Effective Training Inc., Westland  MI,  1.800.886.0909  
Volume 02: Issue 6



Known as the "Doctor of Dimensioning," Alex Krulikowski is a noted educator, author, and expert on Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing (GD&T). He has more than 30 years of industrial experience putting GD&T to practical use on the shop floor. 

Alex has taught GD&T to tens of thousands through his workshops and seminars, and to countless others through his books, self-study courses, videos, and computer-based training programs.


2009 GD&T
Savings Event

ETI’s largest company-wide sale in our 24-year history offers deep discounts on training packages. Don't miss this spectacular event!

Read more about it.



Web Highlights


Back To Basics: The Symbology Behind GD&T
The foundation of Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing lies in its use of symbols. When used in conjunction with the X-Y coordinate dimension, GD&T can help completely describe the dimensional configuration of any part.

This March 2007 article in Fabricating and Metalworking is an excerpt from the book, Dimensional Management: A Comprehensive Introduction (

To read the article, click here.

Article by Mark A. Curtis, Ed.D from the Fabricating and Metalworking Magazine website.


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New at ETI

GD&T Live Web Training
GD&T live web training is just like a classroom workshop, but it’s delivered and attended entirely over the internet. Our live web training isn’t an automated program; it’s an authentic real-time classroom with an instructor teaching concepts and answering questions live over the internet.

gdt trainer
Click for animation sample

Live Web Onsite Training
Companies can schedule live web training for groups of employees and save time and travel expenses. Classes can be arranged around busy work loads.

Live Web Public Workshops
Individuals, professionals, managers, or executives can attend live web public workshops for a convenient training option that eliminates travel time and expense.

See a sample of an actual training session.




New Course Offering:
System Approach to Component Tolerancing
This workshop teaches the thought processes involved in assigning GD&T to components. It will change the way many engineers think about part tolerancing.

Learn about...what constitutes good and poor drawing practices...the common dimensioning methods used in industry...using geometric tolerancing to communicate system functions on component dimensions...the logic of how to apply GD&T to components

Students will actually perform a design function analysis on a part assembly provided by your company, then specify GD&T on assembly components during the workshop.

To read more about it, click here.

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ETI Services

ETI is dedicated to client success by providing world-class dimensional engineering solutions

ETI provides a variety of engineering services that will help your organization improve product design and save money. We can review your drawings and evaluate them before production, helping you to reduce costs through proper specification. We can also help you apply GD&T to your existing drawings.

Design Services
ETI offers economical design services. Send us your drawings and we will perform:

  • Design checking
  • GD&T markups
  • Tolerance stack analysis

Consulting Services
ETI's consulting services can be performed in-house or at your site.

  • Design reviews
  • Drawing audits for standards compliance
  • Expert interpretation of drawings for customers or suppliers
  • Product drawings reviewed for meaningfulness, reasonable tolerances, and critical tolerance stacks
  • Mentoring of employees on the correct usage of GD&T
  • Measurement plans reviewed

We can also implement meetings to discuss. . .

  • GD&T usage or standards
  • Application of GD&T to a product
  • Inspection of GD&T requirements
  • Converting functional requirements into GD&T specifications

To read more about our services, click here.

Click here to request a quote.

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ETI Workshops

ETI offers convenient, customized, onsite workshops in a variety of GD&T-related topics.

alex teaching

ETI Offers On-Site Training 
Effective Training brings hands-on GD&T instruction right to your location. Workshops can be customized to include your drawings and parts

Click on any course to learn more about it.

Engineering Drawing Requirements

GD&T Fundamentals

Fundamentals Overview

GD&T Advanced Concepts

Tolerance Stacks

Statistical Tolerance Stacks

ASME-ISO Comparison

ASME Y14.41 - 2003

GD&T Applications on Drawings

Executive Overview of GD&T

System Approach to Component Tolerancing

To learn more about what ETI has to offer your organization, click here.

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ETI Products

Monthly Web Special
ETI offers a special deal on a different product each month. Check out this month's Web Special.

The GD&T Trainer Professional Edition—a virtual classroom at your desktop


GD&T Training Made Easy
The GD&T Trainer Professional Edition (Y14.5M-1994) contains 28 student-focused lessons covering the fundamentals of GD&T. Instant lesson feedback and quizzes reinforce the material.

