Die Cut Shapes
Die cut shapes are flat, often quite thin, products that are created by a
process called die cutting. Die cutting involves using cutting tools to
cut shaped products out of sheets or slabs of raw materials. Die cut
shapes can be cut out of rubber, metal, plastic, textiles, foam, and many
The demand for die cut products, which includes every variety of die cut shapes, extends across industry, commerce and consumer products contexts. In industry, die cut gaskets are very important for the safe and effective operation of a wide variety of process equipment. Automobiles, for example, can make use of die cut gaskets as engine block gaskets. Die cut gaskets are most often cut out of sheet metal, though some rubber gaskets can also be die cut. Many commercial operations, particularly those whose corporate presences have risen to fairly visible status, like to make use of embellishments like nameplates and logos in their workplaces. Such decorations can be die cut, particularly those that involve very complex cross sections. In consumer products contexts, decorative die cut shapes can be used as Christmas ornaments, and die cut products are also used as faceplates for small electronics. Because the demand for die cut products is so diverse and so wide, a large number of different kinds of die cutting equipment is necessary to accommodate them. There are many different kinds of die cutting machines. The simplest examples involve the use of thin, steel blades called dies that can be specially arranged to cut shapes out of flat sheets or slabs. Die cutters of this variety can be used to create specialized die cut shapes in small quantities, and they are also used to mass produce stock shapes. Rotary die cutting is another method. During rotary die cutting, angled blades on a cylindrical die and an anvil crush cut the material as it passes between the blades and the anvil. With this type of die cutting, the material is usually cut in continuous roll form. During steel rule die cutting, in comparison, the material is crush cut between two parallel plates. In ultrasonic die cutting, the vibrations of a metal horn generate heat and pressure; these vibrations are then used to die cut and seal the shapes. Laser die cutting, which is one of the most advanced methods, uses a concentrated beam of light to cut intricate shapes out of sheets. Each method features its own advantages and drawbacks. The right method varies based on the desired qualities of the intended product and the operating budget of the client.