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Mastering SolidWorks®: The Design Approach, Second Edition by Ibrahim Zeid

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Chapter 12. Tolerances

12.1 Introduction

We all have heard the saying “life is never perfect,” and so it is with manufacturing. We can never manufacture a perfect form. An example of a perfect form is a block with 5 × 3 × 4 inch dimensions. Instead, variability is an inherent characteristic of manufacturing. Sources of variability are abundant and include the skills of the machine operator (machinist), the accuracy and age of the machine, the ambient conditions, and the condition and age of the cutting tool. Therefore, producing parts with perfect dimensions would be impossible and prohibitively expensive. Thus, we attempt to control manufacturing variability rather than entirely eliminate it.

In addition to controlling physical attributes ...

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