What is Rotary Die Cutting

 In Rotary Converting

Die cutting has been around for over 200 years. It was first used to punch holes in leather for shoemakers in the 1800s. Now it’s widely used by a number of industries from crafts and printing to healthcare and aerospace.

Die Cutting Basics

A die is a tool, usually made from metal, that is used to cut materials like paper, fabric, adhesive, flexible magnets, foam and other thin flexible materials into a certain shape. They allow the material to be cut into identical sizes and shapes. They can cut through multiple sheets at once or even different materials, producing complex parts and multilayer materials quickly.

Rotary Die Cutting

Rotary die-cutting uses a cylindrical die, along with a specialized press to cut identically shaped parts from rolls of thin, flexible material. The rolled material is fed through the press as a custom-made cylindrical die is rotated. As the die spins, it is repeatedly pressed into the material to cut out the desired shape. It is a cost-efficient way to quickly generate large volumes of exact cuts, shapes and folds. It can be used for other material converting activities such as laminating, perforating, slitting, sheeting and printing.

Other Types of Die Cutting

Rotary die cutting is not the only kind of die cutting. There is also flatbed and laser die cutting.

Flatbed Die Cutting

Flatbed die cutting uses a hydraulic flatbed press to cut material into a desired shape. It is best suited for low volume projects needing a consistent cut, larger sized products and cutting sheeted material.

Laser Die Cutting

Rather than using a metal die, laser die cutting uses light from a laser to cut the desired shape. While laser die cutting can be cost effective and efficient for some materials, other materials react poorly to the light.

When to Use Rotary Die Cutting?

The method of cutting that’s best will depend greatly on the specifics of your project. Your project may benefit from a particular cutting method and if you are unsure, it’s best to consult a material converter. They’ll be able to walk you through the pros and cons and suggest the method that will deliver the best results.

Rotary die cutting can be used to cut a wide variety of thin, flexible materials including:

  • Fabric
  • Paper
  • Flexible magnets
  • Plastic
  • Rubber
  • Foams
  • Industrial tape
  • Medical adhesive
  • Thermal interface
  • Surface protection
  • Laminate

Generally, rotary die cutting is recommended for projects that are:

  • High in volume
  • Smaller in size
  • Cut from a continuous roll (or web)
  • Detailed or require precision
  • Multi-process such as printing, embossing, laminating and cutting

Rotary Converting & Die Cutting from US Magnetix

Our state-of-the-art rotary converting machines allow us to die-cut and laminate even the most complex of projects quickly. From large magnetic football season schedules to intricate photo frame magnets, we can efficiently handle everything from one-off R & D projects to high volume production runs. Contact US Magnetix today to learn more about our rotary converting and die-cutting services.


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