Large Format Printing and Die Cutting
Creating a file for Zund Cutting in Illustrator
- Example File: Sticker Example (AI CC 2014)
- Layers Template: Different Layers Template
Illustrator is the native(and only) file format for Zund Die Cutting. These files can be imported directly into the Zund cutting system. InDesign files can also be used for Zund cutting if the file is going to be printed on our large format machine. Information about that can be found here. Otherwise the
Step 1: Create a new file
Start up Illustrator and either bring your file into the layers template above or start a new file.
Step 2: Create Your Layers
If you are beginning with the template above you can skip this step. Otherwise this is the meat of the article. The layers dictate what the cutter sees as a cut/registration mark/Artwork. Make sure all of your artwork goes onto an artwork layer. Whatever is on the other layers will be imported by the cutter and used for cutting purposes. So it's extremely important to have everything on the proper layer. It's important to match the layer name to the cut you want performed. See the template at the top for all the different cut names. We currently support... "Through Cut", "Kiss Cut", "Crease", and "Registration.
Step 3: Place Registration Dots
To create a registration dot simply create an 8mm circle with a black fill and no stroke. If you have a black or grey background you will want to use a color that contrasts your background best. Registration dots are dots the cutter uses to recognize exactly where the piece is on the cutter and also to recognize if there were slight distortions in the printing process. The most basic dots you can use are 3 dots around the piece as seen in the example screenshot. This can be used for most all cuts on the machine. The more distinct you get with your cutting the more registration dots you should have on your piece. Do you have a specific curve that you think may cause problems if distorted? Place a registration dot by it. You can have as many registration dots as you want on the piece, but they must be a minimum of 3 inches apart from each other for the camera to read them properly.

For more information on registration dots please check out this Zund video.
Step 4: Draw your cuts
Cuts can be created with the pen tool, line tool, rectangle tool or anything that puts a stroke down in the file. It's always good to color your stroke different for each of the different cuts. If you can see in the attached screen shot there is a kiss cut(Sticker cut) around the icon and a through cut rectangle so we have square stickers to hand out to people.
Remember it is amazing the detail you can put in your cuts. Try to keep your cuts as smooth as possible and always close line segments when possible. What I mean by that is if you're creating a curve use the pen tool instead of creating a bunch of tiny line segments.
This is a floating Box