Precision photo etched products
Precision photo etching is a technology that allows for the process of one-off, low volume production of very fine metal parts. Precision photo etching is part of precision machining and has many applications in different industries including medical devices, optics, photonics, automotive and aerospace.
The following provides an introduction to the technology of precision photo etching and its benefits:
How Does Precision Photo Etching Work?
The precision photo etching process begins with a computer-generated image of the desired part. The image is then divided into thousands of tiny cells or pixels. Each pixel is then assigned a height, width and depth. Using this information, a computer-controlled machine builds the model using very fine metal wire (.010 inch or .25mm diameter). Each pixel is cut and bent to form a three-dimensional wire replica of the original image.
The minimal tolerances required for precision photo etching: The smallest dimension: 25 microns (1/1000 mm) Resolution height: 10 microns Tolerance on depth: ±0.025 microns (1/40,000 mm)
Precision photo etching offers a wide range of benefits to its users, including:
High accuracy and resolution- The precision photo etching process can achieve resolutions down to 10 microns, making it an ideal choice for producing very small parts with tight tolerances.
Fast turnaround times- Parts can be produced quickly and in low volumes, making it a popular choice for prototypes and one-off parts.
Minimal waste- As only the material required to form the part is used, no material ends up as scrap during the process.
Geometric freedom- The photo etching process allows for complete geometric freedom, including very tight radii and complex geometries that would otherwise require machining or welding to achieve.
Applications of Precision Photo Etching Technology:
Precision photo etching is used in a wide range of industries for the production of very small and precise parts. It’s most popular applications include:
Medical- precision photo etched surgical guides, dental implants, tooling inserts and medical device housings
Optical instruments- micro-lenses, optical glass components, housing components
Automotive- instrumentation panels, car radio casings, housings and medical device housings
Aerospace- aircraft components, flight simulators
Precision photo etching offers a high level of accuracy for the production of small parts with tight tolerances.
How to choose a process to produce small parts:
If you are looking for a method of producing very small one-off parts with tight tolerances, consider the following when choosing your process:
Parts produced in high volumes-The number of parts required and their frequency will affect which technology is most appropriate.
Required geometric freedom- The size and geometry of the part will determine which process is most applicable.
Environmental factors- The technology used must be compatible with any special environmental considerations, such as temperature or chemical exposure.
Precision photo etching is a popular choice for companies that require high levels of accuracy and geometric freedom in very small parts with tight tolerances.
The technology offers fast turnaround times and minimal waste, making it an ideal choice for prototypes and low-volume production. Precision photo etched products are a technology that allows for the process of one-off, low volume production of very fine metal parts.