Die cutting involves converting stock materials into specialized shapes using a die. A die works in a near-similar manner to a cookie-cutter by cutting the materials into smaller sizes. Common materials that undergo the cutting process include fabric, plastic, rubber, and paper. Read on as this article explores the different types of precision die cutting services and capabilities.
Types of Die Cutting Services
Differe`nt die cutting services are suitable for varying production quantities and materials. The most common services include rotary, flatbed, and digital die cutting.
Rotary Die Cutting
This involves using rotary die cutting machines operating in continuous production modes. The machines work at a constant speed and a lower pressure than other types.Rotary die cutting machines are ideal for producing light and simple parts. They work best with flexible stock materials like rolls and sheets.
This process is also more accurate than the flatbed process. Thus, it’s ideal for applications that need high precision. It’s also the best alternative if you’re concerned about the turnaround time and expect high volume production.
There are two main types of rotary dies. Both are good, but they would be suitable for different circumstances.
The first, the solid die, contains engraved patterns on its rotating cylinder. These engravings enable the machine to cut through thick materials. Though quite expensive, it’s popular because it’s flexible and long lasting.
The second, the flexible die, contains thin sheets with engravings. Unlike the solid die, this machine works best with shallow cutting. And, it’s efficient only when used for low-pressure applications.
Flatbed Die Cutting
This process is also commonly known as steel rule die cutting. It uses a flatbed cutting press and steel rule dies to cut and shape stock materials into custom designs.The method exerts high pressure, making it ideal for thick materials. It’s also appropriate for manufacturing more significant parts and short product cycles. So, it may not be the best option if you’re looking for high-volume production.
Digital Die Cutting
This is a more modern approach to die cutting. It doesn’t employ steel dies like the other two processes.Instead, digital die cutters contain sharp blades. They run using electricity and require software rather than manual control. Companies are moving towards this process as it reduces lead times and maintains the precision offered by rotary die cutters.
Precision Die Cutting Capabilities
Die cutting is suitable for different applications and industries. Your desired applications will determine the most suitable die cut machine capabilities. The most common capabilities include:
- Kiss cutting
- Through cutting
- Kiss Cutting
In kiss cutting, the edge of the die only partly cuts through a material’s thickness. So, the cut only develops on the perimeter of the end product. The cut part remains on the stock material but is easy to separate.
Here, the die only leaves a small dent at one stress point on the material. Usually, the die cuts a fraction of the material’s depth to make tearing easier.
This type of die cut results in a total separation of the part. The die cuts through a material’s thickness, from the face to the backing layer.
This die cut leaves several punched holes in a collinear placement on the material. The holes don’t automatically separate the part from the material. But, the two can easily separate along the perforation line when needed.
Like scoring, creasing creates collinear dents on a single or both sides of a material. The only difference between the two is that creasing doesn’t produce deep cuts. This type of die cut is ideal if you want to form a three-dimensional profile of your chosen material.
Die Cutting Summary
Die cutting is the process of converting stock material into more useful forms through cutting. Rotary, flatbed, and digital die cutting services are the most common. Each is suitable for varying production runs and materials.
Precision die cutting isn’t a one-size-fits-all process. Your intended material applications will determine the most appropriate capabilities for a die.
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