Fotofab’s technology offers several benefits over traditional machining processes. Fotofab specializes in producing your parts by whatever means necessary – chemical etching, stamping, forming, metal fabrication, electroforming, and wire EDM are all tools in our chest. The Fotofab process features a trio of fundamental improvements over other manufacturers: reduced costs, faster speeds, and higher precision parts. We do all of our manufacturing and source our materials in the United States.
The affordable pricing, quick speed, and high precision of our photochemical etching process ensure that it is the quintessential method for both production and prototyping of metal parts. So what is photo etching?
“Chemical etching (photo etching) is a photo-lithographic process whereby a phototool is used to block UV light from exposing the area of a sheet of metal which has first been cleaned and laminated with photoresist. The sheet is developed which washes away the unexposed photoresist leaving a very precise mask of hardened photoresist behind. This patterned sheet is then exposed to concentrated etchants which very precisely dissolve any exposed material.”
Photo tools are inexpensive
The majority of phototools used in chemical etching are priced between $300 and $400. This is thousands of dollars less than the cost of using hard tools for etching equivalent metal parts.
…and fast to produce
Photochemical machining typically takes less than a day, often less than an hour and that means that your custom, brand new parts can be ready to ship the same day you order them (with our optional expedited service), standard lead times are 5-7 days.
…with much higher precision
Your phototool is produced, stored, and used in our in-house, Class 100,000, temperature and humidity controlled clean room. Your tool rarely leaves this environment so there are no variations in size, it remains consistent – as do we.
Photochemical machining or Chemical Etching has the ability to produce complex geometries within very strict tolerances and the good news is that increased part complexity is very rarely a cost driver.
How quickly do you need your photo etched parts? Fotofab can deliver. Delivery options may be specified on your purchase order.