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Details for Patternmakers, Metal and Plastic


Lay out, machine, fit, and assemble castings and parts to metal or plastic foundry patterns, core boxes, or match plates.


  • Clean and finish patterns or templates, using emery cloths, files, scrapers, and power grinders.
  • Select pattern materials such as wood, resin, and fiberglass.
  • Apply plastic-impregnated fabrics or coats of sealing wax or lacquer to patterns that will be used to produce plastic.
  • Repair and rework templates and patterns.
  • Assemble pattern sections, using hand tools, bolts, screws, rivets, glue, and/or welding equipment.
  • Design and create templates, patterns, or coreboxes according to work orders, sample parts, or mockups.
  • Lay out and draw or scribe patterns onto material, using compasses, protractors, rulers, scribes, or other instruments.
  • Read and interpret blueprints or drawings of parts to be cast or patterns to be made; then compute dimensions and plan operational sequences.
  • Set up and operate machine tools, such as milling machines, lathes, drill presses, and grinders, in order to machine castings or patterns.
  • Verify conformance of patterns or template dimensions to specifications, using measuring instruments such as calipers, scales, and micrometers.
  • Construct platforms, fixtures, and jigs for holding and placing patterns.
  • Mark identification numbers or symbols onto patterns or templates.
  • Paint or lacquer patterns.
  • Program computerized numerical control machine tools.


  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
  • Artistic - Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
  • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Education, Training, Experience

  • Education - Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
  • Experience - Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.


  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Design - Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.


Related Careers

  • Cutting, Punching, and Press Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic
  • Drilling and Boring Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic
  • Forging Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic
  • Foundry Mold and Coremakers
  • Grinding, Lapping, Polishing, and Buffing Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic
  • Printing Machine Operators
  • Tool and Die Makers
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