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Patternmaker  What They Do

Just the Facts


Lays out, machines, fits, and assembles castings and parts to metal or plastic foundry patterns, core boxes, or match plates.

This career is part of the Manufacturing cluster Manufacturing Production pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Sets up and operates machine tools, such as milling machines, lathes, drill presses, and grinders, to machine castings or patterns.
  • Reads and interprets blueprints or drawings of parts to be cast or patterns to be made, computes dimensions, and plans operational sequences.
  • Verifies conformance of patterns or template dimensions to specifications, using measuring instruments such as calipers, scales, and micrometers.
  • Programs computerized numerical control machine tools.
  • Designs and creates templates, patterns, or coreboxes according to work orders, sample parts, or mockups.
  • Assembles pattern sections, using hand tools, bolts, screws, rivets, glue, or welding equipment.
  • Repairs and reworks templates and patterns.
  • Lays out and draws or scribes patterns onto material, using compasses, protractors, rulers, scribes, or other instruments.
  • Cleans and finishes patterns or templates, using emery cloths, files, scrapers, and power grinders.
  • Constructs platforms, fixtures, and jigs for holding and placing patterns.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 20 lbs., sometimes up to 50 lbs. You might do a lot of lifting, carrying, pushing or pulling.
  • Work in this occupation involves bending or twisting your body more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposure to pollutants, gases, dust, fumes, odors, poor ventilation, etc.
  • Requires getting into awkward positions
  • Lighting is either extremely bright or inadequate
  • Conditions are very hot (above 90 F) or very cold (under 32 F)
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Exposed to conditions such as high voltage electricity, combustibles, explosives, and chemicals more than once a month
  • Exposed to hazardous equipment such as saws, machinery, or vehicular traffic more than once a month
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves walking or running more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Computer Numerical Control Operator (CNC Operator) --
  • Computer Numerical Control Programmer (CNC Programmer) --
  • Die Cast Die Maker --
  • Fixture Builder --
  • Journeyman Patternmaker --
  • Machinist --
  • Metal Pattern Maker --
  • Model Maker --
  • Pattern Maker --
  • Pattern Repair Person --