A moldmaker (mouldmaker in British English) or molder is a skilled trades worker who makes molds for use in metalworking and other manufacturing industries. It is sometimes regarded as a variety of the trade of the toolmaker.
Moldmakers are generally employed in foundries, where molds are used to cast products from metals such as aluminium and cast iron. Moldmakers may also be employed in the plastics, rubber or ceramics industries. The process of manufacturing molds is now often highly automated.
While much of the machining processes involved in mold making use computer-controlled equipment for the actual manufacturing of molds (particularly plastic and rubber injection and transfer). Moldmaking is still a highly skilled trade requiring expertise in manual machining, CNC machining, CNC wire EDM, CNC Ram EDM, surface grinding, hand polishing and more. Because of the high skill and intense labor involved much of the mold making in the US has been outsourced to low wage countries. The majority of plastic and rubber parts that are in existence today are made using injection or transfer molds- requiring a mold to be manufactured by a moldmaker. The actual molding process is very highly automated.
Molding or moulding (see spelling differences) is the process of manufacturing by shaping liquid or pliable raw material using a rigid frame called a mold or matrix. This itself may have been made using a pattern or model of the final object.
A mold or mould is a hollowed-out block that is filled with a liquid or pliable material such as plastic, glass, metal, or ceramic raw material. The liquid hardens or sets inside the mold, adopting its shape. A mold is the counterpart to a cast. The very common bi-valve molding process uses two molds, one for each half of the object. Articulated moulds have multiple pieces that come together to form the complete mold, and then disassemble to release the finished casting; they are expensive, but necessary when the casting shape has complex overhangs.Piece-molding uses a number of different molds, each creating a section of a complicated object. This is generally only used for larger and more valuable objects.
A manufacturer who makes molds is called a moldmaker. A release agent is typically used to make removal of the hardened/set substance from the mold easily. Typical uses for molded plastics include molded furniture, molded household goods, molded cases, and structural materials.