With the technological advancement in electronic cutting machines, you can carve personalized images out of various materials like vinyl, iron-on, and cardstock, among others. Versatile die-cutting machines allow anyone with limited design and cutting skills to create craft they have only imagined.
But at the same time, consumers are also facing the problem of plenty. Multiple companies, like Cricut and Silhouette, have a whole range of products. So, it isn’t easy to choose between a Cricut Machine and others. In this guide, learn how to find the most versatile cutting machine for yourself.
Types of Die-Cutting Machines
Although there are different types of die-cutting machines, three types are considered basic. Those are:
Flatbed Die-Cutting Machines
These are also referred to as steel die-cutters, and they employ a flatbed die-cutting press along with custom steel rule dies to process the material. If you’re to process thicker materials and produce more significant parts, then these machines are considered the best.
Rotary Die-Cutting Machines
These machines have cylindrical dies attached to a rotary press that offers maximum cutting precision. So when your job demands high precision and accuracy, you should get rotary die-cutting machines.
Digital Die-Cutting Machines
As opposed to the above two types of cutting machines, digital machines do not need dies. Instead, they have lasers, blades, and complicated tools that are computer-operated. If you want fast lead times and want to keep the cost lower at the same time, digital cutting machines are best.
Therefore, you need to select the type of die-cutting machine depending on your requirements.
Look for Necessary Components
All machines operate based on individual components to produce the desired design and cut. So it would help if you looked for the necessary components included in the set.
Starting with the flatbed cutters, the two most critical components in them are the flatbed die-cutting press and steel rule dies. The presses can either be hydraulic, electric, or mechanical. You should select the ones you’re comfortable operating. Similarly, there are different types of steel rule dies available, like blanking, combination, and progressive.
When it comes to rotary die-cutters, you need to look for the rotary die press and the cylindrical dies. The rotary die press should have solid cylindrical dies.
Finally, you have digital die-cutting machines which use a variety of knives and blades. The design often comes from an online repository. This online resource might not be available in all countries, which is something you need to check.
Consider the Material and Output
The cutting machine you’ll buy will depend on the material you want to cut and process. Most of the machines can process materials like plastic, fabric, metal, wood, and paper.
As mentioned earlier, flatbed die-cutters can effectively convert any material to both sheet and roll form. But they aren’t ideal for thick material.
Rotary die-cutting machines are suited for web materials and accurate designs.
Digital die-cutting machines are more versatile and can process a variety of materials with extreme precision. Because of this, they’re quickly growing in popularity among the users.
Ease of Use
The last consideration you need to make is the ease of use. Flatbed or rotary die-cutting machines might be easy to operate, but digital ones offer convenience. Digital die-cutting machines do have a learning curve.
You need to be familiar with how to operate the machine and the software. The blades, if interchanged, will produce incorrect designs. So it would help if you went with the cutting machines that are comfortable to operate.
A Cricut Machine is considered the ideal choice for newbies as it is intuitive and easy to use. But there are other manufacturers too like Brother, Silver Bullet, and Silhouette that offer similar products. So conduct your research and learn about your needs before placing an order.