Dimensioning principles

A drawing should provide a complete specification of the component to ensure that the design intent can be met at all stages of manufacture. Dimensions specifying features of size, position, location, geometric control and surface texture must be defined and appear on the drawing once only. It should not be necessary for the craftsman either to scale the drawing or to deduce dimensions by the subtraction or addition of other dimensions. Double dimensioning is also not acceptable.

Theoretically any component can be analysed and divided into a number of standard common geometrical shapes such as cubes, prisms, cylinders, parts of cones, etc. The circular hole in Fig. 14.1 can be considered as a cylinder through the plate. Dimensioning a component is the means of specifying the design intent in the manufacture and verification of the finished part.

A solid block with a circular hole in it is shown in Fig. 14.1 and to establish the exact shape of the item we require to know the dimensions which govern its length, height and thickness, also the diameter and depth of the hole and its position in relation to the surface of the block. The axis of the hole is shown at the intersection of two centre lines positioned from the left hand side and the bottom of the block and these two surfaces have been taken as datums. The length and height have also been measured from these surfaces separately and this is a very important point as errors may become cumulative and this is discussed later in the chapter.

Dimensioning therefore, should be undertaken with a view to defining the shape or form and overall size of the component carefully, also the sizes and positions of the various features, such as holes, counterbores, tappings, etc., from the necessary datum planes or axes.

The completed engineering drawing should also include sufficient information for the manufacture of the part and this involves the addition of notes regarding the materials used, tolerances of size, limits and fits, surface finishes, the number of parts required and any further comments which result from a consideration of the use to which the completed component will be put. For example, the part could be used in sub-assembly and notes would then make reference to associated drawings or general assemblies.

British Standard 8888 covers all the ISO rules applicable to dimensioning and, if these are adhered to, it is reasonably easy to produce a drawing to a good professional standard.

1 Dimension and projection lines are narrow continuous lines 0.35 mm thick, if possible, clearly placed outside the outline of the drawing. As previously mentioned, the drawing outline is depicted with wide lines of 0.7 mm thick. The drawing outline will then be clearly defined and in contrast with the dimensioning system. The projection lines should not touch the drawing but a small gap should be left, about 2 to 3 mm, depending on the size of the drawing. The projection lines should then continue for the same distance past the dimension line.

Arrowheads should be approximately triangular, must be of uniform size and shape and in every case touch the dimension line to which they refer. Arrowheads drawn manually should be filled in. Arrowheads drawn by machine need not be filled in.

Bearing in mind the size of the actual dimensions and the fact that there may be two numbers together where limits of size are quoted, then adequate space must be left between rows of dimensions and a spacing of about 12 mm is recommended.

Dimensioning Rules

5 Centre lines must never be used as dimension lines but must be left clear and distinct. They can be extended, however, when used in the role of projection lines.

6 Dimensions are quoted in millimetres to the minimum number of significant figures. For example, 19 and not 19.0. In the case of a decimal dimension, always use a nought before the decimal marker, which might not be noticed on a drawing print that has poor line definition. We write 0,4 and not .4. It should be stated here that on metric drawings the decimal marker is a comma positioned on the base line between the figures, for example, 5,2 but never 5-2 with a decimal point midway.

7 To enable dimensions to be read clearly, figures are placed so that they can be read from the bottom of the drawing, or by turning the drawing in a clockwise direction, so that they can be read from the right hand side.

8 Leader lines are used to indicate where specific indications apply. The leader line to the hole is directed towards the centre point but terminates at the circumference in an arrow. A leader line for a part number terminates in a dot within the outline of the component. The gauge plate here is assumed to be part number six of a set of inspection gauges.

Figure 14.2 shows a partly completed drawing of a gauge to illustrate the above aspects of dimensioning.

When components are drawn in orthographic projection, a choice often exists where to place the dimensions and the following general rules will give assistance.

1 Start by dimensioning the view which gives the clearest understanding of the profile or shape of the component.

2 If space permits, and obviously this varies with the size and degree of complexity of the subject, place the dimensions outside the profile of the component as first choice.

3 Where several dimensions are placed on the same side of the drawing, position the shortest dimension nearest to the component and this will avoid dimension lines crossing.

4 Try to ensure that similar spacings are made between dimension lines as this gives a neat appearance on the completed drawing.

5 Overall dimensions which are given for surfaces that can be seen in two projected views are generally best positioned between these two views.

Remember, that drawings are the media to communicate the design intent used to the manufacturing and verification units. Therefore always check over your drawing, view it and question yourself. Is the information complete? Ask yourself whether or not the machinist or fitter can use or work to the dimension you have quoted to make the item. Also, can the inspector verify the figure, in other words, is it a measurable distance?

Figure 14.3 shows a component which has been partly dimensioned to illustrate some of the principles involved.

Careless and untidy dimensioning can spoil an otherwise sound drawing and it should be stated that many marks are lost in examinations due to poor quality work.

Figure 14.2 shows a partly completed drawing of a gauge to illustrate the above aspects of dimensioning.

When components are drawn in orthographic projection, a choice often exists where to place the dimensions and the following general rules will give assistance.

Engineering Dimensioning RulesOrthographic Projection Drawing

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  • Anitra
    How to avoid accumulated errors when dimensioning an engineering drawing?
    8 years ago
  • Kent Goodwin
    What is a positioning axis in engineering drawing?
    8 years ago
  • aatifa
    What is dimensioning and it's principle?
    4 years ago
  • jesse loiri
    What are the principle guiding dimension in technical drawing?
    3 years ago
  • lorena
    What are methods and principles of dimensioning?
    3 years ago
  • Vigo Sackville
    What are the principle of dimension to be considered in drawing?
    3 years ago
  • asfaha petros
    What are three guiding principle of engineering drawing?
    3 years ago
  • Flynn
    Do we show dimensions in orthographic projection ?
    3 years ago
    What are the Dimensioning techniques of orthographic projection.?
    2 years ago
  • jonne
    What is the general principles dimensioning?
    2 years ago
  • edward
    Which dimenstion is measurable n which non measrable in engg drawing?
    2 years ago
    What are six major dimension in engineering drawing?
    2 years ago
  • Virpi
    What are general principles for giving dimensions on a drawing in engineering drawing?
    11 months ago
    What is prenciple of dimension of technical drawing?
    7 months ago
  • helen
    What is prenciple of dimension in usea tichnical drawing?
    7 months ago
  • Junior
    What is dimensioning techniques in principal view?
    4 months ago
  • yerusalem
    What is dimensioning orthographic drawing?
    4 months ago
  • Saradoc
    What two principle elements should all engineering drawings present?
    2 months ago
  • Fethawi
    How do you represent a sectioned surface on a diagram?
    1 month ago

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