Advantages

CM is an economical and flexible method of manufacturing complex parts. Costs do not rise with complexity. There is no limit on shape or complexity.

The use of a half etched fold line ensures precise placement of folds, and dimensions are accurately controlled. Similarly, half etching can be used to make a lap joint that can be soldered or secured with an adhesive. Text, logos and part numbers can be half etched.

In relation to the part, initiation costs are inexpensive and changes can be quickly made. Costs of the film work is usually less than a few hundred dollars. Subsequent folding or fabrication processes can be done by hand or generic tools. Usually these processes take hours to days to complete and costs are low.

We can start with a conventional PDF engineering drawing, and suitable photo tooling is produced by an image setter and film processor. This imagery can be up to 8 layers to cover complex processing. Resist is printed on both sides of the metal, and a Part Etch-strip-reprint-etch-strip process can yield a stepped profile (stairway), ‘Dowel’ holes can be etched to allow accurate registration for subsequent forming and machining operations.

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Costs are Low

To an extent, tolerances are controlled by metal thickness. Generally 0.1mm is achieved on thicknesses up to 0.9mm. 0.05 is achievable on 0.1 to 0.2 metal. Less than this may require a mechanical process.

After etching, parts can be formed, PEM inserts, bent, folded, text printed.

CM will not alter the properties of the metal as no heat or mechanical force is applied. There is no swarf, sharp edges or ‘slag’. The edges are smooth and free from chatter and burr.

Costs are Low

To an extent, tolerances are controlled by metal thickness. Generally 0.1mm is achieved on thicknesses up to 0.9mm. 0.05 is achievable on 0.1 to 0.2 metal. Less than this may require a mechanical process.

After etching, parts can be formed, PEM inserts, bent, folded, text printed.

CM will not alter the properties of the metal as no heat or mechanical force is applied. There is no swarf, sharp edges or ‘slag’. The edges are smooth and free from chatter and burr.

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