Highlights include a GD&T glossary, tolerancing application and inspection examples, audio narration, full-color technical animations, 3-D solid part examples, and a certification exam.

To read more about it, click here
To download a demo, click here

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GD&T advanced concepts taught by the experts. . .

advanced concepts

Advanced Concepts of GD&T Textbook
The textbook stresses the application of GD&T in industry and takes an in-depth look at many GD&T topics. Position, profile, and datums are covered in detail. Covers common industry tolerancing practices not documented in ASME Y14.5M-1994. It's an indispensable on-the-job reference.

To read more about it, click here

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Knowledge of stacks separates the exceptional engineers from
the rest


Learn Tolerance Stacks With On-The-Job Focus
Our stacks textbook stresses applications found in actual industrial situations. Solve tolerance stack problems involving flatness, straightness, tolerance of position, runout, concentricity, and more. Practice stacks are from actual drawings and provided in the Drawing Package.

To read more about it, click here

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Teaching GD&T has never been easier: digital kits have course materials on CD-ROM

Digital Instructors' Kits from ETI
ETI now offers all of our instructor's materials in a convenient digital format. Each kit includes everything needed to teach an entire course on one handy CD-ROM.

To read more about them, click here

To download a demo, click here

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The "ultimate" GD&T reference tool is only available from ETI

pocket guide

Economical Tool You Can't Afford To Miss
Carry this pocket-sized reference with you on the job and have a resource to all your GD&T questions at your fingertips. Order one for each member of your team!

To read more about it, click here

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ETI Resources


How Well do You Know GD&T? Try the Free GD&T Skills Survey Today
Do you know the geometric symbols, each symbol’s requirements, tolerance zones, and limitations?

Click here to take the GD&T Skills Survey.

Do You Understand Tolerance Stacks? Try the Free Stacks Skills Survey Today
The Stacks Skills Survey measures how well an individual can use tolerance stacks to determine part distances or assembly conditions, like clearances, or part travel.

Click here to take the Stacks Skills Survey.

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Quality Quote


If you don't have time to do it right, you must have time to do it over. 

–Author Unknown

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ETI Staff

Alex Krulikowski

Pat Krulikowski

Product Developer
Jamy Krulikowski

Customer Service Coordinator
Jim McBreen

Account Executives
Branny Mrljak
Dennis Moore

Website Administrator
Brandon Billings

Graphic Designer
Matthew Pride

Network Administrator/

Chris Wioskowski

Katherine Palmer

Shipping Manager
Gary Walls

Mechanical Designer
Ken Blinn

Dimensional Engineering Mentor
Michael Adcock
Roy Cross

Bob Bourland
Dan Carlson
Robert Charlton
Brent Davis
Charles (Don) Holder
Dale MacPherson
Daniel Meyers
Christopher Nolan
Dave Slopsema
Carl Wargula



ETImail is a regular online publication devoted to geometric dimensioning & tolerancing. Each edition features a host of GD&T resources and links, as well as dimensioning tips by noted GD&T author and ETI founder, Alex Krulikowski.

We also invite you to visit our website,
. To view past issues of ETImail, see the archives. ETImail is now available in PDF format. To read the PDF file, you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader.

In This Issue
Here are this issue's highlights. Click on any link to jump directly to a feature:

Featured Article: How Good are Your Company Drawings?
Standards in the News: Bad solder costs $21 Million
ETI News: Fundamentals of GD&T Workbook; Live Web GD&T Training; GD&T Blog
ETI Mailbag: Question about "initial pickup" dimensions
Employment: Job opening at Infotech

In the sidebar:
Web Highlights: Back to Basics: The Symbology Behind GD&T
New at ETI: Live Web GD&T Training, System Approach to Component Tolerancing Workshop

ETI Services: Engineering Services: Consulting Services and Drawing Review/Checking Services
ETI Training: Onsite Workshops

ETI Products: Web Special, GD&T Trainer Professional Edition, Advanced Concepts, Stacks
ETI Resources: GD&T and Tolerance Stacks Skills Surveys
Other Features: Quality Quote of the month

asme standard

How Good are Your Company Drawings?

