Leveraging Model-Based Definition (MBD) for Fast and Accurate Tolerance Analyses

Chris Wilkes



Companies have migrated from historical design methods with requirements defined on drafting tables to computers where most of the design process occurs on screens. The reason is clear; companies have reduced schedules while producing better and cheaper products. However, decades after the transition started most companies are still utilizing drawings to communicate requirements.

In the early 2000’s standards bodies worldwide started defining uniform practices for creating requirements data, including dimensions and tolerances, in CAD models. Such Model-Based Definition (MBD) lets companies reduce the cycle time of many design and manufacturing activities. For example, digital information can often automatically feed into the manufacturing and inspection equipment in lieu of manual transfer.

This paper discusses how such MBD information can also be utilized for efficiently performing tolerance studies to achieve the lowest-cost products possible.