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Design & Technology

Production techniques

Batch production tools

When making several identical products or parts, jigs, formers, templates, patterns and moulds are used to ensure the parts are all the same.

  • A jig is used to make sure that parts are made exactly the same, without the need for marking out [marking out: Marking out means the transfer of shapes and lines onto the material, as guides for cutting, bending or shaping it. ]. For example, when drilling through a block of wood with two holes in, it will make sure that the holes are drilled in the same place in each component.
  • A former is used to make sure that parts are shaped or bent to exactly the same shape.
  • A template is something that you can draw around to mark a shape onto material, so that it can be cut or shaped.
  • A pattern is used to make a mould when casting in metal or plastic resin. It is a replica of the finished object and may be made in wood or another soft material. Patterns are also used when shaping plastics in a vacuum-forming machine.
  • A mould is a hollow shape used when casting metal or plastic resin [resin: 'Raw' plastic, especially when in semi-liquid form (Resistant materials). Substances (eg acrylics and urethanes) which, applied to a fabric's surface, evaporate to leave a film upon it (Textiles technology). ]. Moulds for casting metal can be made in a special type of sand, in metal or in plaster. Moulds for casting resin can be made of plaster or rubber.

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