How Does Digital Cutting Machine Work?

Nov. 09, 2022

Gaskets are simple but essential components in industrial systems, providing a seal between piping components and mechanical assemblies. Although it is important to tightly join surfaces such as pipe faces, it is impossible to create perfectly smooth joints and corrosion can introduce new distortions over time. Gaskets help to maintain a seal between components, ensuring consistent and efficient performance under a wide range of operating conditions.


Choosing the process

Selecting the correct manufacturing process to produce your custom gasket is as much an art as it is a science. The right manufacturing partner should be able to review your design, understand your batch requirements and help you determine the right production method.

While we all hope that determining the correct manufacturing process for your needs is a very simple decision, there are many factors to consider when making that decision. Any manufacturing partner worth working with over the long term should have a very thorough design for manufacturing (DFM) process in place to help you with this.

 PTFE Gasket

PTFE Gasket

Choosing the right manufacturing process requires a balance of all the following factors.

Delivery times


Part volume

Quality and/or tolerance levels

Material selection


Often making a decision to improve one factor can have an impact on others, so knowing which process to ultimately choose boils down to priority. A deeper understanding of how to achieve your design requirements, and an understanding of the factors that are important to you beyond the design itself, will enable you to make the right choice. That's what the DFM process is all about.


This article breaks down some of the considerations that may lead to choosing CNC or digital cutting as the correct manufacturing process. It is intended to provide some general guidelines, but is by no means exhaustive, nor is it a substitute for conducting a DFM process for a specific design.

Graphite Composite Gasket

 Graphite Composite Gasket

How this works?

Computer Numerical Control (CNC) cutting, also known as digital cutting, uses a very precise knife to cut the material. Using this method, design files are uploaded to the computer that controls the digital cutting machine. Referring to the digital file, the machine runs and produces as many parts as you can program to cut.


Typically, two cutting tools can be used: a drag knife and a pneumatic oscillating knife.


A drag knife works in the same way as you would expect from a typical cutter, it is inserted into the material and dragged across the cutting path to produce the part.


In contrast, a pneumatic oscillating knife cuts the material by moving up and down. Essentially, the tool is pressed down through the material, lifted up, then moved forward and pressed through again.



When is CNC or digital cutting suitable?

Digital cutting is often used when the material is not compatible with steel ruler die-cutting or for small batches of fast turning parts (e.g. prototypes).


However, depending on the number of parts produced, the materials used, the complexity of the design and the speed at which you need to deliver the parts, digital cutting can be useful in a variety of situations.


In general, CNC cutting may be a good choice for situations such as


Rapid prototyping: the absence of hard tooling means that small batches can be produced quickly and more cheaply than methods that require hard tooling.

Material waste: a well nested design can provide less material waste than die cutting and may help to reduce material costs.

Handling small or large parts: ideal for parts that are too small or narrow or too large for a die-cutting machine to die-cut.

Short lead times: if you need parts to turn them faster than hard tooling solutions, CNC cutting may be the right choice.


If you want to learn more about digital cutting machines and equipment maintenance, browse through the IECHO blog.

IECHO is a trusted digital cutting systems manufacturer. Please write to or fill out our contact form for enquiries.



IECHO is a global intelligent cutting solution supplier for the non-metal industry. It provides cutting machine and digital cutting machine for a wide range of applications.

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