features to vary from true
pattern is to be located in relationship to the da-
position within the PLTZF. The tolerance estab-

- .002
.015 M D E P
.010 M D

1.500 1.500
E 1.000

Figure 8-19 Application of composite positional control.


tum references. The PLTZF is specified with Ba- tolerance zone must fall within, or at least make a
sic dimensions from specified datums, as illus- line-to-line contact with, the PLTZF (Figure 8-
trated in Figure 8-19. The features within the pat- 21). The axis of each individual feature must lie
tern are also spaced with Basic dimensions. These within this tolerance zone. (Note: In Example
dimensions provide the true position for the pat- A in Figure 8-21, the holes center axis location
tern and individual features. The specified toler- is not questionable. In Example B, it is difficult
ance of .015 applies at the true position for each to verify the center axis location without a gage,
individual feature in the pattern. This tolerance and the axis must lie at the point of line-to-line
zone can be thought of as a dart board or target. contact.)
This is the area that must be hit for the feature to
be acceptable. The hit is as good in one place as it
is in another, including true position.
The designer permits the use of a .015 area; A B
use it! If the hit or feature had to be at true posi-
Figure 8-21 Pattern Locating Tolerance
tion, parts would be excessively expensive. When
Zone Framework verification.
feature accuracy increases, so does the cost of
manufacturing to achieve that accuracy. This type
of tolerancing is not to promote ill fitting or poor
appearing parts and assemblies. If the designer Axis Verification
has calculated the tolerance, use what is allowed.

Feature Control The axis of each individual feature must lie

simultaneously within both tolerance zones of the
feature to be acceptable. Figure 8-22 illustrates
The FRTZF is established by the second line
how the tolerance zones and feature axes may ap-
of the combined feature control frame. The toler-
pear. Each line of the feature control frame re-
ance specified here controls the feature-to-datum
and feature-to-feature relationship (Figure 8-20).
The specified tolerance applies individually to
each feature in the pattern and they must be at the SHOWN FEATURE AXIS MUST LIE
Basic dimensions from each other. This FRTZF IN SHADED AREA


1.500 1.500
1.497 1.500 E
E 1.000


Figure 8-20 FRTZF to PLTZF line-to-line Figure 8-22 Feature axes must lie within
contact. both tolerance zones.

quires separate consideration. By specifying only .010 FEATURE-RELATING

datum D for the features, the tolerance zone is TOLERANCE CYLINDERS

perpendicular to that surface, controlling both lo-

cation and perpendicularity of the FRTZF.

Two Single-Segment Feature 1.500 1.500
Control Frames 1.000

Figure 8-24 Tolerance cylinders of the
Single-segment feature control frames are
used when it is desirable to require Basic dimen-
sions along with the datum references. This
method of positional tolerancing is also used to .015 PLTZF
position a pattern of features in relation to the .010 FRTZF
three-plane datum concept.

The two single-segment feature control WITHIN BOTH ZONES
frames are illustrated in Figure 8-23. The lower
Figure 8-25 Axes of the holes must lie
within both FRTZF and PLTZF.

.015 M D E P
.010 M D E
Multiple Patterns Located by
Figure 8-23 Single-segment feature control
frames. Basic Dimensions and Related
to the Same Datums
feature control frame repeats datums D and
E. Figure 8-24 shows that the tolerance cylin- Introduction
ders of the FRTZF (as a group) are free to be dis-
placed to the left or right, as controlled by the ba- Many of the parts throughout the industrial
sically located cylinders of tolerance of the world contain more than one pattern of features.
PLTZF. These tolerance cylinders are required to These patterns may be related so that they must be
be perpendicular to plane D and parallel to E. verified together. If the patterns can be separate,
The actual axes of the holes in the pattern they are so specified to reduce the part cost. It is
must lie within both the tolerance zones of the not necessary for the designer to always add the
FRTZF and PLTZF, as shown in Figure 8-25. note SEP REQT. Separate requirements are

6.060 3X .375.003
2.000 .010 M D E P


8.500 .015
1.500 Figure 8-26 Two patterns
2.500 .015 of features located
1.000 .188.005
relative to datums.
E 1.500
.008 D
1.500 3X .531
- .002
7.000 .015 .010 M D E P
.005 M D

2.750.015 .250 .250.015
- .002

Figure 8-27 Independent
patterns located relative
to datums.

3X .375
- .002
.005 M A B .625

also specified by different datum references, dif- features at RFS, they are considered to be a single
ferent modifiers, and different datum order of pattern.
precedence. In Figure 8-26, two patterns of features lo-
cated from common datums not subject to size
Patterns Located Relative variation are illustrated. Because both patterns
to Datums of No Size are located from these datums with Basic dimen-
sions, the patterns are verified with one setup or
When multiple patterns of features are lo- gage. When patterns are specified in this manner,
cated in relation to common datum features not they are not allowed any shift or rotation inde-
subject to size variation, or to common datum pendent of the other pattern.

Patterns Located Relative are independent whenever feature control frames

to Datums of Size are different or when the notation SEP REQT is
added beneath the feature control frames.
When patterns of features are located from
the same datums of size, verification again is per- Patterns Positioned from a
formed as if the patterns were a single composite Datum of Size
pattern. The feature control frames must contain
the same datums in the same order of precedence Introduction
and with the same modifiers. If the design does
not require such an interrelationship between pat-
Positional tolerances may be specified to
terns, the designer may add the notation SEP
control a pattern of features in relationship to an-
REQT (separate requirement) under each appli-
other feature. This type of specification is used
cable feature control frame. This notation allows
when pattern-to-feature relationship is more crit-
each pattern to be verified independently. It also
ical than pattern-to-edge. The single feature in
allows pattern shift/rotation independent of each
this type of application becomes the locating fea-
other. Figure 8-27 illustrates an independent de-
ture for the pattern. Most frequently, the locating
feature is a feature of size. Features of size must
The designer may change the contents of the
have a modifier specified for them in the feature
feature control frames. The designer may desig-
control frame. These locating features are also
nate different datum references, order of prece-
controlled by Rule Four, the datum/virtual condi-
dence, or modifiers, thereby relieving the com-
tion rule. The specification of modifiers in these
posite pattern requirement. Patterns of features
designs provides the full advantages of GD&T. If

- .002
2.500 .015 .010 M A B M

NOTE: .005 TO .015


NOTE: .010 TO .020


8X .375
- .002
.005 M A X A

Figure 8-28 Pattern located regardless of feature size.


