But cost isn’t the only thing that matters. In this blog, we talk about other factors that need to be taken into consideration to see when Chemical Etching is the best option. To be specific, we will cover the following:
1. Choice of material: what materials can be etched
Chemical etching is perfect for producing burr- and stress-free parts with a wide range of materials. Almost any metal can be etched. These include (but are not limited to):
Stainless Steels: Wide Range of Austenitic, Ferritic and Martensitic Stainless Steels
Mild Steel, Carbon Steel, Tool Steel, Spring Steel
If tight tolerances is a strict requirement for your product, Chemical Etching can be a good option, compared to traditional manufacturing processes.
Tolerances typically seen on chemically etched features is only around +/- 10% of the parts’ thickness. Chemical etching is especially suitable when round holes, sharp edges and straight or profiled edges are desired.
3. How small do you need to go? The precision of chemical etching
Since the biggest design challenges often involve the smallest and most precise part of your product, it’s important to know the precision of a manufacturing method. With chemical etching, you can go as small as 30 μm, making it one of the most high-precision manufacturing processes.
4. Because aesthetics matter too
With chemical etching, you can create ultra smooth burr- and stress-free parts with a high cosmetic finish, which is important for many applications. Chemical etching is especially suitable when round holes, sharp edges and straight or profiled edges are desired.
5. Rapid prototyping: almost instant industrial scale production
If you need prototypes — and you need them fast — then chemical etching is the way to go. With our favourite subtractive manufacturing method, prototypes can be produced from drawings in a matter of days. Moreover, chemical etching allows you to move from prototyping to industrial scale production almost instantly.
Note:the ability to quickly transit from prototyping to industrial scale production depends on thespecific process to set up. Ideally, the majority of their production parameters are already in place from when they created your sample.