Diecutting in Printing

Ever wonder how printers cut odd or irregular shaped products like pocket folders out of paper? It is a process called diecutting and it uses a steel rule die to actually cut through the surface of the paper. The steel rule die is made of cutting rules and scoring rules. Scoring rules are metal with a rounded edge where cutting rules are metal with beveled sharp edges. These are usually mounted on a base made of wood.

The common products that are diecut are: pocket folders, door hangers, store signage and brochures to name a few. Any product can be diecut in any shape you can dream up in your head. We have diecut cowboy hats, popcorn, cars and many other non conventional shapes. This is done by mounting the steel rule die on the platen of a diecutting press. The platen is a flat surface that can be locked down to hold the steel rule die. The paper is then fed to make contact with that platen and pressure is applied to cut through the paper. Nicks are usually put in the sheet to hold the diecut portion in the rest of the sheet so it does not fall out in the press. The diecut piece is then removed from the press in lifts and the diecut piece is "scrapped out" of the remaining sheet.

A few of the most common diecutting machines are: Kluge's, Heidelberg Windmills and Cylinder presses.
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Written by Buzz Tatom
He can be reached at buzz@odeecompany.com
The Odee Company