RFS is specified, the tolerances are more restric- Next, the pattern of eight holes must be pro-
tive, and verification is more difficult. duced in relationship to the center hole, which has
become datum feature X. Datum feature X is
Regardless of Feature Size implied RFS because no modifier is in the feature
control frame for the eight holes. These eight
A locating feature (datum) for a related pat- holes are to be .375 in., plus .008 in. or minus .002
tern is shown in Figure 8-28. In this example, the in. They each have a positional diametral toler-
locating datum feature for the pattern is modified ance of .005 in. at MMC. Figure 8-29 illustrates
to RFS. This is restrictive, but some designs do the possible tolerance zones for all of the features.
require the restriction based on the function of the In this example, as presented with datum fea-
final assembly. ture X at RFS, the pattern shift is restricted to
To begin, the center hole must be located as zero. The shift is zero because regardless of the
specified by the Basic dimensions and feature feature location or size, it becomes the dimension
control frame. The hole is to be produced at: origin for the true position of the pattern of eight
1.500 plus .008 or minus .002. The hole is al- holes.
lowed a .010 in. diametral tolerance zone for lo- Pattern Tolerance. When a pattern of fea-
cation. In this example, the positional tolerance tures is located from an RFS datum, the pattern is
zone for the hole is modified to MMC. This not permitted any shift from the datum feature.
means that the hole has a .010 inch tolerance Here the datum feature axis becomes the origin
when it is produced at 1.498. If the hole is pro- for the pattern-locating dimensions. Figure 8-30
duced at 1.508, the tolerance zone increases to illustrates the dimensioning for the pattern from
.020 in. In this case, the hole was measured to be datum feature X. All of these dimensions must
1.502 inch, so the positional tolerance is .014 in. be Basic.

8X .200 THRU
.008 .220
- .002
.005 M A X
NOTE: .010 TO .020
- .002
.01 M A B M

NOTE: .005 TO .015

POSSIBLE TOLERANCE 8 X 45 Figure 8-29 Possible
tolerance zones
for pattern.



8X .375
- .002
.220 X .200
.005 M A X
Figure 8-30 Basic
1.125 1.125
dimensioning from datum X.
.795 .795

- .002
1.125 .010 M A B M

8 X 45


These Basic dimensions establish the true an adjustable pin to fit the datum feature. The pin
position locations for the pattern. When the Basic must be adjustable because of RFS.
true position of the pattern in relationship to da-
tum feature X is established, the individual tol- Maximum Material Condition
erance for each feature in the pattern allows vari-
ation from true position. Each feature has an indi- When any of the common datums in multiple
vidual tolerance based on the actual mating size. patterns of features are specified at MMC, there is
This tolerance may vary from .005 to .015 in. be- an option whether the patterns are to be consid-
cause of the MMC modifier following the .005 ered as a single pattern or as having separate re-
positional tolerance. Each feature in the pattern is quirements. If no note is added under the feature
permitted to shift or vary as the three features did control frames, the patterns are treated as one.
in Figure 8-20. Verification of this part would re- When the patterns are to be treated individually,
quire the establishment of the datum axis. This the notation SEP REQT is placed beneath each
axis must meet the drawing specifications. After feature control frame.
verifying an acceptable datum axis, proper pat- The MMC modifier specified for a datum
tern location must be measured. If the pattern is feature of size permits the pattern to vary depend-
properly located, each feature within that pattern ing on datum size. When the datum feature is at
must be verified for proper location and orienta- MMC, the pattern variation is restricted. How-
tion (perpendicularity to datum surface A). ever, as the datum feature increases in size, the
Verification may be accomplished, depending on amount of pattern orientation shift/rotation also
required accuracy, with a coordinate measuring increases. Tolerancing patterns in this manner are
machine, paper gaging, or one hard gage that has more common than RFS. Figure 8-31 specified

8X .200 THRU
.008 .220
- .002
.005 M A X M B M

- .002
.010 M A B M


8 X 45
AT 1.488



Figure 8-32 Pattern of features are
Figure 8-31 Positional tolerance at MMC. located from axis of gage.

positional tolerances at MMC for the same part position. Figure 8-32 illustrates the available pat-
discussed with RFS. tern shift/rotation tolerance. The illustration con-
The center hole or datum feature X must tains a gage pin at virtual condition for datum fea-
be located with Basic dimensions. The hole must ture X. This datum feature is controlled by Rule
meet the specified size and location requirements. Four, datum/virtual condition. The gage pin
The hole size may vary from 1.498 to 1.508 inch, measures 1.488 inch.
with a positional tolerance that is .010 at MMC to Pattern Tolerance. The pattern shift/rotation
.020 inch at LMC. For this example, the hole is achieved by the amount of clearance there is
measures 1.502, which is .004 larger than MMC, between the hole and gage pin. The part may be
plus the .010 positional tolerance, equals a .014 shifted or rotated all around the gage pin in rela-
positional tolerance. tionship to the other datum features (part
The pattern of eight holes must be produced edges).The eight holes in the pattern establish a
in relationship to the axis of datum feature X. true position in relationship to the gage axis.
The feature control frame for the eight holes con- When the pattern orientation is established from
tains datum reference letter X: with an MMC the simulated datum axis, each of the eight fea-
modifier. This modifier permits some pattern tures has an individual positional diametral toler-
shift/rotation, an amount equal to the feature size ance of .005 in. at MMC.
departure from MMC. This amount of departure This tolerance permits each feature variation
is also the amount the pattern may vary from true based on actual mating size. Figure 8-33 illus-

1.125 1.125

.795 .795


8 X 45 Figure 8-33 Feature
tolerance in relationship to
the basic pattern orientation.

trates individual feature tolerance in relationship

Zero Tolerancing
to the basic pattern orientation.
The MMC modifier permits the pattern some
shift/rotation in relationship to the datum feature. Introduction
Then each individual feature in the pattern is per-
mitted variation from true position. The amount
Zero positional tolerancing at MMC may be
of variation is dependent on the actual mating
specified where design requirements permit. Ad-
size. For example, if the datum feature is pro-
ditional tolerance then would be allowed when a
duced at the virtual condition size, there is no pat-
tolerance is specified in the feature control frame.
tern shift/rotation permitted. Likewise, if any or
Zero tolerancing does not indicate no tolerance or
all of the eight features were produced at virtual
less tolerance. This method of tolerancing may al-
condition, they would have to be located at their
low more tolerance and tooling options. The ad-
true position.
ditional tolerance is achieved by the designer ad-
Parts that have patterns of features related to
justing the feature size. The virtual condition for
another datum feature(s) may be verified with
the features function is specified as one limit of
several methods. Set-up time and accuracy re-
size with a plus or minus size tolerance depending
quired may determine the method of verification.
on an internal or external feature. When the fea-
These parts may be verified with a coordinate
ture is produced at MMC, it must be at true posi-
measuring machine, paper gaging, or hard gag-
tion with zero tolerance.
ing. Each of these methods provides advantages
and disadvantages. The datum feature must be Application
verified first with any method. Separate gaging is
required to determine acceptable location. Then,
To illustrate the advantages of zero toleranc-
from the actual datum feature axis the pattern lo-
ing, the drawing in Figure 8-12 will be used. In
cation is determined. Another gage is required to
that figure, the feature size and positional toler-
verify pattern relationship to the datum feature
ance is specified, as shown in Figure 8-34.

