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Teaching GD&T Fundamentals in the Course Design of Machine Elements

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Machine Design Related

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

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Paper Authors


Xiaobin Le P.E. Wentworth Institute of Technology

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Professor, Ph.D., PE., Mechanical Engineering Program, School of Engineering, Wentworth Institute of Technology, Boston, MA 02115, Phone: 617-989-4223, Email:, Specialization in Computer-Aided Design, Mechanical Design, Finite Element Analysis, Fatigue Design, Solid Mechanics and Engineering Reliability

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Anthony William Duva P.E. Wentworth Institute of Technology

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Anthony W. Duva
An Associate Professor in the Mechanical Engineering and Technology Department at Wentworth Institute of Technology since 2001 with 14 years of prior full time industrial experience. He has worked in the design of various technologies from advanced underwater and ultrahigh altitude propulsion systems to automated manufacturing equipment. His interests include advanced thermal and mechanical system design for green power generation.

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Richard L. Roberts Wentworth Institute of Technology

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Associate Professor
Mechanical Engineering Program
College of Engineering
Wentworth Institute of Technology,
550 Huntington Ave.,
Boston, MA 02115

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Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing (GD&T) is an extremely important skill for mechanical engineering students who will mainly design mechanical devices and components. However, a GD&T course is typically not included in an undergraduate mechanical engineering curriculum. In our mechanical engineering curriculum, bits of basic concepts of GD&T are briefly mentioned or discussed in several different courses. It has been observed in the last several years that some students in their senior capstone project designs still didn’t know how to properly define assembly dimension tolerances or component dimension tolerances. In the last two years, the authors used one and a half weeks out of a total of a fifteen-week semester to teach GD&T fundamentals in the course Design of Machine Elements. Homework assignments and quizzes were used to check or to reinforce their understanding of GD&T fundamentals. Also, students were requested to implement what they had learned about GD&T fundamentals in two design projects. This paper will present the approach of teaching GD&T fundamentals and present the results from a class survey. The results indicated that our teaching GD&T fundamentals did facilitate students to develop a better understanding of the GD&T fundamentals and to determine dimension tolerances of free dimensions and mating dimensions.

Keywords: Mechanical Engineering, Mechanical Design, Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerance (GD&T), Free Dimension, Mating Dimension, Types of Fits, Free Dimension Tolerance, Mating Dimension Tolerance

Le, X., & Duva, A. W., & Roberts, R. L. (2021, July), Teaching GD&T Fundamentals in the Course Design of Machine Elements Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference.

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