Italix - Chemical Machining, Etching & Metal Finishing
Photo Tooling

Photo Tooling

Photo tooling requires the use of a photoresist.

Photo tooling, also referred to as photo machining, is a relatively new process used in many different manufacturing industries. It is a much more cost-effective method of mass producing machined parts, especially parts that are very small or have unusual shapes. It utilizes a combination of a special film and corrosive chemicals to create highly intricate forms and shapes.

Photo tooling requires the use of a photo resist; a light-sensitive film that is used to cover the surface of the piece to be machined. These films are designed to keep predetermined areas from hardening under intense UV light. Corrosive chemicals are then used to dissolve the unhardened areas, while the hardened areas remain.

There are two main types of resists used in photo tooling; positive and negative. Positive resists are those in which the parts that are exposed to light become soluble. Conversely, negative resists are those in which the parts exposed to light remain hard while the rest becomes soluble.