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Mold Maker  What They Do

Just the Facts


Insider Info

dotMold makers give form to many of the things we use every day. They make metal molds for die-casting and for shaping plastics, ceramics and composite materials.

"The trade of mold maker can be considered one step beyond tool and die making, as one needs all the skills of tool and die making as well as the understanding of the material flow of the various plastics and compositions," says mold maker Jean Kroes.

"You must commit yourself to this career. It's a very active trade, constantly changing because of the new development of new techniques and new materials."

dotTo create a metal casting, you put a pattern -- an exact model of the finished metal casting -- in a molding box and then press sand around it. Next, you remove the pattern and pour molten metal into the mold to produce a metal casting.

A manual mold maker makes the sand molds by hand. A machine mold maker sets up and operates numerous machines that shape the molds. A machine also pours the hot metal.

dotMany mold makers need to understand computer-aided design (CAD) principles. Specs from CAD systems can be sent to computer-numerically controlled (CNC) machines to produce a die.

"Intuition also plays a major role in making a mold," says Paul Brown, a commercial ceramic mold maker in San Diego. "Plus, being able to see in your mind's eye both a positive and negative space simultaneously."

At a Glance

Set up and operate devices to make metal castings

  • You'll need to understand computer-aided design (CAD) principles
  • The job is always changing because of new techniques and materials
  • Visualization also plays a major role in making a mold