+.008 may just as well specify that size and provide

3X .530
- .002 maximum tolerances for manufacturing. Figure
.010 M D E P
8-36 is a table showing positional tolerances. This
comparison table shows the flexibility that is
Figure 8-34 Positional tolerancing
available with zero tolerancing. Also, the lower
at MMC.
size limit for an internal feature is both MMC and
virtual condition.
That specification is a practical specification
for a .500 inch fastener. The same hole limits of
size and positional tolerance can be achieved with
a zero tolerance specification. If zero tolerancing
were specified, it would appear as illustrated in
Figure 8-35.

3X .498
- .000
.000 M D E P

Figure 8-35 Zero position tolerancing

at MMC.


This method of tolerancing may at first appear Figure 8-36 Comparison chart showing
as if there is no positional tolerance. The feature at flexibility of zero tolerancing,
MMC does not have any positional tolerance.
However, as the feature departs from MMC, the
tolerance zone increases in size from .000 to .040
Projected Tolerance Zone
in. With zero tolerancing, the feature size may vary
from .498 to .538 in. In Figure 8-12, the features
could vary in size from .528 to .538 with a .010-
Symbol P
inch tolerance maximum. Zero tolerancing allows
the features to be produced at their minimum func-
tional size or virtual condition and allows for a
larger range of flexibility in manufacture. Definition

Virtual Condition The projected tolerance zone specifies a re-

quired tolerance to prevent interference of mating
Zero positional tolerance is based on feature parts when fixed fasteners are used. The required
virtual condition. The designer must calculate the specified tolerance is projected above the surface
virtual condition for parts that assemble, so they that contains the fixed fastener.

Tolerance shows the two holes produced at slight angles to

each other. The axis of the hole in the mating part
Projected tolerance zones are usually cylin- must be within the specified projected tolerance
drical, but may be noncylindrical if the design zone for the thickness of the part (.500 in.). When
permits. The tolerance is specified by the second both parts are produced within their tolerances,
modifier in a feature control frame. The first mod- the parts will assemble.
ifier listed in the frame specifies the positional
tolerance in relationship to the required datums.
Then the second modifier specifies the height the .030 TOLERANCE ZONE
tolerance zone extends above the part that is to AXIS OF MATING PART
contain the fixed fastener.

A projected tolerance may be specified in an

application where one part of an assembly con- AXIS OF THREADED HOLE
tains the pins or studs to locate another part, cap,
or cover to the first. Figure 8-37 illustrates such
Figure 8-38 Mating part relationship to the
an application. The designer here has specified a
projected tolerance zone.
projected tolerance of .500 in. above the part con-
taining the fixed fastener. This height is required
to ensure assembly of the mating part. The toler- Noncylindrical Features
ance zone is a .015 cylinder .500 inch high at

A 8 X 1/2-13 UNC-2B Positional tolerancing may also be specified

.015 M P .500 A B C for noncylindrical features. The feature control
frame is an indication that the feature may be non-
cylindrical; the diameter symbol will not be spec-
ified preceding the geometric tolerance. When
the diameter symbol is not specified, the toler-
Figure 8-37 Application of a projected
ance zone is then a width equally divided on ei-
tolerance zone.
ther side of the feature center line.
The modifier principles apply to non-cylin-
drical features with the same advantages as cylin-
Tolerance Interpretation
drical features. Where modifiers are applicable,
The tolerance zone in this example is .015 the tolerance zones are permitted to increase. The
inch at MMC above the part. This zone is speci- modifiers may also be specified for datum fea-
fied to accommodate any error in the drilling or tures of size. In such applications, Rule Four, the
tapping process. The zone permits some mis- datum/virtual condition rule, applies.
alignment of the two parts or some error in pro- Non-cylindrical features can be evaluated in
ducing the holes. The illustration in Figure 8-38 the following three ways:

a. In Terms of the Surfaces of the Feature. controlled feature with extension lines. Figure 8-
No element of the features side surface shall be 39 illustrates the application of a noncylindrical
inside the theoretical boundary defined by two position control.
parallel planes (features specified minimum
width) equal distance from the true position. Tolerance
b. In Terms of the Center Plane of the
Feature. The features center plane must be The specified positional tolerance of .005 in. at
within the tolerance zone defined by two parallel MMC is a total width tolerance for each spline of
planes (features tolerance) equal distance from the feature when the spline is at .157 inch. Because
true position. This tolerance zone is what controls these splines are external features, the smaller they
the attitude (angle) that the feature must maintain. are produced, the larger their positional tolerance is.
c. In Terms of the Boundary for an Elon- In the example illustrated in Figure 8-40, the .005
gated Feature. No element of the features sur- in. tolerance is applied equally on either side of the
face shall be inside the theoretical boundary of spline center line. The center line may be off to one
identical shape located at true position. The side, bowed at an angle, or any other possible from.
boundary size is equal to the MMC size of the It must lie within the tolerance zone for the feature
elongated feature minus its positional tolerance. to be acceptable. This tolerance controls both the lo-
To require this concept, the term BOUNDARY is cation and the form of each spline.
placed beneath the feature control frame.
Note: This boundary concept can also be ap- TOLERANCE ZONE
plied to other irregularly-shaped features such as FOR EACH FEATURE
D-shaped holes, where the center is not conve- .005 B
niently identifiable.

Positional tolerance is applied to non-cylin- DETAIL B

drical features in the same way it is applied to
cylindrical features. Positional tolerance and da-
Figure 8-40 Total width tolerance zone.
tum references must be specified. The diameter
symbol is not specified. The specified feature size
and geometric control are usually attached to the Bidirectional Tolerancing
6 X .157 Introduction
- .005
.005 M A
Bidirectional tolerancing is another method
of positioning round holes or any feature of size.
1.500 This method of tolerancing is applied when holes
- .005
6 X 60
60 may be allowed to vary more in one direction than
in another. Holes are located from either rectan-
gular or polar coordinates. The principles apply to
Figure 8-39 Position tolerance applied to
either method of coordinate dimensioning. The
non-cylindrical features.

4X .015 M A B C

Figure 8-41 Application of 4X .375
- .002
bidirectional tolerancing.



4 X .010 M A B C 1.500
1.000 B A


.010 WIDE A
Figure 8-42
1.000 Rectangular
DETAIL A 1.500 tolerance zone.
SCALE 3 : 1 1.000 B A


feature control frame does not contain a diameter feature control frames are attached to the con-
symbol before the positional tolerance. The toler- trolled features in a drawing view where the fea-
ance zone is rectangular and established by two ture relationships can be seen. One feature con-
different feature control frames. Bidirectional tol- trol frame provides the positional tolerance in one
erancing is not limited to holes. direction and the other one provides control in the
opposite direction. Each of the tolerance values
Application represent a distance between two parallel planes
or arcs that is the specified tolerance apart. Figure
Bidirectional tolerancing is applied in the 8-41 illustrates a rectangular coordinate method
same manner as other geometric controls. The or bidirectional tolerancing.

