Die cutting is a fabrication process which employs specialized machines and machine tools to convert stock material by cutting, forming, and shearing it into custom shapes and designs. Both versatile and customizable, the die cutting process is suitable for a wide range of materials, including metal, plastic, wood, and composites. It also has manufacturing applications in a variety of industries, including die cutting neoprene, gasketing, die cutting paper, packaging, die cutting fabric, and producing die cut foam.
There are several different types of die cutting processes available today, including flatbed die cutting, rotary die cutting, and digital die cutting, with each process variant offering its advantages and disadvantages. The requirements and specifications demanded by a particular die cutting application—e.g., materials being converted, part size, desired tolerances, initial and long-term costs, lead times, etc.—help determine the type of die cutting process most suitable to use in a given situation.
This article focuses on the die cutting process as a whole, outlining the different types of die cutting and their required machines and components. Additionally, the article explores various die cutting capabilities and material considerations and provides alternatives to the die cutting process.
Overview of Die Cutting and Capabilities
Die cutting is a versatile fabrication process which typically utilizes custom-designed dies affixed to specialized machinery to convert stock material. It is suitable for a wide range of materials, and a variety of applications and industries. Additionally, the die cutting process offers several different cutting operation capabilities, including:
Read more: Understanding Die Cutting
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