For surface quality and surface roughness, there are few guidelines or tools for calculating appropriate tolerances. Typically, we simply use a legacy specification (e.g. 60-40 and 3 A RMS) with little thought for either the cost of achieving the specification or the penalty for failing to achieve it. Often these legacy specifications are often unnecessarily costly and in some cases completely meaningless. This paper provides some basic rules and equations for calculation of the real or perceived impact of these specifications, and some guidelines for the initiate (and for some of us veterans as well) as to how to compose a meaningful tolerance.

© 2010 OSA, SPIE

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