Alex Krulikowski

Standard-compliant drawings are the minimum level required to provide a clear definition of part tolerances. This issue's article explains what a standard-compliant drawing is and how to determine if your company's drawings meet that criteria.

Time is money.

The truth of this old maxim is evident in the world of manufacturing, where:

Poor drawings = wasted time = higher costs = lower return on investment

However, companies can reduce product development time and product costs by using GD&T to define parts clearly, completely, consistently, and with the maximum tolerances allowed by the part function. When drawings are made to standard compliance, the formula changes:

Standard-compliant drawings = reduced production time = lower costs = higher return on investment

Simply put, many of the problems in industry stem from poor or nonstandard-compliant engineering drawings. Using drawings that aren't standard compliant results in:

  • Disputes with suppliers
  • Problems during inspection
  • Functional problems

All of these issues added up to unnecessary production time and costs. In my experience, over 50% of the drawings in industry are not standard compliant.

I categorize the dimensioning of drawings into three levels: a standard-compliant drawing, mixed-method design, and functional design with analysis.

Level I: A Standard Compliant Drawing - A standard compliant level drawing follows the GD&T Y14.5 Standard, provides clear definition of part tolerances, and enables outsourcing repeatable part inspection. Standard-compliant drawings are the minimum level for communicating part requirements.

Level II: Mixed Method Design - A mixed method design level drawing includes all of the characteristics of a standard compliant design, plus starts to address dimensioning style and tolerance values.

Level III: Functional Design With Analysis - A functional design with analysis level drawing includes all of the characteristics of standard compliant design. It also places the main focus on functional dimensioning and uses tolerance analysis to ensure that tolerances are in line with the product function derived from customer requirements.

The chart below shows the potential benefits from creating drawings at each level.

chart one
Click on the chart for a larger view or download a pdf version

Creating drawings at the functional design with analysis level can provide significant return on investment and is the strategic goal for many organizations. However, this level takes the most effort to achieve and cannot be accomplished without consistent management involvement — a topic that is too lengthy to cover in detail here.

I believe that there are many benefits to be realized by first bringing the drawing quality level to standard-compliant, and then working towards making drawings using functional design with analysis. For now, let's move on to look at some dimensioning guidelines for each of these levels.

The chart below shows the dimensioning guidelines that I use as the benchmark for each drawing level in a drawing audit, or for customer mentoring.

chart two
Click on the chart for a larger view or download a pdf version

The chart below summarizes the advantages and disadvantages of achieving each drawing level.

chart three
Click on the chart for a larger view or download a pdf version

Many executives and managers want their employees to create drawings at the Functional Design level. But most companies are not up to the Standard Compliant level. Significant gains can be made simply by achieving the Standard Compliant level. The road to creating quality drawings is not easy, but it leads to many important advantages for the organization.

Six steps to improving drawing quality:

  1. Develop awareness of the various dimensioning levels, benefits, and requirements in the organization
  2. Obtain an agreement from key stakeholders on where your organization's drawings need to be
  3. Conduct a drawing audit to find out where your organization's drawings currently stand
  4. Create a strategy to move to the desired level
  5. Create a set of SMART goals and an action plan to support the strategy
  6. Incorporate steps in your product development process to ensure that the drawing level is maintained

Are your company drawings standard compliant?
Here's a simple tool to help you find out.

  1. Print the Standard Compliant Drawing Evaluation chart below.
  2. Compare your drawing to the list of items, and assign each item a score.
  3. Compare the total score to the Scoring Analysis chart to see where your drawing stands.

If the drawing scores 90-100, congratulations! You have a standard compliant drawing. Send me the drawing and your rating, and I will confirm your score or provide you with my opinion on items where we differ.

chart four
Click on any chart for a larger view or download a pdf version

What quality level are your company’s drawings? Receive a free independent expert analysis.
Send me an email and attach with one of your drawings. I will analyze the drawing and provide a free evaluation with some ideas for improvement.

ETI can also conduct an independent drawing audit. We will provide a comprehensive report that can be used to develop a plan for improvement. Contact me and I will explain the details and nominal cost of a drawing quality audit.

Read more about ETI's engineering services.

