First let’s take a moment and understand what does die cutting mean. Dies are basically templates with sharp edges. When these templates are pressed through a machine you can make shapes of various sizes and shapes in materials like paper and also fabric. There are other commercial die cutting machines that can be used for cutting harder materials, like metals. In this article, we’ll share a few things about using a die cutting machine to help you design innovative designs for various purposes.
1- Choose Your Designs
First, you need to choose your designs that you need to cut from the machine. Most of the times, a die-cutting machine comes with a set of complementary dies that you can use. You don’t have to be bothered about what material you’re cutting, you just have to focus on what design you want to cut and for whom are you making these designs. For instance, you can choose a heart shape, flower shape, stars, letters, and animals even. When you’re done with that, consider what materials can your machine cut and choose a suitable one.
2- Make a Sandwich of Your Die and Material
You will have to use the thick layer of foam or rubber that must have come with your machine. First, lay the paper or whatever material you’re cutting on top of that foam layer, then place your die on the exact spot where you want to make a cut on your paper and top it up with another layer of foam. It’s not that all die cutting machines work in the same manner. Different machines follow different methods of working. So it’s better if you follow the instructions that come with your machine before you use it.
3- Make a Cut
Once you have made the required sandwich for cutting, you can turn the crank slowly in the prescribed direction of the press. The tray where you have set the material will move through the press and the die will slowly cut your paper. In fact, if you’re cutting paper, you can hear a voice of the cut being made. You have to keep on turning the crank until the tray has come all the way through the other side.
4- Check the Cut You Made
The next step is to gently lift the foam layers and see if your shape has been fully cut the way you wanted on the paper. If the machine was able to cut the shape correctly, you can lift the shape out from the rest of the paper. You’re done with this part successfully, and now you can continue to cut another shape if you want in the same way. In case you notice that the shape has not been fully cut, then you will have to move the paper back through the press.
5- Fixing the Cut
If you have to make the same cut again because it wasn’t done properly the first time you did it, then there’s no need to reassemble your material, die, and foam layers. Just simply lay all the layers the way they were and turn the crank in the opposite direction now. The press will now make a second cut on top of the first one. This time you will be able to get a clean cut that separates the shape from the rest of the paper.
It’s possible that sometimes the machine does not cut the shape properly through the material you’re using. You can try repeating the same procedure again back and forth, but the chances are that you might be using a material that’s too hard for your die cutting machine.
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