Tolerance Coaxial features share the same principles as any

other mating parts. Therefore, datums and mod-
The tolerance zones in each direction for ifers apply. Along with them are the rules govern-
bidirectional tolerancing are independent of each ing features of size. Depending on the method of
other. Combined, they form a rectangular zone. feature control, the advantages of GD&T can be
The zones are subject to change when MMC or realized when controlling coaxial features. The
LMC is specified in the feature control frame. designer may specify one of three geometric con-
The axes of the holes must lie within the allow- trols. Depending on design requirements, coaxial
able tolerance zones. The axis must remain within features may be controlled with Position, Runout,
the zone for the thickness of the part. If a part is or Concentricity. Their application should be con-
thick enough to where the holes angularity or sidered in this order.
slant through the part is a concern, the designer
may specify a perpendicularity or similar control Positional Control
to prevent excessive angularity. The tolerance
zone for Figure 8-41 is illustrated in Figure 8-42. Coaxiality is most commonly controlled
with position. Position provides the required in-
terchangeability, potentially more tolerance, and
Coaxial Features
permits the use of functional gaging. Whenever
possible, the MMC modifier should be specified
Introduction to achieve full advantage of tolerances. Positional
control may be specified with the same positional
tolerance and datums for both features, different
Coaxiality control is where the designer is
positional tolerances, and the same datum feature
controlling the axis-to-axis relationship of two or
references or different tolerances.
more cylindrical feature surfaces simultaneously.

- .002
.010 M A B M
8X .228 .010 THRU
82 .438
.005 M A X

Figure 8-43 Coaxial

feature control.

8 X 45
45 B .375 A


Tolerances and Datum References hole-pattern and the other for the countersink pat-
tern. Figure 8-45 illustrates this requirement.
When the same positional tolerances and da- (Note: different tolerances, same datums.) The
tum references are specified, a single feature con- two tolerance zones are coaxially located at true
trol frame is used to control the features. Figure 8- position as described by basic dimensions. The
43 illustrates this application. (Note: Same toler- feature control frames follow the size specifica-
ances and datums.) When features are controlled tion of the controlled features.
in this manner, each of the controlled features is The control specified in Figure 8-45 requires
produced in accordance with the one feature con- that the hole-pattern lie within one tolerance zone
trol frame. and the countersinks lie within a different coaxial
The specified control in Figure 8-43 requires zone. These features, as specified, also constitute
that both the hole and the countersink axes lie a composite pattern. If the design would allow
within the same tolerance zone. The illustration in separate requirements, the designer would have
Figure 8-44 shows how the features may lie to add the note SEP REQT beneath each feature
within the tolerance zone. control frame. Figure 8-46 illustrates the toler-
The design may require or allow for different ance zones as they were specified.
tolerances for the countersink and hole, but uses Designs that require the control of the coun-
the same datum reference frame. This application tersink to the hole will have different tolerances
requires two feature control frames: one for the and datums specified to control each group of fea-
tures. Therefore, each group of features will have
a feature control frame specified. In addition, a
note is required under the datum feature symbol
for the hole and under the feature control frame
for the countersink, indicating the number of
Figure 8-44 Axes must lie within the same places each applies individually. Figure 8-47 il-
tolerance zone. lustrates this method of application. (Note: Dif-
ferent tolerances and datums.)

8X .228 THRU
- .002 Figure 8-45 Application of two feature
.003 M A X control frames for coaxial features.

8 X 45
82 .438
.005 M A X






Figure 8-46 Tolerance zones for the two DEPENDANT ON AXIS OF HOLE
coaxial features.
Figure 8-48 Individual feature control
8X .228 .010 THRU
.228.010 tolerance zones.
.003 M A X

dividual hole. In Figure 8-48, the two tolerance
zones are illustrated. The tolerance zone for the
countersink is dependent on hole location. Each
individual hole axis controls the location of each
Control of coaxial features with position
provides the maximum benefits of GD&T. All of
the advantages of positional control, including
zero tolerancing, may be specified when control-
8 X 45
ling coaxial features.

8X .438 INDIVIDUALLY Runout Control

.005 M F M
Runout control of coaxial features is an axis-
to-surface control. Runout is normally specified
where a combination of surfaces are cylindrical,
SECTION A-A conical, or spherical relative to a common datum
axis. Runout is more restrictive than position be-
Figure 8-47 Individual feature control.
cause it is always implied as RFS. Runout con-
trols were presented in detail in Chapter 6.
The method of controlling coaxial features
with different tolerances and datums, as just de- Concentricity Control
scribed, is similar to specifying control for any
two individual features. This specification re- Concentricity controls of coaxality is an
quires the verification of the hole-pattern without axis-to-axis control of all cross-sectional ele-
regard for the countersinks. When the hole-pat- ments of a surface in relation to a common datum
tern is verified acceptable, then each countersink- axis. Concentricity tolerance specifies a cylindri-
to-hole must be verified individually. cal tolerance of a specified diameter at RFS. Con-
This method has two tolerance zones where centricity control requires the establishment and
one is positioned in relation to the axis of each in- verification of all axes irrespective of surface

conditions. Concentricity is usually specified as a True position is established by Basic dimensions

last resort because it is difficult to verify. Concen- from specified datum features. The specified tol-
tricity was presented at length at the beginning of erance provides a cylindrical or non-cylindrical
this chapter. zone for the depth or length of the controlled fea-
ture. This zone is permitted to increase in size as
the feature size varies from MMC. The actual fea-
ture axis or center line must lie within the zone.
Location tolerancing is the most advanta-
The axis or center line may take any form as long
geous part of GD&T. When location tolerances
as it remains within the zone.
are properly specified, the rules, modifier princi-
Position is the most frequently applied loca-
ples datum references, and feature control frames
tion tolerance. Concentricity should seldom be
can be applied to their greatest advantages. It is
specified or it should be limited to features re-
through proper application and interpretation that
quiring dynamic balance. Position may be speci-
parts are 100% interchangeable, production
fied for nearly all features that require mating part
yields increase, tolerances are maximum, func-
assembly or interchangeability. This chapter
tional gaging techniques can be implemented,
should be studied to make certain the concepts are
and production costs are reduced, among many
understood. Concentration on how the various
more advantages.
concepts of GD&T are interrelated is important to
Location tolerances are the specified amount
the reader.
of variation from true position of another feature.

Chapter 8 Evaluation

1. The geometric tolerances of location are ________ and ________.

2. Tolerances of location specify the amount of ________ permitted between features and datum

features or between features.

3. Concentricity is always specified or implied ________.

4. The tolerance zone for position is either ________ or ________ as determined from the feature

control frame.

5. True position is specified by ________ dimensions.

6. Datum feature references must be ________ on drawings.

7. For an internal feature, position tolerance at MMC ________ as the feature approaches LMC.

8. When a composite feature control frame is specified to locate a pattern of features in relationship to

a datum reference frame, the first line of the feature control frame controls pattern ________.

