What Is Photo Etching?

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.

This process is described with the following steps:

  1. The pin material, usually brass or copper, has a film image transferred to it
  2. Photoresist, a light sensitive material, is coated around your design project.
  3. UV light then hardens the photoresist.
  4. The unprotected parts then have a solution of acid applied to them.
  5. The design is quickly corroded away.
  6. Remaining acids and impurities are cleaned off, resulting in a precisely made product.
  7. Acid etched cavities are filled with enamel colors, one at a time.  This is done via a syringe.
  8. The product is oven-fired.
  9. It is then cut into individual pins, and polished.

At this point you have the option to add an epoxy coating to prevent against wear and tear.


Photo-etched Pins Sizes And Pricing

SIZE - QTY 100 200 300 500 750 1000 2000 3000 5000
0.75" $2.94 $2.25 $1.63 $1.33 $1.23 $1.05 $0.99 $0.94 $0.84
1" $3.03 $2.30 $1.66 $1.39 $1.28 $1.10 $1.02 $0.96 $0.88
1.25" $3.06 $2.33 $1.68 $1.44 $1.33 $1.10 $1.04 $0.98 $0.89
1.5" $3.13 $2.46 $1.83 $1.45 $1.34 $1.17 $1.09 $1.00 $0.95
1.75" $3.25 $2.75 $2.15 $1.74 $1.63 $1.44 $1.29 $1.21 $1.12
2" $3.41 $2.89 $2.38 $1.88 $1.76 $1.67 $1.58 $1.46 $1.37

Benefits of Photo Etched Pins

Photo Etched Pins are perfect for highly complex designs(without shadows or gradients).  They also come with a wide range of available color selections.  Additionally, Photo Etched pins weigh less than other types of pins because they are made thinner. This can be a benefit for larger pin designs! Alternatively, if you wish to add shadows or gradients to your design, we suggest looking into offset printed pins.

If Photo Etched Pins are the right pins for you, then we invite you to send us your design! We offer free quotes for all of our products.


We look forward to creating your perfect Photo Etched Pin. Contact us for a FREE Quote!

Easy Quote Form

Please fill out all required fields.

We ask that you give as much detail as possible in an effort to help our designers to better envision your idea.

For last minute orders, we recommend Photo Etched or Silk Screen pins, as these are produced much more quickly than other options.

Soft Enamel fillings add to production time, so please be aware that this can affect your receiving date.

    Important Note :
    May 28th. - July 31st. The peak of our season. Due to the high volume of orders, please allow extra time for production and shipping.
    Orders placed during this period The Pin Creator can not guarantee delivery dates due to delays in shipping out of our control. Please contact us to ensure that we can meet you in hands date you desire before placing your order.

    50 - 100100 - 500500 - 10001000 - 50005000 +

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