DIGITAL KNIFE CUTTING
The digital knife is the industrial version of the trusty utility knife. Computer control brings accuracy and repeatability, so every piece comes off the machine exactly as designed.
Why Digital Knife Cutting?
Many people know flat bed die cutting as the way to produce complex shapes from sheet material. It’s a very fast and repeatable method, but needs a crucial piece of tooling; the steel rule die. Making these dies adds a step between designing the part or shape and having it come off the machine. It also means a little set up time on the machine.
The digital knife cuts slower than the flat bed die cutter, but there’s no waiting while the die is made, tested, modified and tested again, and no set up on the machine. For the customer in a hurry the digital knife gets them their pieces quicker, although for larger quantities die cutting usually works out cheaper per piece.
- Cut complex shapes from sheet material.
- Tight radii, smooth radii, and even sharp corners are possible.
- Smooth edges with no steps or jagged edges in curved surfaces.
- Good accuracy and repeatability (little piece-to-piece variation.)
- No tooling, so no up-front costs or extended lead times.
A bed of 60″ by 120″ handles large foam sheets, and “daylight,” (the space between the bed and the gantry,) is enough that several sheets can be stacked and cut together, saving time and money. “Nesting” software works out how to get the most pieces out of a sheet, or alternatively the machine can produce one very large shape. Pockets are easily cut by lifting the knife over the material to where it’s needed before resuming cutting. Programming direct from CAD means the machine is as suitable for producing one-offs as high volume orders.