Die cutting refers to the mechanical process of manually shearing thin sheets of material, such as plastic, linen, cardboard, rubber, fiber, oil, corrugated fiberboard, wood, and melamine. The die is shaped and pressed by a machine tool press, or manual shears. There are many shapes that can be pressed into sheets of sheet metals by dies. A typical Die cutter will have a fixed blade that comes in multiple shearing edges, allowing for precise shearing of thicker and thinner sheets of sheet metals.
A common use of die cutting is with flat material, for example, plastic. In the die cut process a die cut machine press is used to cut holes in flat materials. These holes are then routed onto sheets of plastic, and the flat sheets are placed on a die casting mold. When this process is complete, the plastic sheet is ready to be manufactured, as the mold is opaque. The holes are then punched and a sheet of desired thickness, including the die-cut holes, is fed through the holes, which form the final product.
Some machines are capable of providing a quick and simple fabrication process. These fabrication machines use heat instead of pressure to pass stock material over a mandrel. The die cutting machines work by the user sliding a fixed blade into a stock material, sliding it over a die that has a die cutting slot. The slot will allow the cutter to cut away any excess material at the edges of the slot. The blades are designed in a way that they do not catch on fire or cause other damage to the equipment.
One reason why many companies are replacing traditional presses is because they are being replaced by computer-controlled die cuts. By using computer controlled machines, a company will be able to produce a wide range of unique shapes and designs for their products. By simply entering a set of data into the machines, the operator is able to quickly and easily produce the desired shape. Computer controlled die cuts can cut out a variety of different materials including but are not limited to, plastic, wood, metal, glass and more. Many of these machines also have the capability to create a variety of die cuts per hour.
A common use for die cutting equipment is producing hollow parts. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways. First, when a part is being shaped, the work piece is placed inside the die cut machine. Once the desired shape has been achieved, it will push the work piece outside of the die, which will cause it to hollow out. The exact shape that is desired must first be drawn on a template provided by the manufacturer or die cutting supplier, which will allow the machine to duplicate it every time. Some suppliers offer templates that can be loaded into the machine by simply manually choosing the type of shape from the list.
Machines that are used for die cutting also have the ability to perform other functions, including, but are not limited to, stamping and engraving. Stamping is a process in which the blank or plate is fed into the die cutting machine, and a stencil is fed into the stamped area. The image is then forced into the plate by using pressure against a die. When the plate is finished, it leaves a mirror-like image of the image on the die. Engraving is a process in which letters, words or symbols are carved into dies by aligning them with the laser engraved pattern. It can be done by hand, but a computer aided automatic machine is much quicker and easier at this task.