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What is 2D material tolerance? How can I allow for it in my design?

Josh Judkins
posted this on October 25, 2012 17:45

What is tolerance?

When we talk about "tolerance" for 2D sheet materials, we're talking about the potential variation in thickness from the listed size. This thickness tolerance for our materials comes direct from our suppliers and seems to be a general industry standard for the grade of materials we provide.

Tolerances are listed as +/- amounts - so they could be thicker or thinner than the listed size by that percentage. That means that 0.106"/2.7mm Amber Bamboo which has a tolerance of +/-10% could range in thickness from 0.095"/2.43mm to 0.117"/2.97mm. Acrylics tend to have a greater tolerance than woods at +/-15% rather than +/-10%.

This variance is not something we can avoid and something you must design for if you want to create interlocking laser-cut projects.

Tips for designing for tolerance

We've got a couple of posts to assist with this - and hope to have more on the way soon.

Wood sheet materials are actually a bit more forgiving when it comes to material thickness because they have some give if a material thickness is oversize.

Tips for interlocking wood designs

Acrylic can break easily at the square corner that is typically the result of a slotting joint. A radius in the corner can add strength and allow it to have a bit more flex.

Tips for interlocking acrylic designs

If you receive your order and the thickness of your material is lesser or greater than the stated tolerance, please contact us directly and we'll see what we can do to help - and whether the tolerance we have listed needs to be adjusted.

 
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