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Pattern & Die

A die is a specialized tool used in manufacturing industries to cut or shape material mostly using a press. Like molds, dies are generally customized to the item they are used to create. A pattern is a replica of the object to be cast, used to prepare the cavity into which molten material will be poured during the casting process.

Forming dies are typically made by tool and die makers and put into production after mounting into a press. The die is a metal block that is used for forming materials like sheet metal and plastic. The making of patterns, called patternmaking (sometimes styled pattern-making or pattern making), is a skilled trade that is related to the trades of tool and die making and moldmaking, but also often incorporates elements of fine woodworking.

The pattern needs to incorporate suitable allowances for shrinkage; these are called contraction allowances, and their exact values depend on the alloy being cast and the exact sand casting method being used. Some alloys will have overall linear shrinkage of up to 2.5%, whereas other alloys may actually experience no shrinkage or a slight "positive" shrinkage or increase in size in the casting process (notably type metal and certain cast irons). The shrinkage amount is also dependent on the sand casting process employed