The die cutting process is suitable for a variety of materials, including metal, plastic, paper, fabric, foam, wood, and composites. The type of material being converted and its properties largely determine the optimal die cutting process to use for the application, as well as the optimal machine configuration and die design.
The flatbed die cutting process is capable of converting materials in both sheet and roll form. The properties of the material—mainly the material’s thickness and compressibility—influence the design and geometry of the die, as well as the suitability of using the flatbed die cutting process for a particular die cutting application. As flatbed presses are capable of exerting greater cutting pressures than other die cutting processes, the flatbed die cutting process is suitable for cutting through soft and thin materials, as well as hard and thick materials.
In contrast to the flatbed die cutting process, the rotary die cutting process is only capable of converting web materials. Similarly to the flatbed die cutting process, the material being cut via the rotary die cutting process influences both the rotary die design and the cutting pressure employed by the rotary press. Additionally, the material properties help determine whether a flexible die or a solid die is best suited for the particular cutting application.
The digital die cutting process is suitable for converting a variety of materials, ranging from textiles to paper to plastic. However, while the digital die cutting process is capable of processing low-shear materials comparable to more traditional die cutting methods—i.e., flatbed or rotary die cutting—in regards to processing high-shear materials, digital die cutting typically has much longer lead times.
Read more: Material Considerations for Optimal Die Cutting
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