An often overlooked and subtle design tool, custom dies can provide both perforated metal and embossed metal with unique aesthetics. On projects of larger scale, custom-dies can provide a more cost-effective method of perforation or embossing on metal surfaces. When compared with laser-cut metal, punched metal can be up to five times faster.
Dies can range in size from less than an inch up to three inches around, and in some cases go larger depending on the surface area. Custom dies that are very small will need to be replaced more often on a job. Larger dies may cause greater warpage and rougher edges on a metal surface.
Many designers create patterns which punch the metal at regular intervals, but this is not a limitation. Zahner punch machinery can be programmed to punch the metal with atypical spacing or regular spacing as needed. Zahner punch machinery use a rotary system, making it possible to have many unique die punches across the surface of a single sheet.