Metal Etch Design Services HOME

Gamer's Football Facemasks, one set of over 200 per sheet.

  PHOTO ETCHED ITEMS: Provided that you submit a complete idea, that is, drawings and dimensions, Micron Art can produce your photo etched parts. Any research materials or prototypes that you provide will be used. Micron Art will not copy designs directly from other makers, artists, jewelers nor hobby kit drawings or instructions, so do not send them. However, most ideas/items which people are modeling today come from their own ideas, designs, research materials, photos, historical books and documents which are in the public domain and that should be perfectly all right.

A word about hobby quantities versus business quantities: We get occasional inquires from folks wanting a small amount of items to finish up their personal railroad line or to test market perceived needs before committing to real production. We cannot help you. Etching setup charges and metal sheet purchases are too expensive for one or two small sheets of brass. Most purchases are for resale and require from 30 to 500 sheets sized to 12" X 18" per design for most runs.

For contract requirements, the following application must be filled out prior to contacting us for an estimate:

Micron Art Design Services Application 

Evaluation, fitting and comparison

  SERVICES AVAILABLE:

Stage 1] Initial Discussions - no fee. We can let you know what can and cannot be done. Tel: 512-292-7065

Stage 2] CAD Design & Approval N.R.E.: A minimum fee will be charged, no matter how simple the item is. The initial fee is not refundable. For design hours we will pay for our own mistakes at our expense, however, customer generated revisions will be added at certain rate per hour. Once the design is finally approved, all CAD design charges become N.R.E. and are not refundable.

Stage 3] Photo-etching: We quality control all photo etching. Once we become involved we become the sole suppliers of etched metals for this specific design. Naturally, work that you have contracted elsewhere has nothing to do with this agreement.

A] Sole Company Supplier Agreement: We supply these items to your company alone and you have the exclusive right to retail, distribute or wholesale the contracted items.You print your own instructions, package your products and market them. We will not allow anyone else, including ourselves, to market your items.

Shipping costs will be added based upon weight and requested speed of delivery.

 

Typical screenshot from a Micron Art photo etch design.

METALS THAT ARE COMMONLY USED IN PHOTO-ETCHING:

Note: According to Wikipedia the copper in copper alloys can be released if you cook with them for a number of years. So don't go cooking food with your brass kits!

Half-hard brass is recommended for all parts which require sharp detail, bending and shaping.Both half-hard and regular brass is less expensive to acquire and etch than all the other metals.

Hard brass is recommended for tensile strength load bearing pieces or for items that should be machined. Cost of etching hard brass is probably the same as soft brass.

Stainless Steel etches very nicely. Sheet thin stainless steel is extremely ductile and because of this, even thinner sheets (.001" to .005")will yield very fine line details without fatiguing and breaking after several bends. On the other hand, SS is much tougher than other metals. Grinding, filing and drilling stainless steel can be a very frustrating experience to the final end user who may be without the facilities of a machine shop. It is only recommended for those parts that need the look and strength of this metal. Etching cost is about 35% higher than brass. A poor conductor of electricity.

Nickel-Silver Alloy(copper, zinc & nickel) is a good material for etching. Depending on the alloy formulas it can have good conductive properties for making the flanges on driver wheels. Also it has good tensile strength for thin wire frame items such as signal towers, railings etc. Etching cost for NiCuZn is more than twice as expensive as brass.

Phosphor Bronze & Beryllium Copper: Spring quality phosphor bronze or beryllium copper etching is available and is used extensively on model railroad engines as the pickup metal between the wheels and the motor. These materials are harder to find on the market and therefore command a high price. Both alloys are carcenogenic and should be handled with caution.

Photo-Etch, Thicker Metals: Can be done but is not recommended beyond .050" thickness. Since chemical immersion photo etching is isotropic, all metals thicker than .020" will have a very obvious ridge line along their edges.

 

REQUEST FOR QUOTES

The more specific you are, the easier it will be to determine your costs. Dimensioned drawings are always best. Non-dimensioned sketches will increase the design time charge considerably. All information sent to us by you is considered confidential. Please be sure of your idea and it's actual physical dimensions before you contact us. All quotes will be good for 30 days. All work is billed on a pro forma basis, and we cannot begin the work without the fee payment either by check or through PayPal. Make sure that you have downloaded the Micron Art Design Services Application  before contacting us for initial free discussions.

Go to Micron Art Mailing Address to contact us by phone or US mail or you can email us at micron@micronart.com