What is etching?

Etching, also known as (photo)chemical milling, is a process in which an acid dissolves a metal by means of a redox reaction. By protecting parts of a surface, in this way etching can be used to make a pre-determined design.

At Etchform, thin metal parts are made using precision etching according to a drawing specification. Using our etching techniques, parts are produced for virtually all industries, including the automobile industry, digital printing, electronics, energy, aerospace, machine construction, medical and the optics industry.

Origin of etching

As far as we know, etching was used as long ago as in the 15th century within weapons smithing. The chemical etching technique was used here to produce decorations on harnesses, swords and other weapons. These decorations demonstrated the expertise of the smith and also acted as a kind of advertising. Earlier etching was also used for art: almost everyone is familiar with the etchings of Rembrandt van Rijn.

Today etching is used for among others adjustment plates, contacts, diaphragms, distributors, EMI/RFI shielding, encoder discs, filters, fuel cells, high quality welding foils, implants, masks and solar cell connectors.

Advantages of Etching  

  • An extensive choice of materials,
    also for metals on plastic carriers.
  • No change in material properties.
  • No additional internal material stress or warping.
    Hardness and brittleness remain intact.
  • Absolutely burr-free products.
  • Both the contour and the relief can be produced in the same process
  • 2.5 D structures are also possible.
  • Quick start and flexible in the event of changes.
  • Limited tooling costs.
  • Product complexity has virtually no effect on the production costs.


Etchform happily provides you with a suitable offer. Please use our form to request a quotation.

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