The technology – electroforming process
What is electroforming?
Electroforming is an additive process that ‘grows’ parts, molecule by molecule, via the electro-deposition of metal onto a base form (mandrel) in a plating bath.
How does the process work?
In this process, an electrolytic bath is used to deposit nickel or other electroplatable metal (gold, copper) onto a conductive patterned surface, such as glass or stainless steel. Once the plated material has been built up to the desired thickness, the electroformed part is stripped off the master substrate.
This process differs from electroplating in that the plating is much thicker and can exist as a self-supporting structure when the mandrel is removed.
The benefits of electroforming
Fine process controls enable the production of high precision parts with features measured in microns, high tolerances and excellent edge definition. Electroforming is ideal for manufacturing a wide range of fine featured parts that demand precision far beyond the capabilities of more conventional production technologies.
The electroforming process also allows high-quality duplication of the master and therefore permits quality production with high repeatability and excellent process control. The process is therefore suited for high volume and low cost production.