Flatbed Die Cutting
Flatbed die cutting is a cost-effective way of making complicated two-dimensional shapes in thin material. The cutting die starts out as a strip of thin steel rather like that used in a steel tape measure, which may be why it’s known as a “steel rule die.” This strip is bent into the outline of the shape to be cut, and fixed in a slot cut in the base. The assembled die then gets mounted face down in a press. The material being cut is positioned underneath the die, which is pressed down. Pressure forces the steel edge through the material, producing the shape that’s wanted.
The depth of cut is controllable, so you can cut all the way through or just part way. The advantage of cutting part way, in what’s called a “kiss” or “butt” cut, is that individual pieces stay with the sheet. This makes handling cut material much easier.
Rotary Die Cutting
Since the rotary die cutting procedure takes place on a heavy-duty cylindrical anvil, or rotary press, it provides a stable and efficient method that works well for clients’ high-volume projects. This type of fabrication process produces little waste, mostly due to the sheer simplicity of the machine’s design and specific capabilities.
Similar to the idea of a mold in other processes, a die serves as the customized tool that makes the cuts and shapes in the materials chosen. the The most common dies used in the process include engraved dies that offer stability and a solid base due to its mass, adjustable dies for varied blade options and magnetic plate tooling that also offers a stabilizing force due to the power of the magnets.
The rotary die cutting process begins when an operator feeds a long web or sheet of material into the die cutting machine’s “station,” which is the spot that contains the rotary cutting tool that creates the designed shapes by various methods, including cutting programmed shapes, creating perforations and creases or whittling the sheet or web down to smaller pieces. A set of well-calibrated gears ensure that a rotary die cutting machine will work at the same speed as the rest of the process for high accuracy and quality. As for the flexible foam material, it goes through the machine, the small amount of waste material filters into a catcher for easy clean-up and disposal.