Tool & die making is a niche area of designing tools and dies. Tool and die maker is a person who operates a wide range of computers that controls machinery also known as mechanically controlled machine tools to produce tools and instruments. They work in tool making factories, shops and tool rooms.
Tool and die makers do the following typically:
- They study the blue prints using CAD (Computer Aided Design) and CAM (Computer Aided Manufacturing) files and use them to make tools and dies.
- They are also involved in setting up, operating and set up computer numerically controlled (CNC) machinery tools. They also create manuals for the entire process.
- They work with precision by computing and verifying the dimensions like sizes and shapes. They also test the work pieces for tolerance.
- For the parts to fit together perfectly they file, grind and adjust the parts accurately.
- After the tools are created they test it to see if it meets the specifications. Tool & die making can be a very complicated process and that is why a tool & die design course can help you in your profession.
- Tool and die makers also inspect the tools and die for defects and dimensions.
- They finish the products by polishing them for a smooth surface.
Precision tools and tool holders are crafted by tool makers. The tool holders are used to cut metal, shape and form the metal into the desired shape. Die makers construct these metal forms and these are called dies. They are used in forge and stamp operations. The tool and die makers also make metal moulds for molding ceramic, composite metals and plastics.
Most tool and die makers use CAD to develop the products. They enter certain specifications into the computer programs and develop blue prints electronically. They also use other tools like CAM and CNC in the process. These blue prints are then fed into the CAM and CNC programs to create the desired tools. Tool & die making needs a thorough knowledge of all of these programs.
You need to be a CAD and CAM programmer to know how to create and convert the blue prints. Programmers also create a series of operations that will be carried out mechanically in a computer controlled environment. A tool and die maker is trained to create programs for the machines and also operate them.
Work environment for tool & die making
Most of the tool and die makers work in the manufacturing unit. They also work in machinery shops and tool rooms. The work areas are safe and well ventilated for light. Although in general the work environment is quite safe for tool and die makers, there are certain hazards as they are working with metals. Tool and die makers must follow precautions as per the safety manual. Workers should use safety glasses, helmets and shields to protect their eyes and face.
Tool and die makers work full time in factories. Overtime is common in this industry and weekend work also.
Tool and die making can be a rewarding career and there is a lot of demand in this area of work. So if you want to pursue a career in this field get started with a tool & die design course.