A process used to produce thin, flat metal components, using acids to cut through the metal to produce the shape required. Also known as Chemical Milling and Photo Etching.
In both engineering component such as; shims, screening cans, encoder disc etc or decorative components such as; business cards, book marks, plaques etc.
Almost all metals. Stainless steel, aluminium, other steels, yellow metals etc. There are only a few that we are unable to etch such as Tungsten and Titanium.
The thinner – the better! With very fine material such as 0.002″ or less, we may wish to mount the metal onto a sticky back paper. Parts can be removed from the sticky back paper using a 50/50 solution of acetone and white spirit.
This depends on the material and the application. Should we need to etch all the way through a piece of metal, then the thickest we would be prepared to etch would be 1mm in stainless steel and 1.5mm in yellow metals. If we are manufacturing a decorative component such as a plaque, where only surface etch is required or screen-printed images, then the material can be thicker.
There is no right or wrong answer – it depends on the component. Contact us for further information, telephone 01480 226699.
Depending on your requirement we can achieve a minimum working tolerance of +/- 10% of metal thickness or +/- 0.025mm, whichever is greater.
Generally all detail must be equal to a minimum of 0.1mm, however this can be improved upon depending on your requirement. Please contact us to find out.
For quotation purposes we can open and read most types of electronic file. For manufacture, we prefer CAD files: dxf, dwg or IGES. However, we also accept image files such as Illustrator, pdf and eps. Please contact us if you wish to use another file format.
We look at each part required, and give a realistic lead-time to meet the customer’s requirement. Depending on production schedules, prototypes can be turned around within 48 hours.
PCGT stands for Part Cost Graphic Tooling and refers to the photo-tool that is required to make any part. We only ask you to pay a portion of the cost. We will then not allow anyone to order or ask for a quote that involves using your tooling, without your written permission.
Yes! This can be done, but a) only if all parts are to be made from the same thickness and type of material, and b) if all parts are to be ordered in similar quantities at the same time in the future. Contact us for further information, telephone 01480 226699.
When the parts are very small, and made from thin material, to stop them ‘flying away’ when in contact with jets of acid. Tabs are also used when a part is being plated after etching, as it is much more cost effective to plate a sheet of parts than individual parts.
Virtually any metal can be laser cut ranging in thickness depending on metal type.
Yes, for example Photofab can etch detail into the surface of the metal, and then laser cut the profile.
Yes it does, by changing the gases we can produce an edge finish on stainless steel as clean as the natural material. This is especially useful in medical and aerospace requirements.
Forming, plating/coating, heat-treating, painting, in-filling, screen-printing, soldering, stud welding or drilling holes.
Please fill in your email address and the nature of your enquiry below, and we will reply quickly to you.
Photofab, a world leader in photo chemical etching and forming Photofab was in 1971 as a specialist photo chemical machining company.We are world leaders in the development of photochemical technology to produce intricately shaped components. More than 70,000 different components have been produced. If you can draw it, we can make it as long as it’s in thin sheet metal. …Read More
Customer service Photofab believe that enhanced service is given by having a “single point of contact” – namely an Account Manager, who champion the customers’ cause internally. This allows: A personal and consistent serviceOne person always there with knowledge of the customers’ needsIn depth knowledge of the customers’ partsGreater awareness of customer requirements.Fast response to customer requests. Technology investment to …Read More
What is photo chemical etching? A process used to produce thin, flat metal components, using acids to cut through the metal to produce the shape required. Also known as Chemical Milling and Photo Etching. Where would you use this type of process? In both engineering component such as; shims, screening cans, encoder disc etc or decorative components such as; business …Read More
Terms & conditions of purchase 1. INTERPRETATION 1.1 The definitions and rules of interpretation in this condition apply in these conditions. Company: Photofab Limited, company number 1001985, whose registered office is at 14 Cromwell Road, St Neots, Cambs. PE19 2HP. Contract: the Order and the Seller’s acceptance of the Order. Goods: any goods agreed in the Contract to be bought …Read More