Q:

How do mold makers work?

A:

Quick Answer

Mold makers construct metal molds manually and by using industrial and computer numerically controlled, or CNC, machines. Metal molds have industrial applications such as casting of metals, plastics and ceramics. Mold makers use manual techniques for small quantities of items but use machines for large-scale production. They generally work in foundries and production shops and wear protective equipment to safeguard against flying metal pieces.

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Full Answer

Mold makers require knowledge of operating lathe, milling, grinding, drilling and boring machines. Mold makers also read blueprints, mechanical drawings and charts, and employ measurement tools to match dimensions and tolerance requirements. The work involves selection of work piece metals, abrasives for metal removal and cutting tools. Manual workers make sand molds by hand.

Mold makers use computerized methods for producing large quantities of molds. They feed production specifications from computer aided design programs into the CNC machines. The machines produce molds using the input programs. Mold makers work with design teams and manufacturers to design, create, inspect and repair molds. They also adjust existing molds to meet new production specifications.

Mold making involves detailed work plans and precision handling of tools and equipment. Mold makers should have knowledge about material compositions and properties, and also acquaint themselves with new technologies and materials.

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