Chemical Etching

Professional chemical milling for thin metals; including stainless steal, copper, and DBC.


Our full service in-house chemical etching department specializes in thin metal etching with materials from .001" up to .050". Thicker material may be available on request. We can etch individual pieces or in panel form. We also can provide electrolytic nickel and type 1 gold plating for up to 12x18" panels. Other custom plating and coatings are available as well.

  • CAD/CAM specialists with over 30 years of editing experience
  • Data generation from AutoCAD, Gerber data, and dimensioned drawings
  • Quick turn-around times available
  • Prototype to low-volume runs
  • Custom thicknesses, panel sizes and plating upon request
  • SMT stencils with step-ups and step-downs
  • First article inspections for tolerance control

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I have worked with Photo Design as a company for a couple of decades and some of its employees even longer. As my employers have changed over the years, I have been guided to use the employers’ approved vendors for these services. However, when reliability, accuracy, and on-time delivery are required, Photo Design and its employees are always top notch. Each of my employers have quickly added Photo Design to its approved vendor list. Photo Design’s employees continue offering a paramount sense of urgency and support. I will continue recommending Photo Design’s services to my business contacts.

Bob G. compunetics

Photo Chemical Milling Material Capabilities

Our low cost quick-turn chemical etching services are perfect for prototyping, electronics, jewelery, scale models, signs and more!

Copper Chemical Etching:
Copper is a great metal to use when your project requires high conductivity, strength, machinability, corrosion resistance, and ductility. Copper is resistant to saline, caustic, non-oxidizing, and saline solutions. However, ammonia and solutions with ammonia ions will attack the copper.

Brass Chemical Etching:
Brass is a range of copper zinc metals that have varying combinations of the following properties: strength, hardness, color, ductility, corrosion resistance, and electrical / thermal conductivity. Brass comes in a variety of colors including gold, silver, red, and yellow. Brass is an excellent choice for many personal and commercial applications.

Stainless Steel Chemical Milling:
Our stainless steel etcher is used for parts that are not desirable for laser machining. Parts that contain large number of holes such as wafer masks. We also partial etch step-down areas for parts processed by laser machining as well as solder-paste stencils for SMT printed circuit board assembly.

DBC Chemical Etching:
Direct Bonded Copper is ceramic material that is bonded with copper. Our experience with partial and step etching gives us an advantage with DBC. We etch material in .005", .008", .012" and .016" copper as well as different thickness of the sandwiched ceramic. We can also add step areas by etching in stages.