Lost wax casting process is the most accepted procedure for making patterns of virtually anything and everything. This pattern-making process is in vogue since time immemorial! It is an integral part of the manufacturing process. Any new product requires the pattern first. A sample peace is taken out and only after approval it go for the final production.
Even a small button requires the pattern-making first. If you wish to cast a mighty elephant in brass or any other metal, it also requires pattern making first. In the manufacturing process, the only action that precedes pattern making, is the designing on the paper. With the details provided in the design, the pattern maker, call him an engraver, makes the production-worthy pattern.
The second process for pattern making is investment casting. This method is used for a wide range of applications. This has developed into a foremost technique of modern industry. To put it in the proper perspective, the old pattern making industry has been modernized.
Investment casting got the real fillip during 1980 due to the unprecedented growth of the aircraft industry. Investment casting in the foundry industry accounts for 15% of the value of cast metal production. It really is the modernization of an ancient art.
Lost wax casting method, as earlier said was used for making dental inlays, metal sculpture and surgical implants. It was mostly used in making copper and brass statues. Impetus to this craft and thousands of new part patterns were created to meet the demands of the war. Even today this method is used for manufacturing small and big brass, copper and bronze statues.
Pattern making is an art involving lots of intricacies. To become a perfect pattern-maker, it takes anything from 3 to 4 years. Even though computers have taken over the job of making patterns of late, the human expertise required in understanding the patterns for eventually taking out the production out of them, is still important.
In fact, handmade craft patterns do not cost anything. Some sample peaces of the craft are given to the manufacturers and on the basis of that manufacturing process commences. The amount of human labor involved in such craft products is much and patterns come to play their role in the process involved in the basic manufacturing material required for the final product.
Take for example, the production of an item, Christmas hanger-tassel! It is totally handmade, but the beads of different types and sizes roll out of the patterns!