Home » How to add tolerances in SolidWorks drawing?

Geometric Dimensioning and tolerance is a very important features in any software. In SolidWorks, you can either add Tolerance in a part of an assembly file or can add it to the 2D sheet. We get the freedom to choose when to add tolerance in any part.

Tolerance is a very important part of any drawing and plays a very crucial role in Manufacturing. Hence, knowing the steps to add tolerances to any drawing sheet is necessary. The types of tolerances in SolidWorks are NoneBasicBilateralLimitSymmetricMINMAXFitFit with tolerance, or Fit (tolerance only).

In this article, you will learn how to add tolerances in SolidWorks drafting. By default, you get values in a two-dimensional place.

The steps to add the tolerance in SolidWorks are as follows:

  1. Click on Insert -> “Model items”.
  2. Now under Model Items Property manager go to ->Dimension.
  3. Then Uncheck-> Marked for drawing.
  4. And Select->Tolerance dimensions.
  5. Now click ok.

Tolerances are used to ensure that the final product is usable, particularly if it is part of a larger assembly. Since each fabrication method has some level of inaccuracy. The correct tolerance value is important for better product accuracy. Hence making the assignment of tolerance important in any 2D drawing.


Another way to add tolerances in a SolidWorks drawing, you can follow these steps:


  1. Open the SolidWorks drawing file in which you want to add tolerances.
  2. Select the dimension that you want to add a tolerance to by clicking on it. The dimension will be highlighted in blue.
  3. Right-click on the dimension and select “Properties” from the context menu.
  4. In the “Properties” window, go to the “Tolerance” tab.
  5. Check the “Display tolerance” checkbox to enable tolerance display for the selected dimension.
  6. Choose the type of tolerance you want to use from the “Type” dropdown list. SolidWorks offers various types of tolerances, such as basic, limit, symmetric, asymmetric, and others.
  7. Set the tolerance values for the upper and lower limits of the dimension by entering the values in the “Upper Limit” and “Lower Limit” fields, respectively. You can also set the tolerance value as a percentage or as a deviation.
  8. Click “OK” to save the tolerance settings and close the “Properties” window.

Once you have added tolerances to the dimensions, they will be displayed on the SolidWorks drawing. You can customize the display of tolerances by changing the text size, font, color, and other properties in the “Dimension Text” tab of the “Properties” window.

Choosing the Appropriate Tolerance Type and Value

Choosing the appropriate tolerance type and value is a crucial step in creating accurate and functional drawings in SolidWorks. The following guidelines can help you determine the right tolerance type and value for your project:

  • Types of Tolerance and Their Application: The three basic types of tolerance available in SolidWorks are limit, unilateral, and bilateral. Limit tolerance specifies the maximum and minimum allowable size for a dimension, while unilateral tolerance specifies either the maximum or minimum allowable size. Bilateral tolerance specifies the allowable range on both sides of the nominal dimension. In addition to these basic tolerance types, SolidWorks offers other tolerance types such as geometric, symmetric, and asymmetric. It is important to understand the differences between these types of tolerances and choose the one that best fits the requirements of the dimension.
  • Choosing the Right Tolerance for the Job: When deciding which tolerance type to use for a particular dimension, consider the part’s function, material, manufacturing process, and assembly requirements. For example, if a part has a functional requirement that requires it to fit into another part, you may need to use a tighter tolerance than if the part is merely decorative. Similarly, the material and manufacturing process used to create the part may also influence the choice of tolerance.
  • Setting Tolerance Values: The upper and lower limits for a dimension tolerance can be specified as a deviation from the nominal dimension, as a percentage of the nominal dimension, or as a combination of both. When setting tolerance values, consider the part’s function and requirements, as well as the manufacturing process and material. A tighter tolerance may increase the part’s quality and functionality, but it may also increase production costs. Conversely, looser tolerances may reduce production costs but could lead to problems with part fit or functionality.
  • Balancing Tolerance and Cost: Balancing tolerance and cost is an important consideration when choosing the appropriate tolerance type and value. By understanding the tradeoffs between tighter tolerances and higher production costs, you can choose the tolerance range that maximizes quality while minimizing production costs. This often requires a collaborative effort between design, manufacturing, and quality control teams.
  • Managing Interference and Clearance: Interference and clearance are important considerations when setting tolerances for parts that will be assembled together. When parts fit together too tightly, interference can occur, making assembly difficult or impossible. Conversely, when parts are too loose, clearance can occur, resulting in parts that do not fit together properly. Tolerances can be used to manage interference and clearance, ensuring that parts fit together properly in the assembly.

By following these guidelines, you can choose the appropriate tolerance type and value for your SolidWorks drawing, ensuring that your parts and assemblies meet the necessary quality and functionality requirements while minimizing production costs.

Ensuring Accuracy and Consistency in Drawings with Multiple Dimensions and Tolerances

Ensuring accuracy and consistency in drawings with multiple dimensions and tolerances is essential to the quality and functionality of the final product. The following tips can help you achieve accuracy and consistency in your SolidWorks drawings:

  • Standardization: Establishing a set of standard tolerances for your project can help ensure consistency across all dimensions and reduce errors. This involves determining the most appropriate tolerance for each dimension based on the requirements of the part or assembly.
  • Tolerance Stackup Analysis: A tolerance stackup analysis helps you to understand how the tolerances of each individual part in an assembly will interact with each other. By performing a tolerance stackup analysis, you can identify potential errors and make design modifications to ensure proper fit and function.
  • Use of Tolerance Symbols: Using tolerance symbols such as the concentricity, parallelism, and perpendicularity symbols can help make the drawing more visually understandable, and help reduce errors. These symbols help to define the relationship between two or more surfaces, and indicate the allowable deviation from a perfect fit.
  • Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing (GD&T): GD&T is a standardized method for defining and communicating tolerances in a drawing. GD&T specifies how dimensions and tolerances relate to each other, making it easier to read and interpret the drawing. By using GD&T, you can ensure that your drawing accurately represents the functional requirements of the part or assembly.
  • Review and Approval: It is important to have a review and approval process in place for SolidWorks drawings. This involves having the drawing reviewed by a team of experts who are knowledgeable in the subject matter. Once the drawing is reviewed and approved, it is sent to the manufacturing team, who can use the drawing to create the part or assembly.

By following these tips, you can ensure accuracy and consistency in your SolidWorks drawings with multiple dimensions and tolerances. This will help to reduce errors and ensure that the final product meets the necessary quality and functionality requirements.