Should You Go for Rotary or Flat Bed Die Cutting? Here’s What You Need to Know
Die cutting has brought countless benefits to the world of fabrication and manufacturing. This process allows companies to create an endless supply of uniform products without the need for excessive amounts of manual labor and intricate handmade details. It speeds up the fabrication process and provides consistent, long-lasting results. At the same time, die cutting can be used for numerous materials and different types of cuts, embossing, and other procedures. It’s a flexible solution to many businesses’ diverse needs. It can also save businesses money by reducing manual labor and the time required to complete even the most complex product runs.
Looking at the Different Types of Die Cutting
Two primary types of die cutting are commonly used: flatbed and rotary. Both offer their fair share of benefits for a wide range of purposes. They give you a way to mass-produce products quickly and accurately while offering ample versatility. That being said, neither is right for all types of projects. Read on to learn more about rotary and flat-bed die-cutting and lamination and which option might be better suited to your needs.
Delving into Advantages and Downsides of Flatbed Die Cutting
Flatbed die-cutting machines consist of a solid platform onto which materials are loaded. Their dies, or cutting tools, are typically made of steel and can be formed into countless shapes depending on your specific needs. The cutting die is mounted on a head that moves up and down to perform the cutting process. When the die is forced downward into the material, it makes a cut based on its shape. Flatbed dies can make partial cuts at varying depths or punch completely through the material.
This type of die cutting is the slower of the two. It’s often recommended for short runs and small batches of materials. It’s great for materials that are too thick for rotary die cutters to handle. It’s also the right choice if the materials you work with are only available in flat sheets as opposed to reels or spools. Additionally, flatbed die-cutting machines are typically more affordable than comparable rotary die cutters.
Exploring the Benefits and Drawbacks of Rotary Die Cutting
With rotary die cutting, reels of material are fed through machines against flat surfaces. At the same time, round heads fitted with dies are rolled across the material to produce cuts of various shapes and sizes based on the products you’re creating. As is the case with flatbed die cutting, either partial or complete cuts can be made. To change the depth of the cut, simply make adjustments to the die-cutting machine.
Rotary die-cutting machines are usually faster than their flatbed counterparts. Multiple dies can be affixed to a single head, so multiple products can be cut simultaneously. These types of die-cutting machines can perform several steps in one fell swoop as well. Rotary die cutters are more expensive than flatbed models and are designed for use with thinner materials. Still, their complexity and capacity to combine several processes into a single step make them suitable for many applications.
In a Nutshell
Both types of die-cutting machines have their benefits and disadvantages. If you generally have sizable production runs and require multiple steps to create your finished products, a rotary die cutter may be best for you. On the other hand, shorter production runs and products made with thicker materials may be best served by a flatbed die-cutting machine. Consider the needs both types of machines cater to and weigh them against your requirements to decide which one would work most effectively for you.
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