Steel rule die cutting cut sheet material

Steel rule die cutting[die cutting?:die cutting] is a common process used to cut a range of sheet materials, including paper[paper?:paper sample maker cutting machine], cardboard, rubber and plastic[plastic?:Plastic sample cutting machine]. Most standard cardboard boxes and packages are made using this relatively straightforward technique. In addition to cutting out shapes, it can be used to create creases, perforations and slits.
The die is constructed out of a flat base or substrate that is usually made out of high-grade and high-density plywood; the plywood is usually composed of hardwoods, such as maple, and is free from voids or other imperfections. Some special dies may require aluminum or steel substrates. The die-maker uses a special bandsaw or laser cutter to cut precisely positioned slits into the substrate. The steel rule itself is essentially an elongated razor blade made out of hardened steel. The die-maker cuts and bends the steel rule and positions it into the slits in the substrate.
The final step in creating the die involves the addition of ejection rubber. Rubber pads are adhered to the substrate to help eject the material after it is cut. Without the inclusion of ejection rubber, the material may tend to get stuck amongst the steel rules.
There are all sorts of steel rule. The rule itself comes in a variety of thicknesses that are chosen based on the particular application. There are also several options regarding the cutting edge of the steel rule:
A center bevel
A facet bevel rule also has a centered cutting edge, but it is shaped more like a diamond and this tends to provide cleaner cuts.
The flush bevel uses a cutting edge that is in line with one of the faces of the rule. The cuts are very clean, but the longevity of this type of rule is poor.