GD&T Drawings and Symbols

Geometric tolerances are specified using symbols on a drawing. Currently, we have 16 symbols for geometric tolerances, which are categorized according to the tolerance they specify.

Classification and Symbols of Geometric Tolerance Characteristics

The following is a list of symbols used for geometric tolerancing. “Single feature” under “Feature level” means features that are independent of datums (i.e. that do not require reference datum indication). A datum is a theoretical, ideal feature established to determine the orientation, location, and/or run-out. An associated feature is a feature related to a datum, and specifies the orientation tolerance, location tolerance, and/or run-out tolerance.

Feature level Tolerance type Geometrical characteristic Symbol
Single feature Form tolerance
(Form deviation)
Straightness Straightness
Flatness Flatness
Roundness Roundness
Cylindricity Cylindricity
Profile tolerance of line Profile tolerance of line
Profile tolerance of plane Profile tolerance of plane
Associated feature
(Requires datum feature)
Orientation tolerance Parallelism Parallelism
Perpendicularity Perpendicularity
Angularity Angularity
Location tolerance
(Location deviation)
Position Position
Coaxiality Coaxiality, Concentricity
Concentricity
Symmetry Symmetry
Profile tolerance of line Profile tolerance of line
Profile tolerance of plane Profile tolerance of plane
Run-out tolerance
(Run-out deviation)
Circular run-out Circular run-out
Total run-out Total run-out
Single feature
Form tolerance (Form deviation)
Straightness Straightness
Flatness Flatness
Roundness Straightness
Cylindricity Straightness
Profile tolerance of line Profile tolerance of line
Profile tolerance of plane Profile tolerance of plane
Associated feature (Requires datum feature)
Orientation tolerance
Parallelism Parallelism
Perpendicularity Perpendicularity
Angularity Angularity
Location tolerance (Location deviation)
Position Position
Coaxiality Coaxiality, Concentricity
Concentricity
Symmetry Symmetry
Profile tolerance of line Profile tolerance of line
Profile tolerance of plane Profile tolerance of plane
Run-out Tolerance (Run-out Deviation)
Circular run-out Circular run-out
Total run-out Total run-out

List of geometric tolerance symbols (Relevant standard: ISO 5459)

True Position Theory (Size Value in Rectangular Frame)

True position theory is the concept of indicating geometrical characteristics (position, profile, and angularity) using theoretically exact dimensions (TED). The theoretically exact dimensions are written in rectangular frames while the tolerances concerning that position are written in feature control frames.

Specifying the Position

As shown in the drawing below, accurate positions cannot be indicated using size tolerance-based indication, because both the reference dimensions and the tolerances become the total sum of the size tolerance (accumulated tolerance). On the other hand, TED-based indication does not have tolerances, which means that no accumulated tolerance is produced.

Size tolerance-based indication
Size tolerance-based indication
The max. distance between the rightmost and leftmost holes is 45.3
TED-based indication
TED-based indication
The max. distance between the rightmost and leftmost holes is 45.1

Specifying the Tolerance Zone

To specify the tolerance zone, in true position theory, you use TED to accurately indicate the specification at the center of the tolerance value.
If the feature is a point, the tolerance zone is a circle, (a) or sphere, centering around that point. If the feature is a straight line, then the tolerance zone is between two parallel planes (b), each being precisely separated from that line by half the tolerance value. Alternatively, the tolerance zone can be a cylindrical tolerance zone (c) with that straight line as its central axis.

Specifying the Tolerance Zone
(a)
Specifying the Tolerance Zone
(b)
Specifying the Tolerance Zone
(c)

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