Photo chemical machining or photo etching is now a popular machining process. While many people still stick to stamping, laser, punching, water-jet cutting, more and more people are now switching to photo chemical machining for so many reasons. It is an extremely precise way to produce highly complex metal components. The best thing is that you can make those components with fine details without having to go through a lot of hassle. Here is what you should know about this machining process.
Photo chemical machining is now more popular than traditional tooling methods, and one big reason is that it proves quite inexpensive when manufacturing short-run metal components. During the process, metal is exposed to light with the help of film. The impressive thing here is that unlike other machining processes, you do not have to worry about manufacturing parts that needed to be de-burred. In case you want to make prototypes, no other tooling method works better than photo chemical etching. One big reason is that you can complete projects in hours, not in days.
Reasons to Use Photo Etching
You may be getting reasonably good results from laser, punching or stamping, but you will love how photo etching can make a difference to your business. Photo etching is actually the most cost-effective option as compared to punching, stamping, and even water-jet cutting, especially when you want to machine precision components from a very thin gauge metal. Many businesses are now switching to photo chemical machining because it works great when machining components from nickel, stainless steel, aluminum, nickel allows, and copper alloys. You can also use the same machining technology to handle titanium as well as other hard-to-machine metals.
It is worth mentioning that you can also switch to photo chemical machining when your focus is on component integrity. When using photo etching, you do not have to worry about affecting magnetic properties or metal temper during metal machining.
Here it is important to mention that laser photo etching may still be a good option in some cases. The process involves using a precise laser beam to etch or burn image on suitable materials. You can switch to laser photo etching when you are handling materials, such as granite, wood, metal, acrylic, glass, marble, and other durable substances. With the use of this technology, you can easily create nearly photographic results. It cannot compete with photo etching in terms of quality, but the good thing is that laser photo etching does not require any type of press to make images. The process is quite complete in itself.
Overall, photo chemical machining is an extremely cost-effective alternative to other machining processes, and is sometimes the only available option when dealing with thin gauge metals. However, you should take some time when selecting a service provider. It is important to work with a company that works in partnership with you to create innovative solutions to different engineering challenges. You should spend some time researching online and read reviews about a company you are going to select. This is the only way to enjoy great results.