Fotofab’s chemical etching 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 to name a few. The Fotofab process features a trio of fundamental improvements over other manufacturers, including reduced costs, faster speeds, and higher precision parts. Also, we do all of our manufacturing and material sourcing 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.
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.”
Videos about Chemical Etching – HERE
Benefits of Photochemical Machining (Chemical Etching)
Photo tools are inexpensive
The price of the majority of phototools used in chemical etching are between $300 and $400. This is thousands of dollars less than the cost of using hard tools for etching equivalent metal parts.
Fast to produce
Photochemical machining typically takes less than a day, often less than an hour, to complete, which means your custom, brand new parts can be ready to ship the same day. Standard lead times are 5-7 days from order date, with an optional expedited service available.
Fotofab produces, stores, and uses the phototools in our in-house, temperature and humidity controlled clean room. The tools rarely leave this environment so there are no variations in size, and 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.
Production Volume – We have the capabilities to help with your prototype and help with production high volume orders.
How quickly do you need your photo etched parts? Fotofab can deliver. Delivery options may be specified on your purchase order.
Materials We Etch
- Alloy 42
- Alloy 46
- Alloy 48
- Alloy Steels
- Beryllium Copper
- Gold (.005 x 6″ x 6″ max)
- Hy-mu 80
- Nickel Silver
- Permalloy 80
- Phosphorous Bronze
- Silicon Steel
- Spring Steel
- Stainless Steel
Fotofab also has the ability to help with secondary service