Die cutting is a manufacturing process which is used to produce the shapes, patterns and designs in the man-made objects we see and use around us everyday.
From household items, office supplies and brand packaging to electrical gadgets, IT hardware and complex engineering equipment, die cuts are used to mass-produce the countless objects which make our lives more convenient.
Die cutting is used in many different industries to produce large quantities of items which all require the exact same dimensions and design elements. Businesses in design and manufacturing industries need to pay careful attention to the quality of their die cuts to ensure their products all have the same characteristics.
What are die cuts?
Die cuts are pre-designed steel casts which are used to cut patterns into thin pieces of material – such as metal, fabric, wood or plastic – in order to create a specific uniform shape. Imagine an industrial-sized cookie cutter and you have the right idea.
Once the die cut shapes (often referred to as ‘blanks’) are produced, they then go on to be decorated and integrated with other design components. An object usually has several die cut elements which need to be assembled together in order to create a finished product.
What does the die cutting process involve?
Die cutting involves using specially positioned blades mounted on a strong backing and constructed into a pre-determined form, to cut patterns and shapes into a material. The mounted steel blades are pressed onto the material in order to cut the required shapes.
For efficiency, the die may cut through several layers of material at once, producing a stack of blanks, or multiple dies may be fitted together on a large mount to create a higher volume of blanks with just one press.
Die cutting is a highly skilled, meticulous task that requires a great deal of attention to detail and expert knowledge.