- Translate designs into 3D models that will be used to make moulds
- You'll need practical, technical and maths skills
- Work can be in shifts and can be physically demanding
As a foundry patternmaker, you'll make full size, 3D models from materials like plastic, wax and wood, to create moulds for casting metal in foundries.
- Planning the best way to make patterns from 2D and 3D drawings
- Creating a prototype pattern
- Using hand tools and computer-controlled machinery
- Making a sample casting to check the prototype meets customer requirements
- Changing the pattern to remove any defects
- Producing a finished pattern ready for the foundry moulders to make castings
- Setting tolerance levels to take account of molten metal shrinking as it cools
- You might also use modern technology methods to make moulds which are controlled by a computer
You'll usually work on a shift system, including nights and weekends.
Foundry work can be physically tough, and workshops can get hot and dusty. You'll wear protective clothing, including overalls, safety boots and ear defenders.
For this role, you'll need the ability to work to a high level of accuracy, excellent practical skills, a steady hand for delicate work, and strong maths skills.
There are no set entry requirements for this role but employers may expect you to have three to five GCSEs (A*-G) including English, maths and science.
Some employers may also expect you to have experience of using computer aided design (CAD) packages or computer numerically controlled (CNC) machines.
You could start as a process operative or foundry worker or you could get into this job through an apprenticeship.
With experience, you could be promoted to foundry workshop supervisor or manager. You could also train to become a technician in cast metals technology or mechanical engineering.