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Maximum and Least Material Condition Explained

Posted: Tuesday, February 24, 2015

People are often confused by the terms Maximum Material Condition and Least Material Condition in GD&T and, therefore, get some anxiety when they see all those little M’s and L’s in circles on a print. People learn that Maximum Material Conditional occurs when a feature weighs the most or has the most mass and Least Material Condition has the least mass. This sounds simple when you think of something like the diameter of a pin. The largest allowable size for the diameter of the pin would cause the pin to weigh the most and, therefore, be the Maximum Material Condition. It starts to get confusing when you look at holes and realize that it’s the smallest allowable hole that would have the most mass. So, sometimes the largest allowable dimension is the Maximum Material Condition and sometimes the smallest one is. What’s up with that? We don’t care how much the part weighs, just if the parts meet the print.  

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Lesson on Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerances

Posted: Thursday, December 04, 2014

I’ve had the privilege to be involved in GD&T (Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerances) training at Orchid over the last year. I am that rare nerd who enjoys this stuff. GD&T is like learning Klingon in some ways. It makes you feel like an exclusive member of some club that can speak a secret language. The problem is GD&T is supposed to be a universal tool, understood by all those involved in producing mechanical parts – engineering, quoting, manufacturing, inspection and quality. Far too many people learn how to interpret just a few of the symbols that impact their job, but never get an appreciation for the whole system. It’s like learning a few words in Greek and then trying to read a book. It is no wonder why so many people are frustrated. Whenever I teach GD&T, I try to take a step back and give everyone an understanding of why it is an important and powerful tool. 

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