9. Concentricity tolerance is always specified in relationship to another datum ________.

10. Position tolerance zones extend to the ________ or ________ of the controlled feature.

11. Datum features of size are considered at their ________ size when verifying patterns located

from them.
12. Positional tolerances specified for features at ________ lend themselves to functional gaging

13. Position tolerances specified at ________ provide the greatest advantages of GD&T.

14. Positional tolerances are specified for features of ________.

15. Location tolerancing is a ________ method of controlling part features.


This chapter provides the reader an opportu- volved of the controls and is probably specified
nity to apply various GD&T concepts. The exam- most frequently.
ples presented are based on ASME Y14.5-2009 These review problems should be completed
practices and should be answered based on that after reading the entire text; that way, all of the
standard. The material consists of a few form and GD&T concepts can be applied. This review may
orientation examples, but is primarily focused on be used as a refresher or evaluation of existing
positional tolerancing. Position is the most in- GD&T knowledge.

Form and Orientation Tolerances

Referring to Figure 9-1 below, answer questions 1-5.

2.000 .010
1.000 .010

.375 .010


2.010 1.010

.385 .385


1. When the feature control frame is specified as .005 , what is the maximum for
D ________ and E ________?


2. When the feature control frame is specified as , what is the maximum for
D________ and E ________?
3. Which modifier is implied for these feature control frames? ________
4. Does one of the GD&T rules control the modifier application in these feature control frames?
________ If so, which one? ________
5. What is the Maximum Material Condition size of this part? ________

Referring to Figure 9-2 below, answer questions 6-10.







6. When the feature control frame is specified as , what are the maximum bow, bend,

curve, wave, etc., permitted? ________


7. When the feature control frame is specified as , what are the maximum bow, bend,

curve, wave, etc., permitted? ________

8. If a geometric feature control frame was not specified for this part, is there any control for

form? ________ If so, what control? ________

9. What is the Least Material Condition size of this part? ________

10. Could the designer specify MMC in these feature control frames? ________ If so, which rule is

involved? ________

Referring to Figure 9-3 below, answer questions 11-14.

.015 A

- .002
.015 A

.015 A

1.000 .010



11. The bottom surface of this part is identified as ________ A.

12. Is the location tolerance zone for the .252 hole cylindrical or non-cylindrical? ________ Why?


13. Is the tolerance zone for the 30-degree angle a width or an angularly-shaped zone along the

face of the angle? ________

14. Can any of the geometric controls in this drawing be modified to MMC? ________ If so,

which? ________

Referring to Figure 9-4 below, answer questions 15-19.

.002 D P

2 X 45

2X .500.005 D P 2X 1.500.005

.001 D P

.005 D P

15. Runout is a ________ -to-axis control.

16. Which of the two Runout controls specified is more stringent? ________
17. Runout tolerances are always RFS and normally implied to be a ________ reading.
18. All surface elements are controlled simultaneously with ________ Runout.
19. The controlled features must meet the requirements of Rule ________.

Referring to Figure 9-5, answer questions 20-25. 1.500.010


.005 A

20. Concentricity is an ________-to-axis control of two or more features.

21. When concentricity is specified, surface elements are ________ to the functional axis.
22. Concentricity is a ________ control that includes eccentricity, circularity, cylindricity,
straightness, etc.
23. The tolerance zone for concentricity is always a ________.
24. Circularity tolerance provides a tolerance zone for the feature ________ to lie in.

25. Circularity is a cross-sectional ________ control.

Referring to Figure 9-6,
answer questions 26-30. .500.010


A .003 .003 D

26. Surface profile is a ________ tolerance unless otherwise specified.

27. Bilateral tolerances are assumed to be divided equally on either ________ of the profile unless the
designer specified something else.
28. Line profile tolerances are usually specified as a refinement for ________ profile tolerances.
29. What is the total amount of variation permitted with the surface profile tolerance specified? ________
30. Profile tolerances are usually specified for ________ or ________ surfaces.

Hole PatternSingle Control

Referring to Figure 9-7, 1.500

1.000 1.500
answer questions 31-38.

3X .530
B C - .002
.010 M A B C

31. What is the hole tolerance at LMC? ________ What is the hole tolerance at MMC? ________
32. How close together can two of the holes get? ________
33. Must the axis of the hole always be within the allowable tolerance zone for that hole? ________
34. Datum A controls the ________ or ________ of the holes as they pass through the part.
35. What determines the location of this pattern? ________
36. Must each hole tolerance zone be at the specified Basic dimension from each other? ________

37. What is the hole size at MMC? ________ What is the hole size at LMC? ________
38. What size would the gage pins be if a gage were made to check these holes? ________

Hole PatternComposite Control

Referring to Figure 9-8 below, answer questions 39-47.

- .002
.015 M D E P
.010 M D

1.500 1.500
E 1.000

39. The ________ tolerance is .015 diameter at MMC.

40. Each hole in the pattern is controlled with a ________ diameter tolerance at MMC.
41. Each hole in the pattern ________ shift or move within the pattern that is the specified tolerance.
42. The axis of each feature within the pattern ________ be the Basic dimension apart.
43. Each feature within the pattern is permitted ________ tolerance at MMC.
44. The .010 zone ________ be within or at least make line-to-line contact with the .015 zone.
45. The .010 tolerance is specified to ________ feature-to-feature relationship closer and to control fea
ture ________.
46. The actual feature axis for each hole must simultaneously ________ through both tolerance zones.
47. The feature tolerance zone could range in size from ________ to ________ depending on
actual mating size.

Non-cylindrical Features

Referring to Figure 9-9, answer questions 48-52. +.000

6 X .157
- .005
.005 M A

- .005
6 X 60

48. What is the tab MMC? ________

49. What is the shape of the tolerance zone? ________

50. Does the tolerance control the amount tab angularity in relation to the part axis? _______

51. Why is datum A modified in the feature control frame? ________

52. Does the Basic dimension, 6 places by 60 degrees, have a tolerance? If so, what is it? ________

Coaxial Features

Referring to Figure 9-10, answer questions 53-57.

4X .750
- .008
.020 M A B C
.010 M A


53. This feature control frame is referred to as a ________ feature control frame.

54. The .020 tolerance provides a ________ tolerance zone.

55. The pattern coaxiality is held to ________ at MMC.

56. The .010 tolerance controls ________ feature in the pattern.

57. Why are the modifiers left off the datum reference letters? ________

Many thanks are due John Carleo, Editorial Director, Janet Romano,
Art Director/Production Manager, and Robert Weinstein, Developmental
Editor of Industrial Press, Inc. Also, I wish to express special thanks to Dan
Puncochar, author of the first two editions.

Ken Evans


Chapter One Chapter Five

Answers: 1. communication; 2. symbols; Answers: 1. size, form; 2. individual; 3.

