Veco, as the world leader and largest independent supplier of Electroforming, has been moving the industry forward, with unparalleled experience of Electroforming, advanced lithography technology, and accumulated knowledge of metallurgy. Veco’s unique Advanced Lithographic Electroforming, also referred to as Advanced Photo Electroforming, is pushing the boundaries of the industry not only in providing higher quality, but also empowering cost reduction. Here's how:
1) no equipment investment
With Electroforming, there isn’t substantial investment on equipment to start a production. This makes Electroforming cost effective from prototyping to mass production. With many manufacturing techniques, you’ll need additional tooling or machinery before you can start the process. Take die-cutting for example a punch will be required to invest before production can be arranged.
2) no waste of material
With an Additive Manufacturing technique like Electroforming, product is “grown” atom by atom, resulting in extreme accuracy and no waste of material. The reduction of material waste is not only more environmental friendly, but also results in significant cost reduction, which is especially meaningful when it is with precious materials.
3) no additional cost from design complexity
Electroforming is highly complexity friendly with well supported design/redesign flexibility. In contrast to working with some other manufacturing processes such as milling, where manufacturing cost can increase considerably along with the complexity of the component design, with Electroforming more complex feature design can be achieved at no additional costs.
4) reduce procedure or even components with Electroforming
For some product functions with complex feature design, several steps or components might be necessary if it’s with another manufacturing method. With Electroforming’s freedom of design, complex feature design is better supported. This could eventually reduce the processes or even amount of components, leading to cost reduction and efficiency improvement.
5) larger volume, higher efficiency
With metal fabrication methods like Milling, the machine needs to mill every piece one by one, which directly affects the time that is required to produce larger volumes. This is also the case with many other processes like laser procedures: every metal part needs to be individually cut out. Electroforming on the other hand allows you to simultaneously grow a large number of high-tolerance parts in one go, which makes it very suitable and efficient for large volume production. There can be expected cost reduction from volume production and efficiency improvement with Electroforming.
6) further save cost (and accelerate lead time) with advanced photolithography process
In common Electroforming process, mold is needed for fabricating the perfect metal product. To create a mold, geometric pattern will be applied to a photosensitive resist on the substrate by means of light. This was — and still is by many companies — typically done by placing a mask on a photoresist layer and exposing light to the entire mask.
At Veco, with the Laser Direct Imager, the mask can be unnecessary. The Laser Direct Imager (LDI) is capable of projecting high-resolution images directly from a CAD file. This means Veco’s Advanced Lithographic Electroforming is a more cost-effective choice even compared to other Electroforming companies.