Conard's Photo Etching Blog

What You Need to Know about Self-Managing Decorative Etching Projects

Posted by Kathleen Stillman on May 16, 2014 11:09:00 AM
Kathleen Stillman
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As a commercial etching facility, our primary purpose is to get the work out the door on time and in conformance with customer specifications.  Over 90% of the work we do is defined as "precision" work:  we work to engineering drawings and specifications, and there are inspection, conformance and documentation requirements.  Meeting these kinds of requirements is why we have engineering staff and an entire inspection department. 


As it happens, the very same metal etching process that produces precision parts for industrial applications is also well suited to create products for designers of jewelry, giftware, scale models and other aesthetic purposes.  The big difference is that the quality requirement is much simpler:  the parts need to look good.

  • We have a standardized approach to processing decorative etching work at fixed prices. 
  • We use one sheet size:  18" x 24". 
  • We offer four thicknesses of metal:  .016", .020", .025" and .032". As a point of reference, .020" is the thickness of a credit card.  .005" is the thickness of a sheet of paper. 
  • Standard decorative is available in four metals:  stainless steel, brass, copper and aluminum. 
  • Customers who prefer other alloys, such as sterling silver, nickel silver, carbon steel, or bronze must supply it themselves.

Since all we are doing is the etching, the customer takes responsibility for design work and also purchasing and having the phototool produced. We are happy to refer customers to resources for both of these processes.

Standard decorative is priced to ship tabbed in the sheet. We routinely ship to other service providers, such as electroplating, screen printing and finishing (cut out and deburr), however the responsibility for arranging orders with these providers rests with the customer.

Here are the key things to know:

  • The customer is responsible for design
  • The customer provides the phototool
  • The customer arranges for additional services, if desired
  • All we do is the etching


Here are some additional resources:

Request the 2017 Decorative Etching  Pricing List         Download the 2014 Simple Parts Per Sheet Count for  Decorative Products     




Topics: Photo chemical etching