3. American Society of Mechanical Engineers MMC or LMC; 4. MMC; 5. zero; 6. RFS; 7.
(ASME); 4. clarity; 5. replace; 6. total; 7. form; pitch; 8. beneath; 9. foundation; 10. not
8. size, location; 9. function, relationship; 10.
tolerances, interchangeability; 11. tolerance; 12. Chapter Six
plus/minus 13. size
Answers 1. directions; 2. radially; 3. ele-
Chapter Two ment; 4. boundaries; 5. entire; 6. error; 7. toler-
ance; 8. diameter; 9. attachment; 10. implied;
Answers: 1. Q; 2. B; 3. E; 4. T; 5. S; 6. 11. assumed; 12. size, 13. axis; 14. distance; 15.
F; 7. E; 8. A; 9. V; 10. X; 11. G; 12. C; 13. H; width; 16. RFS; 17. bilateral; 18. line; 19. pro-
14. U; 15. K; 16. N; 17. W; 18. L; 19. P; 20. I; file; 20. revolution 21. datums
21. M; 22. J; 23. D; 24. O; 25. R; 26. Y; 27. Z
Chapter Seven
Chapter Three
Answers: 1. collective; 2. geometric; 3.
Answers: 1. specified; 2. dimension, ori- exceed; 4. functional gages; 5. acceptable; 6.
entation; 3. surface (planes), axis, center lines, mating; 7. opposite; 8. interchangeable; 9. Four;
edges (lines), points, areas; 4. no; 5. three; 6. 90; 10. modifier
7. circle; 8. size; 9. lines, points areas; 10. toler-
ance; 11. simulated; 12. modifiers; 13. convey; Chapter Eight
14. rock; 15. flat
Answers: 1. position, concentricity; 2.
Chapter Four variation; 3. RFS; 4. cylindrical, non-cylindri-
cal; 5. Basic; 6. specified; 7. increases; 8.
Answers: 1. control; 2. combined; 3. sur- shift/rotation; 9. axis; 10. length, depth; 11. vir-
face; 4. geometric characteristic; 5. tolerance; 6. tual condition; 12. MMC; 13. MMC; 14. size;
left, right; 7. primary; 8. line; 9. compartments; 15. non-cumulative
10. no; 11. I and O


Chapter Nine

Answers: 1. D = .005, E = .020; 2. D =

.003, E = .003; 3. RFS; 4. Yes, Rule 3; 5. 2.010
x 1.010 x .385; 6. .005; 7. .002; 8. Yes, Rule 1;
9. .515 x 1.99; 10. No; 11. datum feature; 12.
non-cylindricalthe diameter symbol is not
specified preceding the .015 tolerance; 13.
width; 14. Yes, parallelism; 15. surface; 16.
Total; 17. FIM; 18. Total; 19. One; 20. axis; 21.
irrelevant; 22. composite; 23. diameter; 24. sur-
face; 25. line; 26. bilateral; 27. side; 28. surface;
29. 010; 30. irregular, coplanar; 31. .020, .010;
32. 1.480; 33. yes; 34. attitude, perpendiculari-
ty; 35. The Basic dimensions from datum sur-
faces B and C; 36. yes; 37. .528 diameter,
.538 diameter; 38. .518 diameter; 39. pattern;
40. .015; 41. may; 42. must; 43. .010; 44. must;
45. control, attitude; 46. pass; 47. .010, .020; 48.
.157; 49. It is a width; 50. yes; 51. Because it is
a feature of size; 52. No. Basic dimensions do
not have tolerances. The spacing is permitted to
vary based on each features tolerance; 53. com-
posite; 54. pattern; 55. .020; 56. each; 57.
Because they are not features of size, they are
all surfaces.
Dedication for the Third Edition

I give thanks first to God, for blessing me with the opportunity,

knowledge, and ability to share in this work. Thanks to my wife Marci,
for her patience and encouragement, and especially for her efforts help-
ing prepare and edit the draft manuscript - and for so much more.

Ken Evans


Actual local size: The value of any individual Basic dimension: A theoretically exact value
distance at any cross-section of a feature. specified on a drawing to describe the size, shape,
or location of a feature. Variations from these
Actual mating envelope: This term must be dimensions are specified as feature tolerances,
defined according to the type of feature: modifiers, notes, or other dimensions. These
a. An external featurea similar perfect fea- dimensions are enclosed within a box.
ture counterpart of smallest size that can
be circumscribed about the feature so that Basic size: The size specified for a feature in
it just touches the surface at the highest which the size tolerances apply.
b. An internal featurea similar perfect fea- Bilateral tolerance: A tolerance specified by the
ture counterpart of largest size that can be designer that permits a dimension variation in two
inscribed within the feature so that it just directions, e.g., plus or minus 0.5.
touches the surface at the highest point.
Boundary, inner: A worst-case boundary (locus)
Actual mating size: The dimensional value of generated by the smallest feature (considering the
the actual mating envelope. modifiers) minus the stated geometric tolerance
and any additional geometric tolerance (if applica-
Actual size: The measured or produced size of a ble) from a features departure from its specified
feature. material condition.

Allowance: The tolerance that permits two parts Boundary, outer: A worst-case boundary (locus)
to be assembled with either a clearance or interfer- generated by the largest feature (considering the
ence fit between parts. modifiers) plus the geometric tolerance and any
additional geometric tolerance (if applicable)
Angularity: The condition of a plane surface or from the features departure from its specified
axis at a specified angle, other than 90 degrees, material condition.
from a datum plane or axis.
Boundary of perfect form: The condition (enve-
Axis: The theoretically centered line through the lope) of true geometric form represented by the
center of a cylindrical feature. drawing.

Barreled: The condition of a cylindrical feature Boss: A raised area on castings or forgings to
where it bulges in the center and tapers down to allow more material for threading, stop, support
the ends. area, or bearing area.


Callout: A specific note on the blueprint stating frames with the same geometric characteristic
dimensions, tolerances, geometric controls, or fea- symbol.
ture specification.
Concentricity: The condition where the median
Center plane: The plane or line located in the points of all diametrically opposed elements of a
middle of a non-cylindrical feature. feature of revolution (or correspondingly located
elements of two or more radially disposed fea-
Characteristic: An integral part (a symbol) of tures) are in alignment with the axis (or center
the Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing sys- point) of a datum feature.
tem or a feature of a part or an assembly.
Conical: Cone-shaped part of features.
Checking fixture: A Go and Not-Go type gage
used to verify functionality of features. Contour tolerancing: See Profile of a line for
Profile of a surface.
Circularity: The surface condition of a feature
(cone or cylinder) where all elements in a cross- Control: A limitation specified by the designer
sectional measurement must be an equal distance for various features. The limitation is specified as
from the axis within the limits of a specified toler- a size or geometric tolerance.
ance during one complete revolution. When refer-
ring to a sphere: it is the surface condition where Controlled Radius tolerance: A tolerance zone
any plane passing through a common center axis that is defined by two arcs (the minimum and
is equidistant from that center. maximum radii) that are tangent to an adjacent
Circular Runout: The condition of a circular line
element during a complete revolution where com- Coordinate: A set of numbers used to specify or
posite control in relation to the axis is measured at determine the location from an X and Y axis of a
any cross-section along the controlled surface. point, line curve, or plane.

Clearance: The maximum intentional difference Coordinate Measuring Machine (CMM): An

between the sizes of mating parts. electronically-controlled measuring machine used
to determine the location and/or condition of fea-
Coaxiality: The condition where two or more tures in space. The data generated may be viewed
axes are in alignment with each other. on-screen or printed out for review.

