Digital Cutting Vs. Die Cutting: What’s The Difference?

May. 25, 2022

Today, while molds are still widely used, digital cutting offers another option for precision cutting without the need for molds. Lasers can be used to make highly precise cuts and, when necessary, create creases.


Read on to learn more about digital cutting and die-cutting.   


What is die-cutting?

Die-cutting is the use of a sharp steel blade to create a specific shape. Using special machinery, you can create smooth, crisp edges with a specific, consistent finish. One way to think about it is industrial-grade cookie cutting.  


There is virtually no limit to the shapes you can have because the cut form or "mold" is customized for each job. It's this ability to create specific shapes that can really set your brand apart.  


When people ask about the difference between digital cutting and die-cutting, we want to point out that both can be done on a smaller or larger scale, although large format digital cutting often works best if you're working with large formats such as retail branding or signage.  

IECHO PK Automatic Intelligent Cutting System

IECHO PK Automatic Intelligent Cutting System     


Benefits of die-cutting

Traditional die-cutting does offer a number of benefits, including


Die-cutting means that less material is wasted around the shape than other cutting methods, which is obviously not only cost-effective, but also better for the environment

Only one machine is required, and the process is often cost-effective and efficient in terms of how much time is spent

Die-cutting machines can shape shapes with a single punch, so the same shape can be produced very quickly - even manual die-cutting machines can produce shapes faster than any alternative method

You can achieve very complex shapes, with multiple cuts and multiple layers  

Die-cutting can produce creative shapes that look great, as well as creases on card and plastic  

Applications of IECHO PK Automatic Intelligent Cutting System

Applications of IECHO PK Automatic Intelligent Cutting System

What is digital cutting?

This technology allows precise cutting without the use of a die through a computer programmed path. With this method, you get all the benefits of traditional die-cutting, but with a laser, you can make precise cuts and make creases and scores as needed.


You can cut large amounts of material using this process. You can use digital cutting for smaller-scale projects, but it really works on jobs such as large format printing and highlighting signs and similar graphic devices.  


Today, those who use digital cutting often use innovative machines, such as the state-of-the-art Zund model we have at Rocket, which allows us to produce large-format digital prints up to 5m in size.   

BK3 High Speed Digital Cutting Machine

  BK3 High Speed Digital Cutting Machine


The benefits of digital cutting

As you might expect, there are many tangible benefits to using this modern technology for pattern cutting. Here are some of them.  


Turnaround times and overall production times tend to be shorter due to the speed at which digital cutters can run. This is not only because there is no need to change the shape of the mold.  

Thanks to the use of lasers, it is difficult to surpass the extremely high cleanliness and precision achieved through digital cutting.  

Digital cutting can also be used with many software programs, and once you have selected a specific machine, it is often straightforward to integrate the software you need.  

The range of materials used in digital cutting includes vinyl, leather, cardboard, composites and foam board, so you can work with thicker items.  

As mentioned above, digital cutting is ideal if you need large format printing and larger graphic installations.  

Which of the two methods is better?

Honestly, it depends on your needs, so it's not really a case of digital cutting versus die-cutting, or which is best, but which is best for your goals. For small-volume, large-format printing using tougher, thicker materials, digital cutting means no custom tooling costs and the ability to create more complex shapes. However, if you need large quantities of thinner materials, die cutting is more time-efficient and cost-effective.


Want to know more?

If you are looking for the perfect digital cutting table, check out IECHO Digital Cutting Systems and visit welcome to contact us today or request a quote. 




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