Here we are again in our endeavor to give you an insight into common printing processes that are often taken for granted but understanding them in detail can help appreciate their capabilities and limitations.
Die-cutting (also known as forme-cutting) is the process of cutting or punching shapes from sheets of paper or card by pressing a shaped blade into one or more sheets.
The process uses sharp blades that are folded and cut to shape either by hand or by computer controlled machinery and then knocked into a laser cut plywood backing board – this is known as the die-cutting tool. The tool is then inserted into a press, sometimes an old letter-press machine, and under pressure is pressed into a pre-printed sheet of paper or card and the shape cut out – also known as blanking.
The blades can be sharp for cutting, dull for creasing or toothed for perforating.
Some of the better videos we found that demonstrate how the die-cutting tool is made.
You could watch this machine run all day – mesmerizing! But this video will give you a good understanding of the relatively simple die-cutting process – the blades are pushed against the paper under force, and like a cookie cutter, cuts the paper.