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Wall Thickness
   Toleranced Dimensions Still Have Their Place.

Many companies are using a general profile of a surface tolerance in place of the "old school" general plus/minus tolerance. As pointed out in earlier Tips, the advantages include:

  • Less tolerance accumulation
  • Clear measurement origins
  • No tolerancing of points in space that no one can find
  • Uniform tolerance zones

Consequently, toleranced dimensions are being replaced by BASIC dimensions. Although this approach will be the standard practice in the future, toleranced dimensions still have a place on most drawings. If, for example, the general profile of a surface tolerance is relied upon to control wall thickness, large variation could result.

To reduce this variation, a general wall thickness with a tolerance may be used as a refinement of the general profile tolerance. In this example, with a general profile tolerance of 0.5mm and a nominal basic wall of 0.5mm, without a wall thickness note, the wall thickness could vary from 1mm to zero.

The general wall thickness note as a refinement prevents this from happening. This wall thickness dimension is a local size that must be met at each cross section. 

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