Reducing Costs for Metal Screens and Filters

Reducing Costs for Metal Screens and Filters

When sourcing thin metal screens and filters, some companies still turn to cutting processes like laser or waterjet that cost way too much.

While photo etching has gained popularity over the last few years, many buyers and engineers do not fully understand its numerous benefits. For products like intricate screens or filters, photo etching can save you thousands.

Let’s see how.

1. Greater Complexity at Lower Costs

Unlike many other cutting methods like waterjet or laser, photo etching doesn’t cut each hole separately—instead, it etches each hole simultaneously.

So what does this mean for you?

Methods that cut each hole or slot separately require more time and therefore more money. You end up paying by the cut, which adds up when you have thousands of small holes or slots.

With photo etching, you’re not paying for each hole in your screen or each slot in your filter. Whether you have one hole or thousands of them, your price stays the same.

2. Cheaper Tooling

Tooling for several cutting processes can cost you thousands of dollars, but phototooling will generally cost you a fraction of that.

Not only does this mean you get a lower up-front cost, it also means you will have reduced maintenance and replacement costs.

Since the initial cost is so low, any replacements or redesigns will carry that same low price tag. With many traditional cutting methods, you’ll need to pay thousands for every replacement or redesign.

Another befit of phototooling: it doesn’t endure physical stress like stamping dies do, so it doesn’t wear down and require expensive maintenance fees.


If you’re sourcing thin metal screens or filters, you should certainly look to photo etching to reduce costs and lead time.

As your screens and filters grow in complexity, the advantages of photo etching will expand.

Advanced photo etching tips design engineers should know.