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Fitting Weighted Total Least-Squares Planes and Parallel Planes to Support Tolerancing Standards

[+] Author Affiliations
Craig M. Shakarji, Vijay Srinivasan

National Institute of Standards & Technology, Gaithersburg, MD

Paper No. DETC2012-70398, pp. 449-459; 11 pages
  • ASME 2012 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 2: 32nd Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, Parts A and B
  • Chicago, Illinois, USA, August 12–15, 2012
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4501-1


We present elegant algorithms for fitting a plane, two parallel planes (corresponding to a slot or a slab) or many parallel planes in a total (orthogonal) least-squares sense to coordinate data that is weighted. Each of these problems is reduced to a simple 3×3 matrix eigenvalue/eigenvector problem or an equivalent singular value decomposition problem, which can be solved using reliable and readily available commercial software. These methods were numerically verified by comparing them with brute-force minimization searches. We demonstrate the need for such weighted total least-squares fitting in coordinate metrology to support new and emerging tolerancing standards, for instance, ISO 14405-1:2010. The widespread practice of unweighted fitting works well enough when point sampling is controlled and can be made uniform (e.g., using a discrete point contact Coordinate Measuring Machine). However, we demonstrate that nonuniformly sampled points (arising from many new measurement technologies) coupled with unweighted least-squares fitting can lead to erroneous results. When needed, the algorithms presented also solve the unweighted cases simply by assigning the value one to each weight. We additionally prove convergence from the discrete to continuous cases of least-squares fitting as the point sampling becomes dense.

Topics: Fittings



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