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What Do Tool & Die Makers Actually Do?

If it weren’t for tool and die makers, we literally wouldn’t have any manufactured goods. There would be no one to create molds that shape plastics, craft tools that make other tools, or produce die to stamp out other parts.

Once the engineer creates a blueprint, it’s up to the tool and die maker to decide on the best way to shape a workpiece (usually a sheet of metal) according to the specifications. They operate several machines to perform a variety of actions, such as cutting, boring, milling, and grinding a finished piece with amazing precision.

At Cav Tool Inc., we help businesses in Detroit with all their custom die, punch, and tooling needs. Click here to get a free quote.

In today’s article, we go behind the scenes and see what tool and die makers actually do.

Job Description

Serving a crucial function in manufacturing, tool and die makers produce precision parts, instruments, and tools with mechanically-controlled or computer-controlled machine tools.

Tooling involves precision tool manufacturing to form metal and other materials. Toolmakers also produce jigs, fixtures, and measuring devices.

Die making is the process of constructing metal forms (dies) for stamping and forging and metal molds for plastics, ceramics, and composite materials.

Before setting up the tool and die equipment, they have to study blueprints, computer-aided design (CAD), or computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) files. Based on the specification and tooling requirements, they compute and verify sizes, shapes, dimensions, and tolerances of metal workpieces and choose the best machine tools for the job.

Toolmakers have to file, grind, and adjust parts to see if they fit together correctly, and they also test tools and dies after production to verify specifications. Likewise, they also look out for any defects in the finished product.

Finally, they smoothen and polish the surfaces of tools and die parts.

Skills And Education

Tool and die makers need a skill set more extensive than the average machinist.

At the very basic, a tool and die marker needs mechanical skills to use both hand tools and large scale machines with safety and precision. Tool and die companies also need to use CAD software and other computer programs to design and craft tools, parts, molds, etc., which adds to their skill set.

This line of work also requires mathematical knowledge, analytical skills, and attention to detail. And while problem-solving and analytic skills are a given, tool and die making also requires physical strength, dexterity, and stamina.

One can start training for the job after passing high school by enrolling in a vocational school or community college. Or one can begin with an apprenticeship through a union or manufacturer. Of course, tool and die making requires ongoing on-the-job training as well.

Work Environment

Most tool and die makers work in machine shops, tool rooms, and factory floors. Tool and die companies have regular business hours, but overtime is expected in this line of work. Following safety precautions is necessary to prevent hazards, such as wearing protective glasses and gloves.

At Cav Tool Inc., we help businesses in Detroit with all their custom die, punch, and tooling needs. Click here to get a free quote.