Photo Etching vs. Traditional Metal Machining
See how photo etching compares with more traditional machining methods, such as laser cutting, stamping and wire EDM.
The table below provides a quick process comparison.
|Photo Etching*||Laser Cutting||Stamping||Wire EDM||Water Jet Cutting||Electroforming|
|Sampling||Low cost||Low cost||High cost||Low cost||Low cost||Medium cost|
|Metals||Nearly all metals||Nearly all metals||Nearly all metals||Carbon steel and most metal alloys||Nearly all metals||Predominantly nickel|
|Hardness||No restriction||No restriction||Problems with very soft, hard or brittle metals||Hardness is a consideration||Hardness is a consideration||Generally 200-670 HV|
|Stress||No stress||Thermal stress on the cutting edge||Stress at the cutting edge and close to it||Deformation, tempering and structural changes may occur in the material||Limited stress on the cutting edge||Low stress|
|Burrs||No burring||Micro burring||Partial burring||Micro burring||Micro burring||No burring|
|Design changes||Quick, easy, cost effective||Quick, easy, cost effective||Very costly & time consuming||Quick, easy, cost effective||Quick, easy, cost effective||Quick, easy, cost effective|
|Typical lead times||48 hours||48 hours||Several weeks||48 hours||48 hours||5 days|
|Tolerances as % of material thickness||±10%||±5%||±10%||±10%||±15%||±5%|
|Can be supplied in sheets for easy counting & handling||Yes||Yes||Not easily||Yes||Yes||Yes|