In the absence of an original object to be copied, a new solid pattern is needed to make the mould. For lost wax casting the mould is made from flexible silicon and the pattern need not be particularly durable.
For sand casting, the pattern is required to be tapped into compacted sand and therefore needs to be more robust.
The shape, level of detailing and method of casting all have a bearing on the materials used for making the pattern and can typically be carved or sculpted from clay, wood, specialist synthetic moulding materials or a combination of all three.
An important new asset is our 3D printer which can make solid plastic patterns from 3D drawings. In theory, if it can be drawn on CAD, it can be printed and cast in metal.