Photofabrication Engineering Inc.

Enabling New Technologies through Metal Etching Applications

Tel 508.478.2025 | Fax 508.478.3582 | Email:

Precision Metal Products & Parts Using Photochemical Machining

PEI's Precision Products Division offers industrial designers and electrical/mechanical design engineers working for a myriad of different OEMs the opportunity to create precision parts at competitive prices. Our history of engineering excellence ensures that your concept and design will be understood as our design staff offers unparalleled photo-etching expertise that adds value while lowering total project costs.

What is Photochemical Machining?

Photochemical Machining at PEI is a process for the selective removal of a material by chemical action, and is a machining process recognized by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers.  Evolving from the time-tested process of photoengraving, chemical machining was first used in the production of gunsight reticles in the early 1940's.  Since then it has found broad application in such industries as aerospace, appliances, automotive, battery, fuel cell, medical, microelectronics, semiconductor and telecommunications, to name but a few!

Chemical machining replicates many operations similar to other traditional techniques such as "blanking" complex and precise shapes, "piercing" holes of infinite sizes and shapes, "drilling" blind holes and "milling" or "grinding" of surfaces to precise depths.  The tooling used is a photographic image produced either from the customer's artwork or from artwork developed by PEI's precision art department to meet the exact customer's specifications.

 What are the advantages of Photochemical Machining?

The advantages of photochemical etching at PEI include:

• Rapid Prototyping

• No Burrs

• No Stresses

• No Effect on Magnetic Properties

• No Deformation

• No Tool Wear

• Precise Control of the "Z" (depth) Dimension


When should one use Photochemical Machining?

You should use photochemical etching when you want or need:

• Reduced Set-Up Costs (only cost is a phototool)

• Rapid Turnaround (ideal for prototyping new projects)

• To Avoid the Expense and Time Delay for Secondary Operations (no need for deburring or annealing)

• To Create Parts from Difficult-to-Machine Materials like Titanium

• Precision, Precision, Precision

• Repeatability, Repeatability, Repeatability


What materials can be processed by Photochemical Machining?

aluminum • beryllium copper • brass • bronze • copper • gold • kovar • magnesium • mild steel • molybdenum • nickel • nickel iron • pewter • phosphorous bronze • silver • stainless steel • tin • titanium • zinc • zirconium

Metal thicknesses from 0.0005" to 0.1250".


PEI also offers finishing services such as ....

• Assembly

• Forming

• Heat treating

• Plating

• Polishing

• Silkscreening


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