Benefits at a glance
- Unlimited complexity – you only pay for the first hole
- No expensive hard tooling required
- Low-cost design iterations – fast
- Burr-and stress-free – metal temper and magnetic properties unaffected
- Lead-times in days, not months
- Virtually any metal
- Accuracy to ±0.025mm
Photo etching, also known as chemical etching or metal etching, is a highly precise, tightly controlled corrosion process used to produce complex metal components with very fine detail.
How does photo etching work?
Photo etching benefits
Virtually any metal
The photo etching process offers a cost-effective alternative to stamping, punching, laser and waterjet cutting when machining precision components from thin gauge metals – up to 1.5mm thick – including stainless steel, nickel and nickel alloys, aluminium, copper and copper alloys, and hard-to-machine metals such as titanium.
Design optimisation without financial penalty
Photo-etch tooling, known as the “photo-tool” is digital, meaning no expensive “hard” tooling needs to be machined prior to manufacture. Photo-tooling can be produced and modified extremely quickly allowing for “risk-free” design optimisation without the cost.
Accurate, complex, burr- and stress-free components
When component integrity is critical, photo etching is often the only suitable metal machining technology as metal temper and properties are unaffected. No mechanical force or heat is used during the etching process, meaning components are free from stresses and burrs.
Photo etching is often the most economical option for producing custom parts with complex designs – the process is accurate to ±0.025mm – as the cost rarely ever increases with design complexity.
Precision Micro: The market-leading photo etching company
Why partner with Precision Micro?
- Unrivalled know-how – Precision Micro has pioneered etching technology for over half a century
- Proven capability – AS 9100, IATF 16949, ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 accredited
- Largest capacity – 44,000 sq ft state-of-the-art photo etching plant
- Material know-how – we specialise in etching hard-to-machine metals
- 2,000+ metal variants – standard and specialist material types and
- Global support – we have sales offices and partners in locations that enable us to respond quickly to demand
- Added value – we offer a number of additional services including wire EDM, electropolishing, forming, finishing and plating