World Lead Chemical Etching

Forming and Toolroom

Our forming department covers not only the bending of metal parts, but also complex tool making, soldering, spot welding, surface grinding, milling and turning.

We specialise in both prototyping and production runs. This section details not only what Photofab can provide in terms of forming methods, but also the assembly, soldering, spot welding a grinding services.

Forming and Toolroom Benefits

  • Full manufacturing process (one supplier)
  • Option of forming with no Tooling Charge
  • Fold lines – reduces storage space requirement (form by hand as required)
  • Fold lines – reduces shipping cost if assembling overseas
  • Uni-Tools – hard tooled forming with universal tooling
  • Soldering and Spot welding
  • Full assembly option

Methods of Forming

Option 1: Half Etch Fold Lines

We are able to etch lines into a part. These lines are only etched half way through the metal. By doing this, the metal can be bent.

  • There is no form tooling charge.
  • Ideal for simple angle bends.
  • The parts can be formed in house by us.
  • You can form the parts on site yourselves.
  • Least accurate method of forming.
  • More generous tolerances are normally required
Half etched

Option 2: Uni-Tool

Photofab have developed a “Uni-Tool”, which is an adaptable piece of hard tooling.

  • There is no form tooling charge.
  • Low part price
  • Fast turnaround.
  • Ideal for simple forming operations
  • Good for prototypes.
  • Good for runs of up to 200 parts.
  • Good for accuracy.
Formed Uni-Tool

Option 3: Knife and Forking Prototypes

This is a hard tooling method, which uses several more complicated pieces of universal tooling and can cope better with more complicated parts.

  • There is no form tooling charge.
  • Ideal for more intricate forming operations.
  • Good for prototypes.
  • Good for runs up to 200 parts.
  • Good for accuracy.
Knife and Forking Prototypes

Option 4: Hard Form Tooling

Hard tooling to fit one of the fly or toggle presses is made, which can only be used on one particular part.

  • This method incurs a form tooling charge – from £50 upwards.
  • Ideal for intricate forming operations.
  • Ideal for large quantities.
  • Very good for accuracy – generally to within +/- .1mm, subject to drawings
Hard Form Tooling

Screening Can Tooling

No Tooling Cost – Photofab have designed a series of tools which are adaptable pieces of hard tooling designed specifically for screening cans. Providing low costs option for spring Fingered lids. Suitable for parts up to 200mm in length and width, however the spring fingered legs need to be a minimum developed length of 3mm and rectangular for this method to be suitable.

Screening Can Tooling

Soldering and Spot Welding

Photofab are able to solder and / or spot weld components, whether you require a seam soldered or two pieces spot welded together we can help.

General Toolroom Services

Photofab regularly provide precision surface grinding of metal, along with milling, turning, reaming, drilling and much more. If you have a need for a discipline not mentioned, please do contact us using the form below and ask.

tool room services

Assembly

Our capabilities of assembling diverse components, allows customers to reduce their supply base using Photofab’s logistical control team. We have a highly skilled team who will take your requirements, manufacture the components from raw materials, then assemble to your specifications.

etching and forming

If you want to ask us any questions or have us draw you up a sample quotation, please contact us on 01480 226699 or complete our contact form. Alternatively see what other photo etching services we can offer.

More Engineering Services offered – contact our sales team for further info.

  • Spot Welding
  • Soldering
  • Milling
  • Turning
  • Surface Grinding

To find out more about the Photo Etching Process please either contact us on 01480 226699, or take “The Process Tour”.

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Chemical Milling / Chemical Etching

Forming & Toolroom

Plating

Laser Cutting

Metal Stamping

Wire Erosion

Far East Supply Chain

Prototyping to High Volume

Short Lead Times

Electronic File Handling

Photo Etching

Chemical Milling / Chemical Etching

At Photofab, we’ve been working in chemical etching (otherwise known as chemical milling or photo etching) since 1971. In that time, we’ve built a large pool of technical knowledge on the subject; we know the benefits it brings to our customers. Chemical etching is a machining process which uses acids and other chemicals to dissolve unwanted material, usually metal, to …

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Forming & Toolroom

Our forming department covers not only the bending of metal parts, but also complex tool making, soldering, spot welding, surface grinding, milling and turning. We specialise in both prototyping and production runs. This section details not only what Photofab can provide in terms of forming methods, but also the assembly, soldering, spot welding a grinding services. Forming and Toolroom Benefits …

Read More

Plating

What is plating? Plating is a surface covering in which a metal is deposited on a conductive surface. Plating has been done for hundreds of years, but it is also critical for modern technology – Wikipedia Plating is used to: Add a decorative finishCreate corrosion inhibitionTo improve solder-abilityTo harden the surfaceTo improve durability To alter conductivityFor radiation shieldingTo improve paint …

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Laser Cutting

Etching through metal over 1.5mm thick gets expensive, this is where laser cutting comes into its own. With state of the art equipment and finishing facilities to remove sharp edges and burrs Photofab can offer high tolerance cost effective solutions. Laser Cutting Benefits Laser option – CO2 Laser option – Nd Laser option -Nd-YAG Laser Marking Photofab can provide parts …

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Metal Stamping

Photofab offer the process of stamping (sometimes referred to as blanking) metal components. The manufacturing process of metal stamping involves feeding sheets of metal into a high tonnage press between pre-manufactured stamping dies to cut and form metal. Metal stamping is predominantly used for producing parts in high volumes at low manufacturing costs. Metal Stamping Benefits Very low unit cost …

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Wire Erosion

Wire Erosion is used by Photofab in combination with the Photo Etching / Chemical Milling process to produce very precise cost effective products with very low cost tooling or set up charges. As a machining process Wire Erosion is used to cut through various substances in order to form parts for a number of different industries, who require component accuracy …

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Far East Supply Chain

Photofab have developed strong links with a reputable etching company in the Far East. We have researched them and they have passed various tests for environmental, ethical, and employment practices. We recognise the importance of our responsibility to only work with decent and honest companies. Far East Supply Chain Benefits Large Volume Manufacturing Lower cost compared to UK Tried and …

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Prototyping to High Volume

Prototyping to High Volume Whether you are looking for volume production in hundreds of thousands, a short production run or a one off prototype, Photofab has the answer. The chemical milling, photo etching or chemical etching process is ideally suited to rapid prototyping as electronically generated files can be used to produce photo-tools which are then transferred to the surface …

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Short Lead Times

24 hour quotes Dedicated account managers Rapid 3 day service Here at Photofab we pride ourselves on the short lead times we provide our customers Photofab, the chemical machining specialist, have an enviable record of meeting customer requirements both in terms of achieving the impossible on short lead times and reliability. We will always quote within 24 hours for standard work; even faster if …

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Electronic File Handling

Most types of file formats can be viewed but not all types can be used to create photo-tools. Quotation Stage Almost all electronic drawing file formats can be opened and read at the quotation stage. These include: CAD format dwg, dxf, IGESImage format: pdf, eps, cdr, ai If your drawing format is not shown here, please call us on 01480 …

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Photo Etching

There is a phrase often associated with Photofab and photo etching, “If you can draw it, we can make it”. With nearly 50 years experience and a large pool of technical knowledge, we are specialists in photo etching of thin metal parts. Photo Etching High Accuracy Burr Free Components Low Cost Tooling Fast Turn Arounds This means we can offer …

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