Our technical guidelines have been created to guide you through designing for the photochemical etching process.
If you’d prefer to send us a drawing for technical appraisal, you can upload it here.
We accept the following file formats:
- DWG, DXF, PDF, Step, Gerber, IGES, CorelDraw and Adobe Illustrator
Materials, thicknesses and sheet sizes
Precision Micro stocks over 2,000 material types in a wide range of sheets sizes, thicknesses and grades. We supply specialist materials on request and work with customer-supplied material.
|METAL TYPE||THICKNESS RANGE||MAXIMUM SHEET SIZE|
|Steel and stainless steels||0.01mm – 1.5mm||600mm x 1500mm|
|Nickel and nickel alloys||0.01mm – 1.5mm||600mm x 1500mm|
|Copper and copper alloys||0.01mm – 1.5mm||600mm x 1500mm|
|Aluminium||0.01mm – 1.5mm||600mm x 1500mm|
|Titanium and titanium alloys||0.01mm – 1mm||600mm x 550mm|
Standard etching tolerances
|MATERIAL THICKNESS||STANDARD TOLERANCE||TECHNICAL TOLERANCE||HOLE/SLOT SIZE||BAR WIDTH|
|0.025mm - 0.050mm||±0.025mm||Contact us||0.1mm||0.1mm|
|0.100mm - 0.125mm||±0.025mm||Contact us||100% metal thickness||100% metal thickness|
|0.125mm - 0.150mm||±0.025mm||Contact us||100% metal thickness||100% metal thickness|
|0.150mm - 0.200mm||±0.025mm||Contact us||100% metal thickness||100% metal thickness|
|0.200mm - 0.250mm||±0.025mm||Contact us||100% metal thickness||100% metal thickness|
|0.250mm - 0.500mm||±10% metal thickness||Contact us||100% metal thickness||100% metal thickness|
|0.500mm - 1.00mm||±10% metal thickness||Contact us||100% metal thickness||100% metal thickness|
|1.000mm - 1.500mm||±10% metal thickness||Contact us||100% metal thickness||100% metal thickness|
With photo etching, the smallest inside and outside corner radius achievable is directly proportional to the thickness of the selected metal being processed.
A - Outside corner radius – minimum of 75% material thickness
B - Inside corner radius – minimum of 100% material thickness
Hole and profile geometries
During etching, the etchant attacks the material laterally and vertically resulting in an edge “cusp” which is typically 10 to 20% of material thickness.
Precision Micro can control the etch cusp, allowing for a range of profiles. This gives products unique characteristics, such as sharp cutting edges or conical openings.
1 Single-sided etch
Used to achieve a specific depth, profile or for thin gauge metals
2 Convex profile
Industry standard edge condition for through-etched components
3 Parallel profile
Used to reduce etch cusp
4 70/30 etch
Combines through etching and depth etching and can also be used to produce conical apertures or cutting edges
5 Double-sided depth etch
Used for surface engraving on both sides
6 Concave etch
Used to achieve a straighter edge profile
7 2/3 stage etch
Used to achieve multiple depths, requiring additional imaging
Tags are threads of metal, retaining components in the sheet during manufacture. They can be necessary when a technical etch tolerance is required or components require subsequent plating, electroplating or assembly.
Precision Micro offers a range of etch tags which can be selected based on component geometry, thickness or application.
Once manufactured, components can be supplied tagged into the sheet, or removed from the sheet and supplied individually. Subject to the component size, design or tolerance requirement, Precision Micro can also offer components without tags.
1 Protruding tag
The default tag which does not affect the surface area of the part
2 Half-etch protruding tag
This aids component removal from the sheet
3 Recess tag
This is used when a tag protrusion is not permitted
4 Half-etch recess tag
This removes tag protrusion and aids component removal from the sheet