We welcome your feedback. Send comments about this article to ETImail. Your opinions will be posted in the next issue.

This article may be reprinted free for use by your organization if our Reprint Policy is followed.

Standards in the News

ETImail's Standards in the News takes a look at real-life issues involving standards. This month: one bad solder yields big expense

Picture from website

Excerpt from the Daily Tech website

Single Bad Solder Costs CERN's LHC One Year and $21M USD
Thought your repair bill from your fender bender was bad? Check out this whopper of a high-tech repair bill

The LHC [Large Hadron Collider] particle accelerator was the source of much excitement in the scientific community as well as much fear among uniformed skeptics who believed it would create black holes when brought online.  When the LHC, CERN's baby, was turned online it did a lot -- but nothing bad -- breezing through early tests. 

However, it quickly went from doing a lot to doing nothing at all, when a transformer broke during the final stage of testing, blowing a great deal of expensive circuitry in the process.

With winter fast approaching, repairs are pretty much done for the year and much work remains to be done.  Perhaps fears of black holes should be replaced with fears of sticker shock in skeptics’ minds.  The repairs sport one expensive bill -- $21M USD.

Full story

Photos of the Large Hadron Collider from The Big Picture, News Stories in Photographs on

dailytech Excerpt is from the article, "Single Bad Solder Costs CERN's LHC a Year, $21M USD," by Jason Mick, blogger, in Daily Tech, September 18, 2007.

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ETI News

ETI continues to add new GD&T products and services and provide you with more GD&T training options. Keep an eye on this section to read about our latest news. This issue: we have a new workbook, live GD&T web training, and a blog.

Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerance Workbook
With Engineering Drawings

Based on ASME Y14.5M-1994

New workbook provides hours of practice applying GD&T skills on real industrial drawings

gdt workbook

Practice interpreting GD&T on industrial drawings can help you interpret GD&T on the job. The 204-page workbook can be used in the classroom as a reinforcement to ETI’s Fundamentals of GD&T course. It can also be used independently after the class is complete, because interpreting actual drawings will give students extra practice applying concepts taught in the classroom. For instructors, the GD&T Workbook is designed for use with the Fundamentals of GD&T Digital Instructor’s Kit.

The GD&T Workbook enhances student skills by providing practice on each concept from our fundamentals of GD&T course. Questions refer to content in the Fundamentals of GD&T textbook, and are designed to let you gain practice using GD&T in the same manner you would on the job. Drawings include adaptors, retainers, shafts, plates, pulleys, housings, and more. A complete answer section is provided.

gdt workbook Sample pages:
Click on the pages to take a look inside the book.

The Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing Workbook With Engineering Drawings can be used:

This book is a valuable tool for designers; product, manufacturing, and quality engineers; CMM operators; checkers.

Product highlights: The GD&T Workbook is the perfect companion to ETI’s Fundamentals of GD&T textbook. It reinforces the goals and objectives taught in the book as you work through more than 450 practice problems. You’ll gain experience with typical industrial engineering drawings as you learn to apply GD&T concepts through questions that apply specifically to the drawings. Every goal and objective in the Fundamentals of GD&T textbook is covered in this incisive student workbook, making it the perfect supplement for classroom instruction. Exercise questions cover:

• Interpreting Engineering Drawings
• Understanding Why GD&T is Superior to Coordinate Tolerancing
• Recognizing Key Terms
• Identifying Modifiers and Symbols Used in GD&T
• Understanding Rules #1 and #2
• Recognizing GD&T Concepts
• Interpreting Flatness, Straightness, Circularity, and Cylindricity
• Specifying and Interpreting Planar Datums, Datum Targets, and Size Datums (RFS and MMC)
• Interpreting Perpendicularity, Angularity, Parallelism, and Position (RFS/MMC/LMC)
• Drawing Cartoon Gages
• Interpreting Tolerance of Position Special Applications
• Calculating Part Distances and Fastener Formulas
• Interpreting Concentricity, Symmetry, Circular Runout, Total Runout

• Interpreting Profile Tolerancing, Profile of a Surface, and Profile of a Line

Package includes: Workbook with actual part drawings to use when answering questions about geometric controls, so students gain realistic experience with industry drawings. It also includes a complete answer section.

