What is a Die Cutting Machine?
A die cutting machine is a machine designed to cut materials, such as paper, fabric, or metal, to a specific shape. These cutout shapes can then be used for a variety of projects, such as scrapbooking, t-shirts, homemade cards, quilts, or decorations for a party.
Generally, there are two types of die cutting machines – manual die cutting machines and digital die cutting machines.
Manual die cutting machines are die cutting machines that work like a cookie cutter. Cutting dies are purchased separately to be used in the machine, which cut the desired material. Cutting dies come in all shapes, sizes, and designs. There are a few companies that specialize in custom dies.
Digital die cutting machines are die cutting machines that are digital and cut materials in a way similar to how a printer prints. Designs can be sent to a digital die cutting machine in two ways, either from a cartridge, which is a device preloaded with designs that plugs into the machine, or from a computer, where designs can be made or downloaded using special software.
Some digital die cutting machines can draw, pierce, and emboss along with cut.
Die Cutting Machine Operations
Some die cutting machines can do more than just cut. Here are a few capabilities that die machines can do depending on the type of machine:
|Cut||Cutting is a standard feature on most machines. Some machines can cut shapes as small as a quarter of an inch.|
|Cut-by-color||Some digital die cutting machines can trace colors and cut around them.|
|Draw||On some digital die cutting machines, the blade can be replaced with a type of marker to draw instead of cut.|
|Pierce||Piercing involves making holes in the material.|
|Engrave||Engraving involves carving or cutting designs on a hard surface.|
|Emboss||Embossing is a standard feature on manual die cutting machines. It involves creating raised designs on a surface, giving the design a “pop-out” effect.|
Die Cutting Machine Applications
One can make a variety of items with a die cutting machine. Here are a few ideas:
- Scrapbook designs
- Stickers and decals
- Homemade cards
- Fabric cutouts
- Fun foam designs
Choosing a Die Cutting Machine
There are several factors to consider when buying a die cutting machine:
- Type of machine – Manual or Digital
- Materials and Capabilities
- Ease of use – Software and Support
- Size and Portability
If you are interested in purchasing a die cutting machine, the Manual Die Cutting Machine Guide and Digital Die Cutting Machine Guide sites will help you compare the most popular models on the market.