Learn how to create a deep electro-etched metal plaque with household items or items from the hardware store in this Instructable. There are no hazardous chemicals (except dihydrogen monoxide and salts of sodium and chlorine), no dangerous voltages, and no toxic chemicals to dispose of. Be aware that the metal that disappears from your etched metal does end up in the water, so you will need to pay attention to any local laws about disposal of metal particulates.
This is a great technique that makes it really easy to go from virtual artwork of any type to a dimensional 3D surface. From there you can use it ti burnish and emboss paper, create molded items, make stamps, steam punk data plates, or anything else where you need to have 3D art from your 2D computer graphics artwork.
In this sample project, I will be creating the plaque from a 1/8" rectangle of brass as shown in the second photo.
So read on if this is something you would like to be able to do yourself.
Step 1: Here's What You'll Need
- Piece of brass, bronze, aluminum, steel or stainless steel, or any other metal
- Vector graphics program or other program to create the art for the CNC vinyl cutter
- CNC vinyl cutter
- Self-adhesive vinyl sheet for the vinyl cutter, any color is fine
- Tub large enough to hold your piece of metal
- Battery charger or charged car battery (or other similar DC power supply of 5 to 10 amps or more)
- Wires to connect the power supply to the piece of metal
- Sacrificial piece of metal (preferably stainless steel, but any metal will work)
- Electrical tape