Format: The student workbook includes 28 sections with over 450 practice problems that help you learn the terms, symbols, modifiers, rules, and basic concepts of geometric dimensioning and tolerancing as prescribed by ASME Y14.5M-1994.


Order your GD&T Workbook With Engineering Drawings today.

The exercise workbook is a part of ETI's Fundamentals of GD&T 3-day onsite training. To learn more about our workshops, call 1-800-886-0909 or click here for more information.

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Instructor-Led GD&T Live Web Training

Receive Real-Time GD&T Instruction
Through the Convenience of the Internet

GD&T Live Web Training PDF

ETI now offers instructor-led live web training. GD&T live web training is just like a classroom workshop, but it’s delivered and attended entirely over the internet. Our live web training isn’t an automated program; it’s an authentic real-time classroom with an instructor teaching concepts and answering questions live over the internet.

live web

Click on the graphic below to see a sample of an actual training session.


Learn more about the option that's right for you.

Companies can schedule live web training for groups of employees and save time and travel expenses. Classes can be arranged around busy work loads. Individuals, professionals, managers, or executives can attend live web public workshops for a convenient training option that eliminates travel time and expense.

GD&T live web training provides all the features of the traditional onsite classroom: it’s comprehensive, interactive, and allows the instructor and students the ability to give, receive, and discuss information. It also provides advantages beyond traditional training: it’s convenient, cost-effective and allows flexible scheduling, while still offering all the benefits of face-to-face delivery. It fills the gap between classroom training and self-paced e-learning.

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GD&T Blog

Read about GD&T, the ASME standard, and more

ETI has a blog.


Like many corporate blogs, the ETI blog announces new products and services, keeps you updated about our public training schedules, and lets you know about Alex's speaking engagements and newly published articles.

However, the heart of the blog is dedicated to GD&T.

We'll keep you up to date on the new standard. We'll inform you about new developments in industry that involve quality issues. We'll focus on news items that pertain to manufacturing and recalls that may have been avoided by using GD&T.

We've added a Q/A portion where you can ask Alex his expert opinion and see comments that follow from other readers. Alex also offers tolerancing insights culled from his years of experience working with GD&T on the job and teaching GD&T to thousands around the globe.


Alex also provides training and mentoring tips on how to keep companies up to speed on geometric tolerancing so they remain competitive in the global industrial marketplace. He gives tips for those who are learning the fundamentals, as well as those who are ready to tackle the system approach for component tolerancing.

The format is fluid, so who knows where this will take us? We only know one thing: if it involves GD&T, you'll find it here.

We look forward to hearing your comments, insights, and viewpoint.

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The ETI Mailbag

When creating engineering drawings that detail a finish-machined item from a casting, the company I work for typically uses a set of coordinate dimensions (X and Y) from casting features over to an initial machining feature, which is typically a hole. This dimension is often called an "initial pickup" dimension. Then the rest of the drawing (machined features) dimensions have GD&T applied.

I am suggesting that the "initial pickup" dimension, especially if it locates a hole center from a cast surface(s), be replaced by a TP callout and that the cast feature become a datum reference (with target points if required) for the location of the machined feature.

In the case of a hole, it would change the tolerance zone from a square to a cylinder. Then, that first machined feature could become a datum reference for any other downstream features, based on part function. It seems to me to be a carry over from the coordinate dimensioning days and its use in the manufacturing environment. Any advice on this sort of "initial pickup" dimensioning?

Your comments are right on the money.

This is a throw back to the days of coordinate dimensioning. The initial pickup for the machining operation should use a datum reference frame from the cast part. In addition to selecting datum features on the cast surface, you will want to make sure that these features are permanent features; that is, the machining operations will not be removing the datum features from the finished part. If they do, they are called temporary datum features and this practice is discouraged.

Using datum references on the initial machining operation will enable the machinist or CNC programmer to know how the part is to sit into the datum reference frame at inspection, and, thus, he can do a better (consistent) job of placing the initial operation with respect to the rest of the part. This can be particularly important where a thin wall condition could jeopardize part performance or durability, or where packaging space for the part in assembly is very limited.

Again, good call.

ETI appreciates your questions and comments.
Send your GD&T questions to: ETImail.

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