Flatbed Die Cutting or Rotary Die Cutting

When you’re preparing for a product launch, you might not have time to worry about how to create enough die cut in a quick and accurate fashion. So this is where the tools and know-how of precision die cutters come in.

Die Cutting is one of the ideal processes when cutting, forming, and shaping materials because it does not only ensure high accuracy, but it can deliver cut shapes quickly.

A Die Cutting Machine usually uses a small blade to cut out elements from card stock or other common materials such as letters, numbers, and even customize designs. 

There are tons of processes when cutting dies that you can choose but when you need a series of pieces cut from flexible materials like pads, gaskets, or spacers, two of the common techniques are Flatbed Die Cutting and Rotary Die Cutting best since they both are very similar and very different.

Both Flatbed and Rotary Die Cutting processes can produce great end products, but the question is, which one is best for your design and perfectly suits your needs? The following explains the differences between flatbed and rotary die cutting.

Flatbed Die Cutting VS. Rotary Die Cutting

  • Flatbed Die Cutting

Flatbed Die Cutting Machine uses a fixed base that is flat and a movable head. Usually, the Cutting Die is made of sharp metal strips called the Steel Rule, bent in a way that matches the profile of the part to be produced.

When Flatbed Die Cutter shapes the object, the machine stamps out each product using a hydraulic press and steel rule dies. The raw material feeds along the base while the press is pushed down vertically to make the cut. The vertical motion let thicker material to be shaped and results in very little curvature of the material.

Flatbed Die Cutting Machine can process substantially thicker web materials, material only comes in a sheet, the order is relatively small, and when looking for a cost-effective option. 

  • Rotary Die Cutting

It’s high speed, high tolerance, and high accuracy. Due to its ability to perform multiple functions in the same processing cycle, Rotary Die Cutting can produce extremely complicated multi-layer parts. The machine will pull in web materials and may cut the material, laminate, organize, and more. Web materials go in, and finished parts come out.

When Rotary Die Cutter shapes products, the raw material is fed between two rolling cylinders at a very high speed. The shape’s cut out on the rolling die with high tolerance and accuracy and produces less waste than Flatbed Die Cutting.

Rotary Die Cutting Machine is used when the product is thin, the order quantity is large, order needs to be Kiss Cut (Kiss cutting – cutting through the part down to, but not through, the release liner and the parts would be supplied on a roll or pad for easy “peel and stick” application), and design as tight tolerances.

So which should you use? Choosing between the two processes can be an easy decision. Just consider a few aspects: The width of the product: thick or thin?, Is the order quantity large or small?, Does the product needs to be kiss cut?, and Are tight tolerances or product costs important?

Choosing between the two Die Cutting processes are best left to professionals in the field. Contact International Cutting Die (ICD) today, and our experienced team of engineers is available to weigh your options and help you choose.