Chemical etching begins with 2-dimensional CAD artwork. Once complete, our engineers will review your artwork to ensure that all parts will etch correctly. The artwork is then printed onto a thin plastic film to create a film tool. The film tool has a top and bottom artwork, allowing for 50% etching from either
side. With the film tool complete, a worker prepares the metal for etching. This project will utilize 0.001s thick stainless steel. Other projects can use a number of different alloys. Once cut to size, the metal sheets are fed into an automated pumice scrubbing machine. This ensures a consistent, clean, and brilliant metal finish. From there, each sheet goes through a laminating machine to apply photosensitive film to either side. The metal sheet is then slipped into the proper film tool and fed into a vacuum exposure unit. This process burns the artwork image into the laminated sheet. After exposure, the sheets are fed through a developer that washes away any film exposed during the artwork process. After developing, then sheets are fed into the ferric chloride etcher. This machine sprays the top and underside of each sheet with jets of acid. After a precisely timed pass, the sheet is etched clean. After etching, the sheets are sent through multiple rinsing processes to remove the photoresist, stains, and other impurities from the etching process. Every sheet is hand-dried during the first quality inspection. The second quality inspection ensures that tolerances were held along with a clean metal finish. During this process, a worker removes the cards from the sheet. Stacks of metal business cards are quickly polished to remove any burrs or oddities from the outside edge. When completed, your cards are packed with care and sent to your location.