The cavity in the sand is formed by using a pattern (an approximate duplicate of the real part), which are typically made out of wood, sometimes metal. The cavity is contained in an aggregate housed in a box called the flask. Core is a sand shape inserted into the mold to produce the internal features of the part such as holes or internal passages. Cores are placed in the cavity to form holes of the desired shapes. Core print is the region added to the pattern, core, or mold that is used to locate and support the core within the mold. A riser is an extra void created in the mold to contain excessive molten material. The purpose of this is feed the molten metal to the mold cavity as the molten metal solidifies and shrinks, and thereby prevents voids in the main casting.
In a two-part mold, which is typical of sand castings
, the upper half, including the top half of the pattern, flask, and core is called cope and the lower half is called drag. The parting line or the parting surface is line or surface that separates the cope and drag. The drag is first filled partially with sand, and the core print, the cores, and the gating system are placed near the parting line. The cope is then assembled to the drag, and the sand is poured on the cope half, covering the pattern, core and the gating system. The sand is compacted by vibration and mechanical means. Next, the cope is removed from the drag, and the pattern is carefully removed. The object is to remove the pattern without breaking the mold cavity. This is facilitated by designing a draft, a slight angular offset from the vertical to the vertical surfaces of the pattern. This is usually a minimum of 1° or 1.5 mm (0.060 in), whichever is greater. The rougher the surface of the pattern, the more the draft to be provided.