How It Works
Die cutting involves cutting paper – usually one sheet at a time – with a die. This process can cut an entire sheet into a shape, put slits in a folder, or cut a window into a page.
We use a steel rule-die for most die-cutting jobs. The die has a wood base onto which has been traced the exact silhouette of the shape to be cut. The silhouette is cut into the wood, either with a jigsaw or a laser tool. Then, a length of steel (the rule) with a super-sharp cutting edge is bent and set into the groove carved into the base. Score lines and/or perf lines can be built into the die. A rule-die can also be used to kiss-cut label stock so that the label peels away cleanly from its adhesive backing.
A laser die is a rule-die whose wood base has been carved with a laser tool capable of capturing fine details in the shape or silhouette to be cut. Laser cutting is a completely different process (involving no die), using coherent light to vaporize the image areas.
Why We Love Die Cutting
It opens up the world of paper engineering, enabling us to create puzzles, party favors, point-of-sale packaging and other 3-D constructions. We are big fans of rounded corners, and we love to make coasters.
Photos: Glenn Schuster