Machining Vs Chemical Etching


The intention of this web page is to give you hundreds of reasons to switch from chemical etching to CNC machining. Let's start with these two ... machining is faster and chemical free. Right away, the hassles of dealing with the regulations and cost of chemical disposal are eliminated — making your life easier and your profits soar. Then consider the fact that the large work area, integrated workholding and optional automation all work together to minimize operator intervention and facilitate both batch machining and lights-out or unattended production — which lower labor costs and improve throughput. Here are some of the options that make machining clean and efficient:


  • Vacuum Table Workholding - vacuum tables from 12" x 18" up to 24" x 36" provide quick setup of sheet material
  • CleanCut Chip Removal - vacuum technology developed specifically for sheet material machining
  • Probing / Surface Scanning - scans surface, recognizes irregular work-piece topography and compensates for it dynamically
  • Automatic Tool Changer - up to 45 tool stations depending on machine model, includes tool-length and breakage detection
  • Pneumatic Clamping Systems - pneumatic, shortstroke clamps that minimize setup times for redundant processes
  • Automation - digital I/O allows for installation of 3rd party devices and full control through the machining program


CASE STUDY: Read about how our customer DC Graphics transitioned from chemical etching to CNC machining & engraving.


Machining Electronics Parts Case Study DownloadDC Graphics Case Study Download


Plus, there’s our easy-to-use but robust DATRON next touch-screen control that allows you to go from “art to part” … even without waiting for your art department. That’s because jobs can be easily programmed by the operator. And never mind waiting for high-demand materials, like zinc, because you can use readily-available, light-weight aluminum or composite material … saving time and the cost of shipping heavy end products. That said, our high-speed machining systems effectively machine and engrave any material – from Zinc and Magnesium to Brass and Stainless Steel.


Machining Electronics Parts Case Study DownloadMachining vs. Chemical Etching Brochure


LEARN MORE: View our Chemical Etching Alternative Showcase (at the bottom of the page).


Milling Machines for Milling Aluminum - CNC Machining as an Alternative to Chemical Etching - While all DATRON machines are capable of producing the same parts that you make with chemical etching, here are a few specific models that you may want to look at: DATRON neo, M8Cube, and MLCube (see page bottom for reasons).


Do you have a milling aluminum application?

Do you have a chemical etching application? Ask us how you can transition to CNC machining to save time and money. Part of our sales process is to qualify our equipment for your application. We have a staff of product specialists and application engineers who can help to address your specific challenges.


Use the FORM (right) to initiate a conversation.


Or call us at 888.262.2833

Contact Us and Ask Us How a DATRON CNC Milling Machine Can Replace Your Chemical Etching Process:

Chemical Etching Alternative Showcase (Sample Photos):

Click on thumbnail to enlarge and then scroll through gallery:



Alternatives to Chemical Etching:
The DATRON neo is our entry-level machine only in that it is smaller and less expensive. The capabilities are equally robust and it features the revolutionary DATRON next touch-screen interface and makes machining as easy as using a smart phone. So, if 19.5" x 15.5" is enough work area for you this machine could be perfect!

The M8Cube is an ideal machine for batch machining and the 40” x 32” x 9” work area has ample room for various workholding setups like pneumatic clamps, and vacuum tables. Precision-ground ball screws, linear guides and brushless direct drives provide superior accuracy in all axes. Optional XYZ probing recognizes irregular surfaces and compensate for them dynamically.

Now, if an extremely large work area is required, as is the case for milling large workpieces or batch milling a run of smaller ones, the MLCube is a large format milling machine that is ideally suited. The 60" x 40" travel of the MLCube can be equipped with a QuadraMate Vacuum Table to hold large sheet material up to 24" x 36". Aside from the large machining area, the specifications for the MLCube are similar to the M8Cube.