Combined feature control frame: A feature Coplanarity: The condition of two or more sur-
control frame made up of two or more feature con- faces having elements in one plane.
trol frames each with a geometric characteristic
symbol or a combination of feature control frame Counterbore: A straight-sided recessed area
and datum feature symbols. around the end of a hole so a fastener (when
installed) is flush below the surface of a part.
Composite feature control frame: A feature
control frame made of two or more feature control Countersink: A taper-sided recessed area around

the end of a hole so a beveled fastener (when Datum reference: A feature specified on the
installed) is flush below the surface of a part. drawing as a datum feature.

Cylindricity: A condition of a surface where all Datum reference frame: The three mutually per-
points on that surface are of equal distance from pendicular planes used to establish the theoretical
the axis of that surface. datum planes for repeatable orientation from
design to inspection.
Datum: A theoretically exact dimension origin. A
datum may be a point, axis, line, or plane used for Datum surface: A theoretical surface such as
repeatable measurements. cylinders, slots, holes, edges, surfaces, etc., used
to establish repeatability.
Datum axis: The axis established by the intersec-
tion of the X and Y datum planes of cylindrical Datum target: A specified line, point, or area
features, or the axis of a cylindrical feature estab- identified with a datum target symbol to establish
lished by the actual irregularities of the feature repeatability.
extremities. The axis is theoretical.
Diameter: Describes through the axis measure-
Datum feature: The actual part feature used to ment of cylindrical features and tolerance zones.
establish the datum.
Dimension: The numerical value specified for
Datum feature simulator: A theoretically exact the size and/or location of features.
plane established with checking fixtures or gages
when in contact with the counterpart of actual Dimension line: The line drawn from the dimen-
datum features. sion value to the feature extension line.

Datum feature symbol: A box that contains the Eccentric: A condition where two or more fea-
datum identifying letter with a dish on either side tures do not have a common axis.
of the letter.
Error: A variation from a desired dimension or
Datum line: The line derived from the actual geometric form, location, or orientation that is in
counterpart of the datum feature. The line may be unintentional. Errors are acceptable within them
established by two planes, or the simulated center limits of the specified tolerances.
of cylinders or hole.
Extension line: The line used to extend the object
Datum of size: Any feature specified as a datum line of parts.
reference that is subject to size variation based on
plus/minus tolerances such as widths or diameters. Feature: The term given to any physical portion
of a part, e.g., surface hole or pin.
Datum point: A theoretically exact point speci-
fied with a datum target of little or no size that has Feature, functional: A feature controlled geo-
position on a surface for functional gaging pur- metrically to meet specific design requirements.
poses. They are used to locate features from, and/or mate
with other features that are interrelated in the
overall design.

Feature control frame: A rectangular box con- Function: The consideration for the movement
taining the specific instruction(s) for a feature or involved with assembled parts.
group of features. The rectangle contains the geo-
metric characteristic symbols, tolerance, datum Geometric characteristics: The symbols speci-
reference letters, and possibly the diameter and fied for form orientation, Profile, Runout, and
modifier symbols. Location tolerancing. These form the symbolic
language of GD&T.
Feature of size: One cylindrical or spherical sur-
face, or a set of two opposed elements or opposed Implied datum: An unspecified feature implied
parallel surfaces, associated with a size dimen- by dimensioning, as the origin for measurements.
Indicator: A precision measuring tool used when
Feature-Relating Tolerance Zone Framework checking feature variations.
(FRTZF): The upper half of a composite feature
control frame that provides the location of feature Leader: The line or arrow used to tie dimensions,
patterns as well as interrelation of features within symbols, etc., to part features.
these patterns.
Least Material Boundary (LMB): When
Fit: The clearance or interference between two applied to a datum feature referenced in the fea-
mating parts or fasteners. ture control frame, LMB establishes the datum
feature simulator at the appropriate boundary.
Flatness: The condition of a surface having all This boundary is determined by the combined
elements in one plane. effects of size (least material), and all applicable
geometric tolerances relative to any higher prece-
Form: The desired finished shape for a given fea- dence datums.
Least Material Condition (LMC): This term is
Form tolerance: A tolerance specified to allow a a modifier that is specified with tolerances and
specified variation in a feature or surface from the datums. It means the condition in which a part or
desired perfect form. feature contains the leasts amount of material;
for example, the smallest pin size or the largest
Free-state variation: Describes the distortion of hole size.
a part after removal of forces applied during man-
ufacturing. Parts are referred to as a non-rigid part. Limit dimensioning: The specified maximum
and minimum sizes of a feature.
Full indicator movement (FIM): This term
replaces older terms, Full Indicator Reading (FIR) Limits of size: The extreme minimum and maxi-
and Total Indicator Reading (TIR). It is the full mum sizes permissible for a feature when consid-
movement of an indicator needle while measuring ering the tolerances.
a feature during a full rotation or complete travel
along a feature. This term is commonly used when Location tolerance: A tolerance specified to
checking Concentricity or Runout. allow a specified variation in the perfect location

of a feature(s) as drawn on the drawing. The toler- Optical comparator: An instrument for compar-
ance applies in relation to the datum features used ing a surface with an ideal surface or standard by
to locate the controlled feature(s). way of reflecting a shadow of the actual part on a
screen and then measuring it via digital readouts.
Maximum dimension: The acceptable upper
limit or the largest value specified for a feature. Orientation: The relationship of one feature as it
relates to another specified as the datum.
Maximum Material Boundary (MMB): When
applied to a datum feature referenced in the fea- Orientation tolerance: This tolerance is applica-
ture control frame, LMB establishes the datum ble to features that are related to another feature.
feature simulator at the appropriate boundary. The orientation controls are perpendicularity,
This boundary is determined by the combined angularity, and parallelism. Each of these must be
effects of size (maximum material), and all appli- related to a datum feature.
cable geometric tolerances relative to any higher
precedence datums. Origin: The location where dimensions and tol-
erances begin.
Maximum material condition (MMC): This
term is a modifier that is specified with tolerances Parallelism: The condition of a surface or axis at
and datums. It means the condition in which a part an equal distance from all points of a datum sur-
or feature contains the maximum amount of mate- face or axis.
rial, for example, the largest pin size or the small-
est hole size. Pattern: A particular arrangement of features in
a part.
Median plane: The center or middle plane of a
non-cylindrical feature. Pattern Locating Tolerance Zone Framework
(PLTZF): The lower half of a composite feature
Minimum dimension: The acceptable lower limit control frame that provides the smaller positional
or the smallest value specified for a feature. tolerance for each feature within the pattern.

Modifier: In GD&T, the term is used to modify or Perpendicularity: A condition of a feature medi-
change specified feature tolerances. There are two an plane, axis, or surface that is 90 degrees from a
modifiers: MMC and LMC. related datum axis or plane.

Multiple datum reference frames: Referred to Pitch: The distance from a thread point to the
when more than one datum reference is specified corresponding point of the next thread.
on the same part.
Pitch Diameter: The critical diameter of a
Nominal size: The stated designation that is used threaded fastener from the center axis to the cen-
for the purpose of general identification of materi- ter of the thread form. Pitch diameter may also be
al, or the theoretical size of a feature, e.g., 1-inch used to describe the critical diameter of gear teeth
bar or 1.000 plus or minus .010. patterns.

