Photo etching, also known as chemical etching is a method to manufacture mechanical details from thin sheeet metals. As the manufacturing time is the same regardless of detail geometry, the etching process is very beneficial for complex details. The process is flexible and allows for freedom in the detail layout.

As opposed to punching, photo etching does not require any complicated and  expensive tooling. As long as the manufacturing volume is not very large, it is in most cases more cost effective to chemically etch the detail. The cost for the photo tool is low and it is also relatively easy to make design changes.

Compared to laser cutting, photo etching has the advantage of no burr along the edge and the material is not subject to any thermal stress. For detailed geometries, the etching process is pre-eminent as the whole sheet is produced simultaneously and manufacturing time the same regardless of complexity. 

Advantages of photo-etching:

  •     Low tooling cost and short lead times
  •     High precision, tolerances ±10 % of material thickness
  •     Comples geometries possible
  •     No burrs or material deformation
  •     No mechanical or thermal stress
  •     No structural or chemical changes in the material

  •     Details can be delivered in sheets for easy handling



Double-sided Etching

Most etched mechanical details are produced by etching from both top and bottom side simultaneously. Can be combined with half-etching for logos and text markings and other features.

  • Mechanical details such as springs, shield boxes and stencils.
  • Thicknesses between 0,05 up 0,5 mm as standard.
  • Standard tolerance is 0,1 mm. Higher tolerances are available on request. How fine tolerances can be made depends on material thickness; thinner materials allows for higher tolerances.




Plates can also be half-etched from just one side. This gives a down-etched look that is very attractive for decorative purposes.

  • Decorative signs and pates
  • Text and patterns on double sides etchings
  • Thicknesses up to 1,0 mm as standard.

Etching signs and plates

Tabless etching

Normally, details are attached to the metal sheet with fine tabs that hold them in place. If that is not possibe in a particular design, it is possible to etch without tabs. This type of etching requires that details are thin enough for single sided etching.

  • Shims
  • Thickness up to 0,25 mm
Tabless etching

Customer drawing

The first step towards a finished detail is the customer drawing. Ideally, the drawing should be in .gbr or .dxf file format, but other file formats might be possibe, contact us for more information.

Starting from the customer drawing, we make an etch film tool where the detail is multipied and distributed over the sheet. For the finished product to be correct, measures are ajusted med with respect to the thin sheeet material to be used and we also add tabs for fixation of the detail in the sheet.

If there are any particular postions in the detail where a tab is directly unsuitable, we would like to know in connection with ordering.

The tool can be used many times over and is saved for at least a year after the last production round for posssibly new orders to come.

Etch tool

Thin sheet metals for etching

Standard materials:

    Stainless steel of various qualities

    German silver

    Brass, cupper, bronze

Special materials:

    Berylllium cupper



We have many thin sheet materials on the shelf for fast delivery

- and If we do not, we will make our best to find it.

We can also take in customer materials.

Thin sheet metals

NJ Innovation AB

Maskinvägen 6

746 30 Bålsta


Tel. +46 8 590 755 20

Fax: +46 8 36 64 46

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