When is Photo Chemical Etching Right for You?

There’s no shortage of production methods for your precision parts.

Manufactures are faced with a variety of options, from laser and plasma cutting, waterjet and photo chemical etching.

Determining which process best suits your needs requires careful consideration: what are your priorities? What are the benefits and limitations of each process?

In this blog post, we’ll lay out the major benefits of photo chemical etching to help you determine whether it’s the right process for your application.

Greater Complexity for Thin-Gauge Parts

Photo chemical etching gives you an unparalleled degree of detail and complexity in your design.

The process is ideal for complex and fragile parts (for example, semiconductor leadframes) that can only really be produced through photo etching.

Achieving such a high level of precision from other processes can be costly and time consuming. With photo chemical etching, however, greater precision and complexity requires no more time or cost than simple designs.

Low Cost Tooling

Photo chemical tooling is created from digital files, so you don’t need expensive and time-consuming tools created.

Not only does this reduce costs up front, it also means any design modifications can be made far more affordably.

Unaffected Metal Properties

Photo chemical etching gives you a unique advantage over other processes: it leaves the internal structure of the metal unchanged.

This means processes such as hardness, grain structure or ductility are not affected by the process.

Burr Free Product

Many processes will leave your parts with a burr, which can be costly to remove.

Photo etching produces all parts burr free, reducing your production costs and streamlining your production.

From Prototype to Production

Photo chemical etching can be used to make one part or millions of them using the same tooling.

In other words, engineers can more easily develop their concepts from prototype, to pilot, to full production faster and more affordably.


Many engineers and designers choose photo chemical etching for their precision parts when they need more complex parts faster.

As parts become more complex and fragile, it’s no surprise that more companies are turning to photo chemical etching for their parts.

But photo chemical etching also provides several additional benefits that can better suit companies who need more cost effective and streamlined solutions.

Each company must determine the best production method for their application by examining the strengths and weaknesses of each process. We hope this post sheds some light on the benefits of using photo chemical etching for your precision metal parts. 

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