How Intricate Designs in Die Cutting are Achieve

December 17, 2018

As clever marketing types love to say, intricate die cutting designs are a "cut" above the rest. Sure, that pun might just incite an eye roll, but the gist of the message is clear. Equipped with an elaborate cutting edge, die cutting machines can repeatedly discharge a series of amazingly intricate product pieces. Here's the secret sauce that makes the difference between a capable commercial operation and one that can bring any heavily detailed image to life.

Nurturing a Rule-Cutting Partnership

No matter the design source, whether it's computer-aided or a digitally equipped interface of some kind, superior results can't be gleaned if the physically shaped rule doesn't mirror the design. On paper or on a glowing screen, every edge stands out in sharp relief, but such details become lost when they're transformed into curving metal strips. What's needed is a high-quality bending machine, one that can be provided by a fabrication shop that deals explicitly in steel rule dies. Laser cut slots, precisely embedded registration pins and ejection slots, the most intricate patterns really do require equally intricate fabrication services.

Industry Benchmark Blank Processing

It's not difficult to achieve a precise series of kiss cuts on a piece of paper. Once the thickness of the paper exceeds several millimetres, though, things get harder. The equipment plates, mounted with the intricately configured cutting rule, should cleanly snap down and make their cut. As the plates pull back, the scrap material, if any, needs to be quickly ejected. Like clockwork, the equipment sequences these steps. But, considering the size of those subtracted cuttings, this stage can go awry if the ejection sub-assembly isn't working at its optimized best. As a quality-assurance mechanism, a maintenance team keeps the sequence sharp. Next, how are those intricately designed layouts put together?

Recruiting CNC Brainpower

Last but probably most important in the machine setup, die cutting machinery operates on all kinds of mediums. Leather, paper stock, thin metals and plastics, there's an equipment solution that will handle any or all of these materials. To better facilitate a sharp-edged incision, high-grade steels prevent material blunting effects. Running those high-carbon steel blades, CNC (Computer Numerical Control) systems use servo-driven plates to deliver the coup de grace, a perfectly executed kiss cut drops from a judder-free hydraulic ram. No matter the pattern complexity, as drawn out within software workspace, the mirror image of the design is translated onto the cutting medium.

It's a three-way tie, then. The commercially viable die equipment features judder-free, optimally smoothed operation. There's no blurring of the pattern. High-grade steels and CNC base patterns create the superbly detailed imagery, and a bending machine-equipped partner is on-call to customize the die cutting rule.

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