All about digital contour cutting (including video)
What is contour cutting?
Scrapbook.com gives us the definition: contour cutting is a very broad term, but in creative industries it simply means using devices to mass produce various profiles. Which means you can create the same shape with exactly the same size, again and again, without using patterns (stencils), scissors or knives.
Here is the perfect analogy to better understand how it works: think of the cake shapes and how they cut the dough. Contour cutting is the industrial equivalent of cake forms: it offers you the cut objects in perfect shape in hundreds or even thousands of copies, in just a few minutes.
If you have a little patience, by the end of the article you will see how the products are actually made before they reach you. We think it will be worth it.
Like all inventions (which are nothing but clever shortcuts that help us be more efficient), also this technique has appeared to make someone's life easier. In our case, he contour cutting appeared in the middle of the 19th century, to simplify the work of the shoemakers. As the soles of the shoes were handmade, after measurements and with the exact size of the one who ordered them, the process was quite laborious and time consuming.
With the advent of this process, mass production began, and over time, the patterns and devices for contour cutting became more and more specialized and expanded to other industries.
How does it work?
Cutting has been done differently over time. Moulds were used to stamp or print objects such as coins, first and foremost. By definition, moulds are a kind of stamps engraved with the pattern to be printed on softer material. They are used to create a variety of objects, from wedding invitations and office staples to complex components and parts for industrial equipment and machines.
Generally, in this process a series of metal moulds are used, which are positioned above the material to be cut or ornamented, and then passed through a machine that applies pressure on them.
We deal with digital cutting, which means that the moulds are out of the equation, being replaced by digital files that serve as templates. They send the machine instructions on what and how to cut it, and the magic happens inside, without any further impetus on our part. And the results are extremely fine and precise.
But there are also mechanical contour cutting machines for personal use, let’s say, which use moulds and are manually operated. They are used by smaller artisans and DIY project enthusiasts. These are a great example if you want to understand the basic principles of contour cutting, so here is a video that you will surely like. Frank to be, we also watch this video every now and then, because these kinds of short movies are as satisfying as possible.
What can you do with contour cutting?
Everything that goes through your head. And we said that rather than writing extensively about processes and techniques, we better show you how things are going. So get ready, there is a whole section dedicated to visual "explanations"
We can make, for example, stickers for your business, cut to the millimetre and finished in order to achieve durability. Like in this video:
Because the contour cut goes hand in hand with the graphics, we thought you might want to see how this sticker is created from scratch in Adobe Illustrator. We deal with both the design and the actual manufacture. That's just so... for information purposes.
If you really want to see how our flat digital cutting equipment works, here's a video directly from the manufacturer:
What we have explained so far works wonderfully for the relatively soft and malleable materials. For more rebellious materials, such as plexiglass, soft metals or wood, we use CNC. We cut and customize them according to your needs, and the process looks like this:
And if we have to work with metal, while maintaining the fineness and precision of the execution, things happen as follows:
If you choose to work with us ...
We guarantee great results from A to Z. We print, we cut, we finish. From the simplest to the most complex projects. Ideas to be, cause we will be more than happy to accomplish them all. We are at your disposal with skill and patience, we listen, we count, we measure ... And we deliver what you need.
If we convinced you, give us a sign and get us to work. We are looking forward to any new challenges and we are eager to help you implement your most ambitious branding ideas.