Step-By-Step: Photochemical Machining Process Of Precision Metal Parts From Advanced Metal Etching.

The photochemical machining process offers precision and accuracy unavailable in other processes because the metal properties remain the same while retaining dimensional tolerances.  The result is quality burr-free parts ready to ship to any industry that requires thin metal components to complete their products.


Step 1

We work with your drawing

We work with your drawing, digital or conventional hard copy, to produce an accurate AutoCAD-generated photo tool. This photo tool is a faithful replica of your part, meeting all of your specifications.


We thoroughly clean the metal

We thoroughly clean the metal you have chosen for your part and its intended application of any residual oils and oxides.


We apply a photoresist

We apply a photoresist coating to make the metal surface sensitive to light during exposure.


We expose the laminated metal with UV light.

The laminated metal is placed between two identical copies of the artwork/photo tool.  The surface is exposed to a UV light source that will harden the photoresist on the metal part design that is to remain throughout the etching process.


We process the metal

We process the metal surface with an etchant to produce the desired design.


We inspect the part

We inspect the part, remove all photoresist, clean the part, inspect it again, then package to prevent damage during shipping.


We treat all waste water

We treat all wastewater and recycle the spent etchant solution, meeting and exceeding all federal, state and local regulations. We employ a waste treatment operator with Class B and Class 1 certifications.

Technically Speaking…What is Photochemical Machining?

Photochemical Machining is also called metal etching, chemical etching, chemical milling, photo etching, photochemical etching and chemical machining.

Photo etching is a process used in the creation of integrated circuits, which combines photolithography with the etching process. Photolithography is used to form patterns on semiconductor substrates coated with photoresist, resulting in selective developing of the photoresist, when exposed to ultra-violet light through a photomask. The substrate is then etched, during which process the developed photoresist serves as a barrier against the etchant, resulting in only the selected area being etched.

Watch the video for a detailed visual and explanation of the photochemical machining process.

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