Photo Chemical Milling Service

Photo chemical milling machine
Thin stainless steel part cut by photo chemical milling
Sensor device etched and cut by photo chemical milling

If you need photo chemical milling for a precision part we are one of the most capable and affordable sources and we can get the job done right. Download our Free CAD software today and design your custom part or import an existing file. Order online for ultimate speed and convenience.

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Photo chemical milling is a process that produces 2D part shapes by creating a chemical resist mask on the surface of sheet metal and chemically dissolving material from unmasked areas. 

About our service

eMachineShop offers a unique approach to providing custom photo chemical milling services. We provide special free CAD software that allows you to easily draw your part or import an existing design. The software then provides instant expert feedback about your design and helps you correct any issues to ensure a smooth trouble-free process. It then gives an instant price - saving you from waiting for quotations. And finally the software allows you to order your custom parts online with just a click - at prototype or production quantities. 

We stock a wide variety of materials, use state-of-the-art machines and diligently follow all design specifications. We continually strive to improve and optimize our processes and maximize customer convenience. Our customers range from inventors to businesses to government agencies. We are focused on quality and customer service.

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Get started today - design, price and order your custom parts through eMachineShop

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How photo chemical milling works

The process follows these steps:

  • A photo resistant coating is applied to make the sheet metal sensitive to light.
  • A photo mask is placed over the sensitized sheet metal.
  • The sheet is exposed to ultraviolet light.
  • The photo resist is developed into the masked pattern.
  • The sheet is etched to remove exposed metal areas leaving the final part.
  • The part is then cleaned.

Photo chemical milling offers high precision and detailed shapes in thin metal sheets, free of burrs. The process is particularly competitive for complex shapes.

The chemical process can make almost any 2D shape in relatively thin gauge sheet metal, typically 0.001" to 0.050" thick. Applications include gaskets, electrical shields, works of art, optical interrupters, shims, eraser shields, etc. The process can also be used for etching which is similar to engraving. Tooling consists of a film transparency. Cost reduction options include minimizing thickness and part area.


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"This is a fantastic tool. I am a complete novice when it comes to cad design. But within a very short period of time and using the tutorial I had my first part on order. Thanks so much!"
- Ed
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