Die cutters are used in the cutting process when manufacturing or producing custom materials. These tools are used to cut specialty designed shapes out of sheets or slabs of material. Materials such as metals, rubber, plastic, textiles, and wood are cut with sharp metal dies similar to a cookie cutter method or lasers.
The demand for die cutting is very high since almost every industry utilizes the practice. Die cut gaskets, in particular, are very important industrial components. They are essential parts of many kinds of process equipment, and they are used in automobile engines as well to create a seal between parts in an engine block. Die cut gaskets are usually made out of rubber or metal. Everyday items such as plastic bags that are used in grocery stores and retail settings are manufactured using die cut machines. Many other items such as nameplates, shopping bags, key chains, face plates, keyboard plates, etc. are made with die cutters.
There are several different kinds of die cutters depending on what is essential for application. The simplest die cutters have thin steel blades called dies, which are used to cut specific shapes. Rotary die cutting forces a material between sharp blades on a cylindrical die and a hard-cylindrical anvil on a rotary press to cut and score materials as tight as .02. This process uses a continuous roll form and is very efficient in large volumes. Steel rule die cutting is another process that are often referred to as a cookie cutter die or clicker die. A steel rule die contains sharp blades in a particular pattern for the design and cuts through the required workable material. In ultrasonic die cutting, the vibrations of a metal horn generate heat and pressure; these vibrations are then used to die cut and seal shapes. Lastly, laser cutting involves a beam of light to create a cut and is often times controlled by a programed computer system.