As highlighted in the article “How Die Cutting Dies are Made” by IQS Directory, the world of die cutting has evolved significantly since its inception over 150 years ago. The development of steel rule dies, a crucial component of the die cutting process, has transformed from a manual, wood-based method to a modern, automated process.
The journey begins with the design phase, where computer-aided design (CAD) software is employed to create precise die dimensions. Accuracy is paramount in ensuring the resulting cuts are perfect.
The foundation of a steel rule die is typically a flat base constructed from wood or metal. However, for rotary dies, a curved piece of metal or wood is used, designed to fit a metal cylinder or serve as one.
In the case of flatbed die cutting, laser technology is employed to cut the design into the foundation, creating precise slots to house the steel blades. These kerf cuts prepare the foundation for the blade placement.
Shaping the blades is a sophisticated process accomplished by computer numerical control (CNC) machines. These machines craft blades with intricate and precise shapes. On the other hand, for cylinder or rotating dies, the die pattern is engraved directly onto the cylinder’s surface.
To create a stable cutting tool for flatbed dies, the steel rule is firmly attached to the foundation. This attachment ensures the die remains sturdy during the cutting process.
Ejection rubber is the final component, affixed to the die to facilitate the safe removal of cut pieces. It also plays a crucial role in preventing tears, fraying, or the adhesive properties of the cut pieces sticking to the steel rule.
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