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- Etching is the process of using strong acid or mordant to cut into the unprotected parts of a metal surface to create a design in intaglio in the metal (the original process—in modern manufacturing other chemicals may be used on other types of material). As an intaglio method of printmaking, it is, along with engraving, the most important technique for old master prints, and remains in wide use today.
- Molding or moulding (see spelling
differences) is the process of manufacturing by shaping pliable raw
material using a rigid frame or model called a pattern.
A mold or mould is a hollowed-out block that is filled with a liquid
like plastic, glass, metal, or ceramic raw materials. The liquid hardens
or sets inside the mold, adopting its shape. A mold is the counterpart
to a cast. The manufacturer who makes the molds is called the moldmaker.
A release agent is typically used to make removal of the hardened/set
substance from the mold easier. Typical uses for molded plastics include
molded furniture, molded household goods, molded cases, and structural
- Photochemical machining
- Photochemical machining (PCM), also known as photochemical milling or photo etching, is a chemical milling process used to fabricate sheet metal components using a photoresist and etchants to corrosively machine away selected areas. This process emerged in the 1960s as an offshoot of the printed circuit board industry. Photo etching can produce highly complex parts with very fine detail accurately and economically.
This process can offer economical alternatives to stamping, punching, laser or water jet cutting, or wire electrical discharge machining (EDM) for thin gauge precision parts. The tooling is inexpensive and quickly produced. This makes the process useful for prototyping and allows for easy changes in mass production. It maintains dimensional tolerances and does not create burrs or sharp edges. It can make a part in hours after receiving the drawing.