Fast, economical, and precise—that’s photochemical machining (PCM) in a nutshell. Because when it’s compared to its peers—stamping, punching, laser cutting, water jet cutting, wire electrical discharge machining—PCM does it all with less hassle.
Also known as photochemical milling or photo etching, PCM uses a photoresist and etchants to create simple or complex thin-metal components of one to one million parts. Industries all across the board can benefit from the power of PCM, including electronic, medical, aerospace, small appliance, semi-conductor, and decorative industries, to name a few.
Photochemical Machining Benefits
Here are some practical benefits of the photochemical machining process:
Because our tooling is computer designed and printed on Mylar, there’s significantly less mechanical operational costs. That’s why our tooling charges are typically under $300, whereas the very same parts machined via other methods require hard tooling that can run into the tens of thousands of dollars.
Need parts for your project fast? Even if the parts you need are complex, Northwest Etch can produce them rapidly. With PCM, your parts can be ready in weeks, vs months when compared to methods that require hard tooling.
PCM’s low price and quick order turn around don’t require quality sacrifices. Chemical machining can be utilized to etch through metal thicknesses between .0005″ to .060″ and between .060″ to .250″ for depth etching on metals. In addition, complicated part designs benefit from the PCM process. Because complexity of design does not affect our tooling charge, your designs can be as detailed as you desire.
Works on Many Metals
Our etching process can be utilized on a wide variety of metals, including aluminum, beryllium copper, brass, bronze, and copper. Also, our PCM process can be used on copper alloys, electrical steel, Inconel 600 & 750, nickel, nickel alloys & nickel silver, phosphor bronze, steel, spring steel, and, of course, stainless steel.
Manufactures Many Different Parts
PCM is nothing if not versatile. With it, we can manufacture screens, shields, grids, washers RFI/EMI shielding, filters, lead frames, encoder disks, buss bar, flat springs, heat sinks, drive bands, electrical contacts, ribbon shields, laminates, back plates, EMP grids, signage, plaques, and more.
About Northwest Etch
Northwest Etch is a photo etching company in Tacoma, WA, that provides photochemical machining services. We work with a wide variety of metals, including copper, beryllium copper, brass, aluminum. Also, stainless steel etching is one of the many metal services we offer. Northwest Etch creates precision metal parts for numerous industries, including the medical, defense, semi-conductor, telecom, electronics, satellite, and aerospace industries. Contact us for more information about your job.
11/27/17 This post was updated to include industry information.