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Datum Features Must Be Referenced to Be Used
(In accordance with Y14.5M-1994 standard)

PDF of this Tip

There continues to be the misconception that if a feature is labeled as a datum feature, its use is somehow implied. Take the drawing shown. The position tolerance on the hole references datum features A and B but not C. Therefore the hole must be perpendicular to the plane established by datum feature A and 20 mm from the axis established by datum feature B. Datum feature C has nothing to do with the position of the hole. Yes, the hole is shown on a centerline that is perpendicular to datum feature C. So, we know what the goal is. But, since datum feature C was not referenced in the position tolerance, there is no limit to how far the hole can be off the 90° angle. A couple of possible, acceptable parts are shown.

In order to avoid this, all you have to do is add datum feature C to the position tolerance.

Back to Tips Tip added May 2007