What is Die-Cutting
& Die-less Cutting?
If there's one obvious way to stand out, it's daring to be different. Our custom shapes service, allows you to customise the shape of your packaging and marketing collateral to ensure your custom prints and design will have a matching custom shape too. Check out the wide range of options you have for die cut prints.
Die cutting is an extremely versatile way to create unique results.
Die cutting, refers to the art of finishing your prints in a custom shape.
Custom die cut shapes on a business card, postcard, packaging, shelf wobbler, or even brochure cover help you stand out from the crowd and create unique and eye-catching pieces that are unique to you.
Due to their unusual shape, size, and appearance, die-cut products tend to attract more attention from customers. You can choose from simple finishes like rounded corners, to almost any custom shape.
To turn an ordinary marketing piece into an extraordinary solution that sets your brand and business apart from your competitors, we have two main processes for creating custom shapes on paper and cards - Die-cutting and Digital Die-less cutting.
We've included details below to introduce you to the pros and cons of each process. However, once you've read this, if you still have questions about setting up your files or the most convenient method, we're here to help.
Digital Die-less Cutting
What is digital die-less cutting?
Digital die-less cutting is most often used for small quantity custom shape cut orders. This may be for
Tight turnarounds, where there is not enough time to manufacture a die; or
Small quantities where traditional die manufacture would not be is not cost effective
Die-less cutting is carried out on a flatbed cutter, where an oscillating knife and scoring wheel is used to cut around each shape individually. We can use this process to create anything from business cards, postcards, packaging, envelopes, signage, shelf wobblers, drink coasters, signage and more for you.
More cost effective for small volume orders
Does not require the once-off cost of die manufacture
Can start production immediately without waiting for a die plate to be produced
When the card is cut with an oscillating knife, there is a small burr along the edge, and some coining can be seen from the back.
Fibres/cracking may be visible on the fold line of scored/folded items that have not been laminated
We recommend against die-less cutting for uncoated stock. As the fibres in this stock are not as tight, coining will be more prominent.
Rotary Die-Cutting Cutting
What is Rotary Die-cutting?
Die Cutting requires the manufacture of a die plate, which essentially acts like a high-tech cookie cutter. Printed sheets are fed through a rotary die cutting machine at high speed, so thousands of small items can be quickly cut out.
In addition to creating fully shape-cut products - such as marketing cards, business cards, and door hangers - scoring and perforating can be incorporated with your die to create more complex finished products like boxes & packaging, bottle neckers, tear-off cards, and thousands of other items. We can even adjust the die specs to create kiss cut stickers that peel off to your desired shape.
Dies last a long time and will be a one-time expense for most customers, being available for immediate use after your first order.
Faster turnaround (after the initial die manufacture)
Capable of fulfilling large volume orders quickly
A crisper finish than die-less cutting
More cost effective for larger or ongoing orders.
Requires an initial investment to have the die made to your project specifications
4-5 day turnaround for your first order (subsequent orders are available as quickly as "same day" depending on specifications)
Common outcomes with short run Digital Die-Cutting and Die-less Cutting
Coining / Bevel (Raised Edge 1 side)
Coining / Bevel is a raised edge (see image below), it is called this as it is a bit like the end result of a minted coin, like the outside edge on the circumference of a $1 coin so to speak.
It is a result of the blade of the die or the blade in our die-less cutting process where the blade / knife is pushed through 1 side of the stock to cut it.
Depending on the stock and the product coining can be more predominant in our die-less cutting process and for us to minimise the coining outcome, you would need to consider our die-cutting process. Although an important consideration with choosing die-cutting over our die-less cutting process is that you will need to invest in a custom die which can start from $220 plus GST for a small and simple die but can increase very quickly with more complex and larger dies and this excludes the printing and die-cutting process.
However the great thing about the die-cutting process is that once the die is made majority of clients find that it is generally a once off cost as we keep it on file for future orders and unless your producing in the 10's to 100's of thousands and then it becomes a consumable and realistically a great challenge to have
Other ... to be aware of
As paper is made of paper fibres, when it is cut, paper dust or fluff will be visible at the edge of some papers. When it occurs, this is most noticable when cards are in a stack and not immediately noticeable when viewing one card at a time. While we aim to ensure this occurrence is very minimal, changes in paper manufacture will occasionally result in paper fluff . If you receive your job and it happens to still have have some of the fluff, more often than not it easily removes with a light brush stroke of your finger along the edges.
Due to the nature of paper, when unlaminated items are cut, fibres close to the cutting edge may lift, as will the toner at that point. When looking closely, this results in the print edge looking chipped. With coated stock and lighter colours, this is less noticeable, and laminate can help prevent it.
The above image illustrates the potential coining and chipping of uncoated card stock with dark coverage and die-less cutting. This design would be best executed by die-cutting, using a coated card stock, and possibly adding laminate to the card stock.
Make no mistake, we certainly understand and appreciate that your your looking for the ideal product to represent your brand as we are also trying to find solutions to provide this solution for you and we always aim for producing a high quality commercially acceptable outcome, while also trying to offer you affordable solutions.
Although we would like to raise a couple of things for your consideration when choosing the right solution.
While we and you are looking at your die-cut product in a somewhat micro level picking up every stain in the carpet so to speak. We can very confidently say in the 15 years that we have been in printing and die-cutting that 95+% of your clients won't even notice and even those who notice, we would say 98% of them would not blink an eyelid if there was a small amount of coining or fluffy edges.
Best for cutting out shapes
Reduce the costs of dies required for cutting patterns
Good for making creases in card paper and plastics
Reduce material waste
Custom Product Shapes
Can cut all type of thickness i.e Very thick or thin
Good at cutting many layers
Accurate cutting is possible
Custom Shape Boards
No cutting by hand or with templates.
Door Hanger & Car Hangers