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3 Things Manufacturers Should Know About Photo Etching Services

Photo etching is also known as photo chemical machining and photo chemical etching. It uses photo-resist technology to fabricate thin metal parts according to the blueprints clients submit that showcase specific dimensions. Photo etching is also a printing process in which part dimensions are images onto photo-resist coated sheets of metal that are then developed and etched leaving only the desired piece behind. The best photo etching companies are able to create thin metal parts with tolerances as low as .01 mm–a size that is unachievable with alternative processing types such as water-jet cutting, punching, laser cutting or die-cutting.

When it comes to using photo etching services, there are four primary things organizations need to be aware of, and this article will cover these talking points.

  1. Photo Etching Services Improves Precision

Many companies struggle to produce thin metal parts with the appropriate dimensions to function in various products. Often, they will turn to photo etching companies to create custom thin metal parts because the manufacturing process improves precision. Materials as thin as .0003 inches can be used with photo etching services, and the process enables holes as small as .004 inches to be made with edge dimensions measuring within 10 percent of a part’s thickness. Because photo etching enables organizations more options with dimensions, products can be more heavily specified to meet better performance, which is one of many reasons why improved precision is met with photo etching services.

  1. Photo Etching Lowers Production Costs

Design changes can cost corporations multiple thousands of dollars. However, tooling applications with photo etching are very easy to make and cheap in cost. This reduces overhead for the prototyping of metal parts, and cuts down on costs associated with full production.

Usually, increasing the design complexity means the cost goes way up, but with photo etching this is not the case. The process of photo etching allows for thin metal parts to have greater design complexity with the costs still being low. In addition, because the processing time is fast, cost is further reduced.

Photo etching also makes rapid prototyping and mass production of parts significantly cheaper than using other manufacturing processes.

  1. Photo Etching can Be Performed on a Wide Range of Metals

While lasers can only be used on certain metals, photoresist can be applied to any metal making photo etching possible for any type of metal. Some of the types of metal used by photo etching companies include aluminum, copper, brass, gold, nickel, silver, steel, and a wide range of alloys. Because photo etching can be used on most metals, companies have greater flexibility in production and design.

Call a Photo Etching Company to Learn More

Now that you know the three main benefits of photo etching, you need to call a manufacturing company specializing in making thin metal parts, and ask an expert to look at your project and give more detailed information on how photo etching would directly benefit your project.

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