Steel rule die cutting is an effective way of mass producing die cut components with a minimal amount of expense. It is one of the main fabrication methods available at American Micro Industries. We can work with a range of different materials — including plastics, rubber, films and more — to meet your technical requirements and quickly turn around completed projects with a high level of accuracy.
Steel rule die cutting is an affordable and precise fabrication method that involves bending a steel blade into the desired shape and pressing it into the material using a die board. It’s a versatile process for mass-producing parts in industries such as packaging and textiles without altering the material’s composition, making it a material displacement method.
Steel Rule Die Making Process
The steel rule die cutting process is similar to using a cookie cutter on cookie dough. A custom steel tool punches a material of choice into the requested shape. There are three components involved in a steel rule die cutting machine — a rubber ejector, a die board and a cutting edge.
The cutting edge is a thin metal blade that gets bent into the correct shape by machine or hand. It’s then placed onto the die board and overlaid with rubber or foam ejector material. The die board is a flat surface made from hard materials like composite, wood or steel, which is cut with a laser or other device. The cut pattern matches the part’s desired shape.
Let’s break down the steel rule die making process and how it creates the exact tool requested. Once you’ve requested a die, we begin our process. We’ll work with you to get your exact project requirements and deliver your completed parts.
Here’s how our process works:
We go over all the specifications of your die cutting request. The parts are made-to-order, and we won’t begin the project until we’ve worked with you to get all the necessary specifications and project information.
After confirming the project details, the design is cut into the die base and inspected to ensure it fits the specifications.
Once the shape is traced out, a steel rule cutting blade is formed into the correct shape. Then, the blade is fitted to the die board’s laser cut channel.
Before cutting, the shape and position are examined to ensure everything is correct.
Finally, ejection foam or rubber is used to remove the cut material from the die.
There are several die cutting options to choose from depending on your project needs and material, such as:
Perforation: Perforation die cutting cuts small holes, or perforations, into the material. These perforations have gaps between them, ensuring the material doesn’t fully separate until it’s time to pull it apart. It’s a fast process that can help increase production efficiency.
Through cutting: Through cutting completely cuts through the material, leaving nothing attached. Every single layer of material is sliced through to separate it from the waste material.
Creasing and scoring: This is a two-part process. Creasing and scoring put partial cuts or impressions in the material to make folding three-dimensional materials, like boxes, easier. Scoring does this through partial cuts while creasing crushes the material, making it easier to bend. Both methods weaken the actual material and make it more bendable.
Kiss cutting: For kiss cutting, a shallow slice is made into the surface of the laminated material. The upper section is still fixed to the liner, but the shallow cuts make it easy to pull the top section away from the liner.
Key Benefits of Using Steel Rule Dies
The main advantages of steel rule die cutting include:
Accuracy: Precision die cutting achieves uniform results with minimal deformation or slivering of the material’s edges. The process creates clean cuts and won’t warp or bend materials.
Simplicity: The most basic steel die cutting process requires just three parts to set up. After assembly, these components can cut simple parts with a single stroke. Rotary die machining is better suited for kiss cutting and other operations involved in creating more complex parts.
Low tooling costs: Steel rule die cutting can produce a high volume of items at an economical rate, which is advantageous for short or medium production runs.
Versatility: Steel rule dies can transform materials of various thicknesses and types. The resulting component can be any size since it depends on the cutting die’s dimensions.
Mass production: A custom steel rule die can create multiple parts at a time, depending on the size of the part itself. This capability makes it easy to increase the volume of small, simple components.
Customization: If hard-to-find components are included in your manufacturing process, our cutting technique can create standardized parts to your specs.
American Micro Industries’ Steel Rule Die Cutting Capabilities
American Micro Industries provides a range of steel rule die cutting services.
We offer low tooling costs and never impose a minimum order requirement on our customers. Whether you’re prototyping a new product or looking to mass-produce custom die cut components, we’ll ensure your project stays within your budget. We can also provide technical consulting to help you choose an appropriate material and process for your project.
We have quality control methods for our die cutting services to ensure the results are consistent with what you and your customers demand. As your contract manufacturer, American Micro Industries offers turnkey solutions and fast turnaround times, allowing your team to start working sooner and get finished products to market quicker.