This paper proposes interval constraint networks and interval propagation techniques for automatic tolerance design. To develop an intelligent automatic tolerance design mechanism, the following interrelated problems are addressed: (1) representing the relationships between the tolerances of the entities, attributes, and the functional requirements of a design component by a constraint network, (2) developing tolerance propagation techniques in the network that will satisfy the constraints between the entities, attributes and functional requirement. For the purpose of tolerance design, we propose new definitions for consistency of constraints and consistency of a constraint network. New forward and backward propagation techniques achieve worst-case tolerance analysis and synthesis, respectively. A tank design problem illustrates the use of the procedures for tolerance analysis and synthesis. The discussion and examples compare the new constraint network and propagation techniques with previous works.
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