Plane: A surface condition that is straight, flat, or Regardless of Feature Size (RFS): This term
level. was a modifier that was specified with tolerances
and datums. It meant that, regardless of the actual
Position: A location described by dimensions or feature or datum of size, the stated feature toler-
the actual location of a feature. Positional toler- ance applies. It is now implied effective unless
ance: See Location tolerance. otherwise specified and no symbol is used.

Primary datum: A theoretical plane requiring Relationship: The consideration of an assembly

three points of contact to establish that plane on an in a static or fixed situation.
actual part. This datum is first in importance and
usually the surface with the most area. Roundness: See Circularity.

Profile of a line: The condition where a permit- Runout: The composite variation from a desired
ted amount of profile variation, bilaterally or uni- surface or datum during a complete rotation of the
laterally along a line element, is specified. part around the axis at MMB.

Runout tolerance: A specified variation for an

Profile of a surface: The condition where a tol- actual feature surface or line in relation to the axis
erance zone is established by a three dimensional during one complete revolution.
zone extending the length and width, or circum-
ference of the considered feature. Secondary datum: A theoretical plane requiring
two points of contact to establish that plane on an
Projected tolerance zone: A zone specified for a actual part. Second in importance.
given height above a hole in which a pin, cap
screw, bolt, etc., is to be installed. The zone pro- Size, feature of: See Feature of size.
vides a cylindrical area in which the feature axis
must lie. It controls the perpendicularity of the Size, resultant condition: The actual value of the
hole to prevent interference with the mating part. resultant condition boundary.

Radius: Describes a measurement from the axis Size tolerance: A tolerance specified to allow a
to the surface of cylindrical features. feature to vary a specified amount.

Reference dimension: A dimension specified as Slope: The inclination of a surface expressed as a

an approximate dimension that is not tolerances. It ratio of the difference in heights at each end divid-
is indicated on the design by enclosing the dimen- ed by the distance between those heights.
sion in parentheses.
Specification: A detailed description of a feature
Regardless of Material Boundary: Indicates requirement such as size, shape, location, toler-
that a datum feature simulator progresses from ance, etc.
MMB toward LMB until it makes maximum con-
tact with the extreme boundary condition of a fea- Specified datum: A datum feature identified
ture or features. with a datum feature symbol.

Spherical: A globular body, ball, having all points Tolerance: The total amount a specified dimen-
equal distance from a given center point. sion may vary. Between the maximum and mini-
mum limits of size.
Spot-Face: A machined surface of a specified
size on a casting or forging in order to create a flat Tolerance zone: A boundary established by a
surface for a fastener to mate with. size or geometric tolerance in which the actual
feature must be contained.
Squareness: See Perpendicularity.
Total Runout: The condition of all surface ele-
Statistical tolerancing: Assignment of toler- ments during a complete revolution where com-
ances to related components of an assembly on the posite control in relation to the axis is measured.
basis of sound statistics.
True position: An exact (perfect) location
Straightness: The condition of a surface or axis described by basic dimensions in relationship to a
where a single line element must be a straight line. datum or other feature. The location specified on
the drawing.
Symmetry: The condition where the median
points of all opposed or correspondingly located Unilateral tolerance: A tolerance that permits
elements of two or more feature surfaces are in variation in one direction from the specified
alignment with the axis or center plane of a datum dimension, for example, 1.000 plus .000, minus
feature. .010.

Tertiary datum: A theoretical plane requiring Virtual condition: The condition of a feature
one point of contact to establish that plane on an where the collective effect of size and form error
actual part. Third in importance. establishes the feature size required for determin-
ing fit between parts.
Three-plane concept: The concept of three
mutual planes exactly theoretically 90 degrees and Waisting: The condition of a cylindrical feature
perpendicular to each other. Used for repeatable where it narrows toward the center from each end.

Index Terms Links

abbreviations 7
adjustable gage pin 39
all over 16
all-around 16
angularity 68
applications 121
arc length 15
axis 44
axis control 59
axis location 96
axis verification 103

basic 25 33
between 25
bi-directional tolerancing 113
bonus tolerance 97
boundary 113
boundary control 78

center line 44
chain line 16
change 2
circular parts 37
circular runout 81
circular tolerance 97
circularity 61

This page has been reformatted by Knovel to provide easier navigation.

Index Terms Links

co-axial features 115 127

combined feature control frames 48
complex surfaces 35
composite feature control frames 48
composite positional tolerancing 101
composite profile 79
concentricity 93 117
conical taper 13
continuous feature 24
controlled radius tolerance 10
counterbore 11
countersink 11
customized datum reference frame 2
cylinder 72
cylindrical features 99
cylindricity 62

datum axis 65
datum identification 29
datum plane 64
datum plane 66
datum reference 45
datum targets 33
datum translation 36
datums 29
deep/depth 11
diagonal measurement 97
diameter 8
dimension origin 14
dimensioning symbols 7 129
dimensions not to scale 12

feature control frames 43 103

FIM 20 58
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flatness 60
form 57
form tolerances 121
free state 22
free-state variation 83
full indicator movement, see FIM

general rules 51
geometric characteristics 17
geometric characteristics 45 130
glossary 131

history 1
hole pattern 125

inclined datum features 36

independency 23
internal cylindrical 39
internal feature 89
irregular surfaces 35

least material boundary 19

least material condition, see LMCline profile 77
LMC 18 52 74
location 93

maximum material boundary 18

maximum material condition, see MMC

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MMC 18 52 60 74
modifiers 45
modifying symbols 17 129
multiple cylindrical features 99
multiple patterns 104

noncylindrical 39 78 112 127

orientation 64 121
out of direct view 35

parallelism 70 89
partial datums 38
pattern control 102
patterns 40
perpendicularity 64
pitch cylinder axis 51
position 95
position theory 96
positional tolerances 106
primary datum 31
profile 74
projected tolerance zone 21 111

radius 8
reference dimension 14
reference frame 32
regardless of feature size, see RFS
regardless of material boundary 20

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Index Terms Links

RFS 18 51 53 57
64 107
Rule Four 54
Rule One 51
Rule Three 54
Rule Two 53
runout 80 117

secondary datum 32
single feature control frames 48
single-segment feature control frames 04
size 38 51
slope 14
spherical diameter 9
spherical radius 9
spotface 11
square 14
standards 2
statistical tolerancing 23
straightness 57
surface 44 70
surface control 58
surface profile 75
symbols 7
symmetry 94

tangent plane 22 71
tertiary datum 32
three-plane concept 30 37 46
tolerance 1 3 45 51
tolerances of form 57
tolerances of location 93
tolerances of orientation 64
total indicator movement (TIM) 20
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total indicator reading (TIR) 20

total runout 80
translation 25

unequally disposed profile 22

unit control 82
universality 2

virtual condition 51 87

zero tolerancing 110

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