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Metal Engraving

A reliable source for Metal Engraving information and leading Metal Engraving Companies

Metal engraving is achieved in a number of different processes, for example, by using specific tools such as burins, liners and etching tools, or by machines which use laser cutters, or through a process of acid etching or chemical milling. Read More…

Metal Engraving Metal engraving is the process of creating a depression or incision onto the surface of a metal plate or object either for decorative purposes, sentimental reasons, to show ownership or for industrial purposes such as creating a printing plate.
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Leading Manufacturers

Maple Grove, MN  |  763-425-4755

Great Lakes Engineering is a trend setting manufacturer of surface mount stencils, precision laser cut parts, and photo chemical etched parts. We work with a wide range of materials, including Stainless Steel, Copper, Titanium, Nitinol, Nickel, Kovar and many others.

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Great Lakes Engineering, Inc. $$$

El Monte, CA  |  626-443-7121

VACCO is the industry leader of Photo Chemical Etching of metal & polyimide components and devices. We specialize in Stainless steel, Titanium, and Copper, but work with a variety of different materials. We have over 60 years of experience in Chem Etching, and we offer Micro Laser Cutting & Welding, and Diffusion & Adhesive Bonding services along with an extensive range of value-added services. Whether your application is large or small, VACCO can assist you from prototype to production.

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VACCO Industries, Inc. $$$

Phoenix, AZ  |  602-278-7800

Quality. Integrity. Made in USA. Precision etched parts, nameplates, asset tags, graphic overlays, signage and more - our team has been producing high quality products for over 35 years. We serve all industries - automotive, aerospace, military, medical, electronics and equipment manufacturers.

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PMA Photometals $$$

Milford, MA  |  508-478-2025

PEI is a leading producer of photochemical machining and photochemical etching precision and decorative metal parts. We use chemical machining and etching as a process to selectively remove material by chemical action, creating extraordinary cost-effectiveness. In business since 1967.

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Photofabrication Engineering Inc. $$$

Santa Clara, CA  |  888-448-2549

Founded in 1977, we offer photochemical machining to make products from copper-based alloys plus ferrous and high-nickel alloys. We have used chemical milling to produce items for the architectural, decorative, mechanical and motion picture industries. Secondary operations also available.

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Italix Company Inc. $$$
placeholder image Great Lakes Engineering, Inc. VACCO Industries, Inc. PMA Photometals Photofabrication Engineering Inc. Italix Company Inc.

There are numerous purposes for metal engraving such as brake rotors and fuel plates for the automotive industry, cathodes, implants and stents for the medical industry and long-lasting stencils.

Engraving is also used on a number of different commercial objects, including jewelry such as rings and bracelets, guns or other specialty tools, and trophies, medals and plaques etc.

For industrial purposes, engraving is part of the manufacturing process for stencils, circuit boards and printing plates, and to create components requiring small grooves or holes. Metal etching, a similar process to engraving, can also be used to remove a layer of a metal in order to meet weight restrictions for certain items. After the metal has been etched, burr marks or imperfections may be smoothed or burnished away.

Photo Etching Photo Etching - VACCO Industries, Inc.

Traditionally, all engraving was done by hand through the use of a burin or cutting tool. This was used to scratch or depress the surface of the metal along a pattern in order to create grooves in the form of the desired image. While hand metal engraving is less popular than before, it is still used in some specialized industries such as small decorative pieces, jewelry and musical instruments.

More common in the process of engraving today are CNC and CAD controlled machines which are able to process a range of materials and dimensions, including straight or curved surfaces. The computer of these machines controls the laser's or cutter's direction, pressure and speed resulting in a precise image or design with clean, fine lines.

Another type of engraving or etching which is used for precision results and close tolerances is electro discharge machining. Chemical milling using acids or bases to etch materials can be used with some metals including stainless steel, copper, brass, nickel and silver.

Photochemical etching uses a photoresist as a masking layer in order to achieve the desired pattern on a metal part. It is a low-cost alternative that provides high quality workmanship in relatively quick turnaround times.

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