Chapter 23. Dimensioning and Tolerancing


  • Putting dimensions on drawings

  • Dimension options

  • Adding tolerances

  • Using dimension styles

  • Tutorial: Working with dimensions and tolerances

In years past, dimensioning and tolerancing was an art form and a science. People did, and still do, become very passionate when discussing the right way of performing these tasks. In truth, the techniques are probably not so black and white, but are highly dependent on the industry, the means of manufacture, and the purpose of the drawing. For example, drawings might be used for quotes, manufacturing, inspection, assembly, testing, and so on; and the drawings, as well as the dimensioning and tolerancing used, for each purpose could be somewhat different.

While it is important to follow standards and use manufacturing drawing conventions properly, this is not an argument that I want to reignite here. In this chapter, I will focus on how to apply the available tools in SolidWorks. You will need to decide for yourself how to apply the tools.

Putting Dimensions on Drawings

Drawings are typically not one of the hotter topics that SolidWorks users become excited about, but a few issues still ignite heated discussions. How to put dimensions onto drawings is one of these topics. This is much like the "tastes great/less filling" debate. Each side of the issue has valid points, and the question is not likely to be resolved any time soon.

At the center of this debate is whether you should place the dimensions ...

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