Contour Cutting Explained
Contour cutting is a method of cutting around the edge of an image following the outer edge (contour) of the design. For example a customer may want a life sized image of a Santa Claus for their window display as part of their Christmas marketing.
First the image is printed directly onto a material such as foam board, in our case using a state of the art Arizona Flat Bed printer. Then the Santa Clause image is transferred to our contour cutting machine which then accurately cuts around the outer shape.
However this is just one example and our machine can cut complex shapes at any point on the printed material including internal points so if the customer required a post box design with a slot for the letters this could be cut precisely with a smooth perfect finish.
Why Contour Cutting?
Ever decreasing timescales and shorter production runs can certainly put the pressure on our Finishing departments. Additionally the intricate and engaging designs we receive mean cutting by hand just isn’t an option. Finishing is the last step in just-in-time production, so it’s imperative to get it right first time whether your cutting vinyl, Foam PVC, Aluminium, MDF or Acrylic.
What are the advantages?
Firstly contour cutting machines provide a much more accurate finish than hand cutting.
Secondly they are 100% consistent which is important when it comes to producing duplicate copies of the product.
Thirdly they are very fast and don’t mistakes which is imperative for on demand printing which means our customers are assured of a fast turn around service and tight deadlines will be met.
However not all cutters provide the same high quality finish as our Summa Flat Bed cutter and whilst cutting is important the printed design should be equally stunning combining vibrant colours with high resolution. Thanks to our Arizona Flat Bed printer this is something we can guarantee.
To provide the service our customers demand we have invested in the latest contour cutting technology - a Summa flat bed cutter. Our contour cutter has a tool for just about everything, Kiss Cut knives for accuracy for ‘just through’ cutting of the surface of self adhesive vinyl, Oscillating knives for packaging and fluted board through to the heavy duty router for cutting though 10mm Foam PVC & Acrylic sheets, wood and metal.
How to create print ready file for cutting
Creating the shape to complement your design couldn’t be easier simply add a ’stroke’ in a spot colour within your artwork and the cutter will follow the line exactly. Life size cut outs can be created in minutes, large selfie frames or wall and floor graphics all follow the ’stroke’ we just change the tool to suit the material.
As there are no expensive plates or tooling processes prior to cutting it makes it ideal for prototyping. Demand is currently high for personalised or unique packaging and creating the perfect box and inlay is easier than you think.
With our contour cutting service it’s not the equipment that is holding you back anymore just your imagination……