One of the tests carried out by designers in an attempt to check whether an assembly of components will function correctly is tolerance analysis. Tolerance analysis, although relatively straightforward, is liable to be time consuming and error prone. It cannot be automated unless a suitable mathematical framework is developed to model the variations introduced by the manufacturing process. The designer allows for the variations by means of tolerances attached to the dimensions. This paper describes a suitable mathematical model and shows how it may be used to automate linear worst case tolerance analysis across assemblies. Experimental software has been written, based on the theory.

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