Tool and Die Maker
Collaborate with Engineers to make new tools and their molds.
Left to its own devices, poured metal will simply turn into a hard puddle. That’s why molds are so important in a foundry. Molds allow the poured metal to take on a variety of shapes, and the job of a Foundry Pattern Maker is to make those accurate molds.
When you’re a Foundry Pattern Maker, you’re given a set of drawings showing you exactly what the finished product should look like. These drawings may be blueprints on paper or computer-rendered drawings that the Foundry Pattern Maker studies on the computer. You examine these drawings carefully, determining exactly what your mold should look like. You may convert them into a three-dimensional image so you can clearly see what it is you’re building.
When your study is complete, you make your mold. You may use wood, metal, or plastic, so you must be adept at working with many materials. To translate the drawings into a mold, you may use computer-operated machines. Or you may make your mold by hand with the aid of old-fashioned tools.
When the mold is complete, you use it to create a test model of the finished product. You sand the completed model carefully, removing any rough edges. Then you measure it to make sure it matches up with the drawings you were sent.
If you’re lucky, your model will be absolutely perfect. If not, you’ll start again and adjust your mold as needed.