The geometric variability of locators within a machining fixture is a known source of datum establishment error and machined feature geometric error. A locator tolerance is used to specify the range of permissible locator variation. Currently there are no models that relate a locator tolerance scheme to the worst case geometric errors that may result due to datum establishment error. This paper presents a methodology for modeling and analyzing the impact of a locator tolerance scheme on the potential datum related, geometric errors of linear, machined features. This paper also provides a simulation study in which locator tolerance analysis is applied to reveal some important insights into the relationship between machined feature geometric error, locator design, and locator tolerance scheme.

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