Flatbed cutting table machine use a flat fixed base and a moveable head. The cutting die is typically made from sharp strips of metal called steel rule, bent in a way that matches the profile of the part to be produced. The bent steel rule is then imbedded into matching slots in a plywood cutting board. The die can be mounted to the base or head. When the machine cycles, hydraulic pressure builds in a cylinder that presses the head with the cutting die through the material. Depending on complexity the base can be a plastic cutting board often used to produce through cut parts or it may be steel as found in precision flatbed die cutting presses. Precision flatbed presses can through cut or kiss cut similar to rotary cutting presses. Although slower than rotary die cutting, flat bed die cutting machines can open wide enough to process materials too thick to cut with a rotary process. The use of steel rule dies makes Flatbed die cutting an ideal option for short run orders where the expense of a rotary die is prohibitive. Finally, if material is only available in sheets, flatbed die cutting may be the only solution.
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