What are Photo Etched Pins?
Photo etching or Photochemical machining (PCM) is a chemical milling process. This process can produce highly detailed pieces of artwork with very fine accuracy. Photo etching is a cost-saving method compared to stamping, punching, laser or water-jet cutting.
How this type of pin was made?
First, you would transfer the image design from a film to the surface of the pin material, such as brass or copper.
Next, the design will be etched into the base material through an acid etching process.
Then, the cleaning process will carefully remove the acids and impurities from the surface.
After that, enamel colors will be applied to the recesses created by the acid etching by hand, one color at a time via syringes.
Then, the sheet of metal is oven-fired up at around 450 Fahrenheit for 15 minutes.
The sheet of metal will be cut to pieces according to the design.
Lastly, the un=etched areas of the pins are plated and polished until they becomes shiny.
Additionally, there is an option to coat the pin with a thin layer of epoxy to protect against wear and increase durability. (some manufacturers charge extra cost, some don’t)
How durable are these pins?
As the base is made of metal, this type of pin is fairly durable but not the most.
Extra durability can also be added by applying a thin layer of epoxy coating.
These pins are made for who?
Very popular for corporations, municipalities, and organizations.
For those who require complex and high-detailed artwork on their pins.
For those who would like to apply existing artwork on their pins.
For those who are looking for a thinner pin, Photo Etched Pins have thickness around 0.8 mm where other types are around 1.2 mm.
For those who want a lighter weight design, or wanting to limit the weight of the pins but still a highly-perceived value.
For those who require the most flexible design process and color selection.
These Are NOT for you if:
You are looking to apply shadows, gradient, and fades in your designs. Please look at “Offset Printed Pins” instead.
You are looking for a heavy feel, please look at “Die Struck Pins” and “Soft Enamel Pins” instead.
You are looking for an economical option, as they are the most popular type of pin, their costs are just slightly below “Cloisonne Pins” and ”Offset Print Pins” which are considered among the most expensive.
These are NOT for those who are looking for fast production, since the color process is made by hand and takes longer, please look up “Photoscreen Pins” instead.