It was just a decade or so ago that...
Once Upon a Time....
Designers and engineers would talk to the tool-and-die guys and the machinists about whether something they wanted to make could be manufactured in a reasonable way. Since the advent and evolution of 3D design environments, it seems that little of that practical knowledge was embedded in the coding rules. Thus, the modern-day mouse jockeys have the power to design almost anything, with little to no regard for the pesky realities of actually making stuff.
What are the most well known processes for fabricating metal parts?
For parts designed to be fabricated from aluminum sheet, strip or foil, the most well-known options are:
- Laser Cutting
- Plasma Cutting
- Metal Stamping
- Water Jet Cutting
Although each of these processes have “sweet spots” in terms of being best-suited to a particular type of application, each of them also has unique challenges when fabricating aluminum.
So long, 2020. We won't miss you.
How much more can be said about how brutal this year has been, in so many ways, for so many people. And, I'm over it as of now. It's time to look forward and to plan for better things.
Many design platforms now offer some basic cost estimating for the fabrication processes that are already programmed in. But NONE of them know anything about photochemical machining, so how can you be expected to know whether etching might be your best option.
Topics: metal etching
Ferric chloride is the most widely used etchant for commercial chemical etching facilities. It is comparatively inexpensive, safe to use, consistent in etching performance, and versatile in etchable alloys.