5 Reasons Manufacturers Are Turning to Photo Etched Parts

The popularity of photochemical etching continues skyward.

For years, manufacturers have been turning to photo etched parts for their applications. From prototype to production, photo chemical etching provides a wide-range of advantages.

In this post, we’ll discover 5 of the biggest advantages of chemical etching.

1. Low Cost Tooling

Other processes require elaborate manual and mechanical techniques.

Tooling for the photo etching process is computer generated. That means you only need to send a CAD file and we’ll convert it to tooling.

The process not only increases accuracy, it also reduces tooling costs enormously – often photo etching tooling costs can be as little as 1/10th of that required for other processes.

Photo etching also allows designers to do practical experiments at a minimum cost. This is because tooling modifications for photo etching are so cost effective.

2. Speed of Delivery

When time means money, the photo etching process can save your firm through a turn-around time quicker than any other method.

In some instances, parts can even be delivered over night.

For large quantities and more difficult jobs, delivery should never be more than a month away – even when other processes require up to 6 months delivery time.

3. Integrity of Metal Properties

When you’re designing a part, you’ll find that photo etching provides a unique advantage: the internal structure of the metal is unchanged by the process.

Furthermore, photo etching does not affect the properties which change the hardness, grain structure or ductility of the metal.

4. Multiplicity of Design

Oftentimes, parts will require a large panel with a repeated pattern or several patterns which are small and which require tight tolerances.

Patterns can be reproduced photographically time after time with little additional cost.

5. Prototype to Production

Because of the time and cost factors in other processes, prototypes are frequently made by a method different from that used in full production.

There are inherent dangers in this.

Process variables could result in the production part not corresponding to the prototype and, therefore, not functioning properly.

In the photo etching process, however, this danger does not exist.

The process can be used to make one or one million parts. This allows engineers and designers to carry their concept from prototype to pilot to full production with parts manufactured by the same process.


It’s not hard to see why photo chemical etching has become so popular. The speed and precision of the process allows companies to greatly reduce their prototyping and production costs.

If you would like to see if photo chemical etching can reduce your production or prototyping costs, please feel free to contact Newcut.

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